Teaching qualitative research is often hampered by student uncertainties around how to apply methodological knowledge in practice. Digital learning objects (DLOs) may offer a solution to this problem, although they also come with limitations. This study assessed the student perspective on the strengths and limitations of six qualitative analysis DLOs in the field of media and communication. Drawing from a thematic analysis of 527 written student reflections on the use of these DLOs in learning practices, this paper found that DLOs were helpful in clearing doubts and cementing knowledge. Furthermore, they motivated students by increasing self-regulation and by providing a new learning environment that was perceived as showcasing “learning how to learn.” However, the DLOs also introduced new anxieties, destabilized the relationship between lecture and tutorial, and were not successful at fostering student reflexivity in relation to the research process. These findings provide practitioners with pedagogical insight into using DLOs to improve the learning experience of qualitative research.


reusable learning objects, digital learning environments, online teaching and learning, student experience, teaching qualitative research

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Delia Dumitrica is Associate Professor in the Media and Communication department of the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication. She is teaching qualitative research methodology at the undergraduate and graduate level. She is the recipient of several pedagogical grants aimed at innovating research methodology courses. Please direct correspondence to dumitrica@eshcc.eur.nl.

Paulina Jarmula is a lecturer of English for Academic Purposes with the Department of Foreign Languages at the Wrocław University of Science and Technology. She holds a Master of Arts and a Master of Science in Media Studies from Erasmus University Rotterdam and has worked as a research assistant in the development, implementation, and assessment of digital learning objects for qualitative research. Please direct correspondence to paulinajarmula@gmail.com.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




https://orcid.org/ 0000-0001-6944-6092



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