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Journal of Contemplative Inquiry

Abstract

This collective autoethnography discusses the effects of mindfulness practices integrated into an online Master of Education course at a Canadian Distance Education university. While the M.Ed. program is designed to address challenges typically associated with online courses, such as spatial and temporal distance, lower levels of synchronous interaction with peers and instructors, balancing flexibility and autonomy, as well as feeling isolated, the authors initially found themselves overwhelmed by the pressures stemming from competing responsibilities and emotional demands of being an online learner. They report on how the mindfulness practices, introduced mid-way through the program, impacted their online learning experience and their personal lives beyond the program. One of the key aspects of the marked growth was their improved self-regulated learning (SRL) skills that are essential for online learners. The chief mindfulness-supported habits that the authors found to positively affect the forethought, performance, and self-reflection processes were enhanced intrinsic motivation, self-awareness, and a mindful approach to time management.

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