Qualitative Research In Online Language Learning - What Can It Do?

Stickler, Ursula and Hampel, Regine (2019). Qualitative Research In Online Language Learning - What Can It Do? International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching (IJCALLT), 9(3), article no. 2.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4018/IJCALLT.2019070102


In this article we explore the theoretical foundations of qualitative research in online language learning. We will look at the distinction between offline and online language learning and discuss whether different ways of knowledge generation are appropriate for those different learning environments. Quantitative and qualitative methodologies will be examined and their fit with various learning theories evaluated. Fundamental theoretical differences between epistemologies supporting a realist ontology and those favouring relativist ontologies will be presented and set in the context of online and technology enhanced language learning research. Finally, we argue that a sociocultural framework, which goes beyond quantitative research approaches, is necessary to adequately understand the experiences of language learners and teachers who share a common interest in the new digital environments.

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