An investigation of practices and tools that enabled technology-mediated caring in an online high school


  • Andrea Velasquez Brigham Young University
  • Charles R Graham Brigham Young University
  • Richard E West Brigham Young University



presence, immediacy, transactional distance, caring pedagogy, technology-mediated caring


The ethic of care has been an important part of the dialogue related to learning in traditional K-12 learning environments particularly because emotional relationships and caring pedagogies have been shown to be particularly important for adolescent learners. However, as online learning has become increasingly popular, there are concerns about the perceived impersonal nature of the online medium, and how this might particularly affect adolescent learners. The purpose of this study was to examine technology choices when experiencing caring interactions in the online schooling context of Mountain Heights Academy (formerly Open High School of Utah). The caring experience of two teacher participants and four of their students was examined through interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results suggest that teacher choices regarding technology use are an integral part of creating caring relationships with students online. The ethics of caring is an essential model in understanding the communication of caring interactions in the online setting.

Author Biographies

Charles R Graham, Brigham Young University

Associate Professor, Instructional Psychology and Technology Department

Richard E West, Brigham Young University

Richard E. West is an assistant professor in the Instructional Psychology and Technology department at Brigham Young University, where he teaches courses on instructional technology foundations, theories of creativity and innovation, technology integration for preservice teachers, and academic writing and argumentation. He researches the design, support, and evaluation of environments that foster collaborative innovation, as well as online learning communities and K-16 technology integration. His research is available through his profiles on Mendeley, Google Scholar, and his personal website (http://richardewest).



How to Cite

Velasquez, A., Graham, C. R., & West, R. E. (2013). An investigation of practices and tools that enabled technology-mediated caring in an online high school. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 14(5).



Research Articles