Vol. 36 No. 1 (2021)
Research Articles

“Like Pushing Through Slog”: Women with Depression in Online Learning

Tracy Orr
Portage College
Published July 16, 2021
How to Cite
Orr, T. (2021). “Like Pushing Through Slog”: Women with Depression in Online Learning. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education / Revue Internationale Du E-Learning Et La Formation à Distance, 36(1). Retrieved from https://www.ijede.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/1198


Abstract: Using Giorgi’s descriptive phenomenological psychological method and a social work disciplinary lens, this Canadian study explores how women in online learning contexts experience and recover from depression. The primary research question guiding the study was, “What are the lived experiences of women in online learning who have lived with and recovered from depression?” The goal of the study was to provide a general description of the structure of this lived experience. Ten women who suffered and recovered from an episode of major depressive disorder during their online studies were interviewed. Seven invariable constituents of the experience were identified, including the development of depression, the impact of depression on learning, the treatment of depression, the importance of peers in online learning, the experience of role overload, changes in self-identity, and the application of personal agency. The study provides recommendations for institutions, educators, and course designers to increase peer interaction and provide direct in-course links to student support.  


Keywords: online learning, women, depression, post-secondary, phenomenology


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