To be human is to seek to understand the known and unknown world. The Covid-19 pandemic offers researchers the opportunity to examine online meaning-making on a more ubiquitous magnitude than ever experienced in history, without positioning the digital world as less authentic, or distinct, from the physical. Using mixed-methods grounded theory, this study posed the research question: (RQ) How do high school parents use an online community to (re)conceptualize aspects of contemporary society? The NRC Emotion Intensity lexicon (Mohammed, 2018) was used to score online forum posts from 2018-2021 using eight emotions to quantitatively represent changes over time. The qualitative data focused on core issues in education and observations during the Covid-19 pandemic using constructivist thematic coding - initial, focused, and theoretical – to identify prevailing themes. The convergence mixed-methods model was used to combine QUAN+QUAL data and identify the prevailing theory that can be concluded from the research. With relation to the research question, the findings establish that reconceptualization occurs in an online community through various agents engaged in dialogic conversation, and further reveals that (A) extreme coping mechanisms are used to adapt to new and reoccurring threats and Covid-19 is a catalyst for this behavior, (B) parents are extremely dissatisfied with contemporary education independently of the pandemic and in reaction to poor adaptability during it, and (C) variation in emotion may occur relative to context each year, but the priority categories of concern produce greater variation.
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Master of Education (M.Ed.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
School of Teacher Education
Secondary Education; English Language Arts Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Montcrieff, Kaitlyn, "A Mixed-Methods, Grounded Theory Study of Online Meaning-Making During the Pandemic" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 903.