Exploring the Research Trends-Related Imbalances in Doctoral Level Research on Distance Education in Pakistan

Muhammad Musaud Asdaque & Syed Asad Abbas Rizvi

Abstract

The areas of research and methodological dimensions in the distance education are expanding rapidly due to technological advances (Wong et al., 2016). This research intends to investigate the imbalances in domains of research topics and methodological dimensions in the doctoral level dissertations at Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) between 2001- 2014. The 37 PhD dissertations accessed from the Higher Education Commission (HEC)’s research repository were selected as the sample of this study, which were reviewed to record the research topics, research types/models, data collection tools and data analysis instruments and categories of the participants. The results of this study revealed imbalanced approach of PhD researchers towards addressing the research areas in distance education and research methodological considerations used to tackle the research issues in doctoral level dissertations at AIOU. The outcomes of this study contribute to the existing literature on the research trends of distance education, in addition to informing the academics, AIOU-based supervisors and HEC-based policy-makers to address the imbalanced approach to achieve the comprehensive picture of the research issues in distance education. This is critical for successful promotion and implementation of distance education and prioritization of research areas in Pakistani distance education sector.

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