This study aims to comprehensively analyze postgraduate theses conducted in the distance education field, specifically focusing on experimentally conducted studies and studies presenting model designs. Employing a qualitative approach within a document analysis framework, the research encompasses an examination of 145 theses subjected to content analysis. Findings highlight an increase in experimentally oriented and design-centric postgraduate theses since 2006. This is closely linked to emerging technological advancements, the increased emphasis on distance education, and the growing demand for distance education. Notably, the majority of the theses emerged from the educational sciences domain, predominantly employing quantitative methodologies. Among the varied data analysis techniques, content analysis, independent t-tests, and descriptive analyses emerged as the most frequently employed methodologies. The prevalence of web-based systems, coupled with the incorporation of video and animation, was evident in a substantial portion of the theses. The prominent usage of survey instruments, achievement tests, and interview techniques as primary data collection methods can be attributed to researchers' focus on evaluating the impact of pedagogical practices and the efficacy of distance education designs on student achievement and the usability of these designs. Furthermore, the theses explore themes surrounding motivation, instructional effectiveness, and participant perspectives pertinent to design aspects. It is thought that experimental and design-oriented distance education studies are insufficient in fields such as music, painting and physical education which psychomotor skills are at the forefront. Distance education model development studies for these fields should be increased. In the theses examined, significant deficiencies were found in curriculum preparation. Developing a curriculum compatible with the model design in distance education can contribute to the successful outcome of the education process. It is thought that examining distance education studies from different perspectives will contribute to improving the quality of distance education.
Postgraduate, thesis, distance education, experimental, design.