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In Cyberspace…. ….No-one Can Hear You Scream. Steve Wheeler Mark Townsend Graeme Horton University of Plymouth, UK. Online learners need support. Up to 50 per cent of distance learners drop Out of the course before completion….

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slide1

In Cyberspace….

….No-one Can Hear You Scream

Steve Wheeler

Mark Townsend

Graeme Horton

University of Plymouth, UK

slide2

Online learners need support

Up to 50 per cent of distance learners drop

Out of the course before completion…

Moore, M. G. and Kearsley, G. (1996) Distance Education: A Systems View.

Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

slide3

Online learners need support

3 Types of support required:

Academic Support

Social and Emotional Support

Practical and Technical Support

Carnwell, R. (2000) Approaches to Study and the Impact on the Need

for Support and Guidance in Distance Learning. Open Learning.

15 (2), 123-140.

slide4

Online learners need support

Cognitive

(Academic)

Psychomotor

(Practical)

Affective

(Emotional)

Bloom, B. S. (Ed.) (1956) Taxonomy of Educational

Objectives - Handbook 1: The Cognitive Domain, Longman: New York.

slide5

Online learners experience ‘distance’

Geographical Distance – Technology Mediation

Psychological Distance – Social Presence &

‘Connectedness'

Transactional Distance – Structure & Dialogue

Moore, M. G. and Kearsley, G. (1996) Distance Education: A Systems View.

Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

slide6

Geographical Distance

Geographical distance should no longer be a

barrier. Better and faster communication

technologies enable students to connect with

their teachers almost anywhere in the world.

Spatial and temporal separation need no

longer be a concern.

slide7

Psychological Distance

What the student perceives is likely to be

more important.

If a student feels no connection with the teacher

or immediacy of response is lacking, s/he may

feel isolated and helpless.

Social presence is an important concern.

Locus of control should reside with the student.

slide8

Transactional Distance

A potential ‘fall zone’ between the intentions of

the teacher and the expectations of the student.

Can be measured by the variables of Structure

and Dialogue.

Also influenced by level of student Autonomy.

Moore, M. G. (1990) Recent Contributions to the Theory of Distance

Education. Open Learning. 5 (3), 10-15.

slide9

An Online Course in Study Skills

  • Foundation degree level training for Teaching
  • assistants.
  • 900+ students distributed across South West
  • region of England.
  • Students require study skills training, so a web
  • based learning course was devised.
slide12

Lessons Learnt

  • Tutorial Support: Must be timely and responsive
  • Accessibility: Bandwidth limitations in rural areas
  • Navigation: Clear signposting for web resources
  • Peer Support: E-mail, bulletin boards, etc.
  • Activities: Problems and learning scenarios
slide13

Thank you for listening

steve.wheeler@plymouth.ac.uk

www2.plymouth.ac.uk/distancelearning