Trust: A Process and an Outcome in an Audio-Teleconferencing Learning Environment

  • Judith Buchanan University of New Brunswick
  • Judith MacIntosh University of New Brunswick


If trust is critical in relationships between teachers and distance education students, then how do teachers facilitate trust? This particularly challenging question arose from our experience teaching distance education nursing students who were continuing their education through the medium of audio-teleconferencing. Although audio-teleconferencing has the advantage of allowing students to stay in their own communities while accessing educational opportunities, we believed that it complicates the development of trusting relationships between teachers and students. In a qualitative study, students were asked to provide their perspectives on factors that facilitate trust within this distance education learning environment. Their responses indicate that, within the context of the learning milieu, trusting is construed as a developmental process, and through this process, trust in the learning, in the curriculum, and in one's co-learners occurs.