The purpose of this chapter is to provide researchers, educators, and students of distance education (DE), online learning, educational technology, and gender studies with comprehensive analyses, discussions, and conclusions drawn from the collective perceptions and lived experiences of the pioneering women who contributed to this book.
The chapter is presented in a traditional research reporting manner. The first section, Research Methodology, provides an overview of the qualitative research method, research questions, interviewee selection process, and thematic data analysis procedures. Next, the Results section presents the findings of the study. The three most prevalent themes to emerge from the study were technology, pioneers’ background information, and the benefits of DE. Surprisingly, no research questions were overtly tied to the technology or benefits of DE themes. The Discussion section reflects on the themes emerging from these results and their possible interpretations and, where appropriate, considers how these findings relate to existing literature, such as the Matilda effect. The final section of this chapter, Conclusion, summarizes the salient themes identified in the data and discusses the limitations of the study. The chapter begins with the definition of key terms used in the study.