The focus of this study was to develop greater understanding about the unique experiences of active-duty military soldiers who are taking online courses. The qualitative phenomenological study was comprised of online active military (OAM) students taking undergraduate college level courses offered by the Distance Learning Military Programs at a Californian community college. Six participants volunteered while taking online courses from various locations around the world, including sites that were located in an increased zone of conflict. The study’s results provided information that may assist with improving future military students’ learning experiences while they are facing the conflicts associated with military service. The results included themes defined as: online learning experience, personal traits & goals, support systems, conflict of work/ life balance, organizational skills & coping mechanisms. The data collected was documented, analyzed and divided into themes that illustrated the potential conflicts and solutions specifically related to the study’s sample. The data collected may assist in providing more qualitative study-based framework for research to improve active military students’ online learning success. Three conclusions resulted from the study. First, the learning experience and successful completion of online community college courses by active military students can be supported by college/professors by maintaining a positive online classroom environment, self-pacing options and flexibility with deadlines. Second, organizational strategies and healthy conflict coping mechanisms are key to the successful completion of online community college courses by active military students. Third, challenges/conflicts related to active military students online community college course learning and completion are inevitable but can be addressed through: active management of conflict and supporting or motivational factors and increased focus on integration between student and military roles, including deployment.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Dissertations (EdD) -- Educational leadership, administration, and policy; Computer-assisted instruction; Soldiers -- Education (Higher) -- United States; Community college students
Date of Award
Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Brock, Marilyn, ""The mission always comes first": a phenomenological study of active military students in online community college courses" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 929.