Date of Conferral







Carol Watson


People with the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis (MS) have few options for

educational activities. Although web-based instruction may be a viable option, little is known about how people with MS perceive this form of learning. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the experiences of people with MS regarding web- based instruction. The 3 learning structures--differentiated instruction, collaborative learning, and assistive technology--provided the conceptual framework for this research. Nine volunteers from the Pacific Northwest area of the United States who have MS were individually interviewed for this basic qualitative study. Transcripts were analyzed using open, axial, and selective coding. The results indicated that all participants found personal and professional benefits of their experience with web-based instruction and used course management systems to successfully communicate with instructors or peers. Participants also noted that these management systems did not directly aggravate their MS disease symptoms. Findings from the study may be useful information to individuals with MS for effectively managing their educational choices. This study's results could also be used by learning institutions to improve the access to education and allow individuals with MS to more fully participate in training opportunities.