An Institutional Approach to Supporting Online Students

Updated: 12:21pm, 27 Oct, 2022
7 June 2006 (Wed)
Room 101, 1/F., Runme Shaw Building, The University of Hong Kong
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Many universities are moving from on-campus teaching to also teaching online courses to distant students. These institutions face many challenges in supporting their distant students and need a holistic view of the support that distant students require. This seminar will propose ways that institutions could meet these needs of distant online students through exploring, from the student's perspective, the stages that an online student progresses through. The stages that an online student progresses through are:

* Recruitment
* Enrolment
* Induction
* Participation
* Graduation & Beyond

The model for supporting online students that is proposed recommends that institutions put support procedures in place for each of these stages so that prospective and current online students have high quality experiences that are characterized by easy access to information, high quality learning experiences, and prompt, accurate and friendly responses to all enquiries. Academic staff are actively involved during the Participation stage (while students are enrolled in courses) and play the central role in the success of this stage. This stage is clearly important in influencing students' perceptions of their experience with the institution, but it is by no means the only critical stage in a student's journey from recruitment to graduation. Administrative staff are essential for the institution's success in online teaching as they are key players during all stages of students' online experiences.

Seeing students' experiences as a whole is essential for the student to move seamlessly through their journey of online education and for the institution to provide the support needed at each stage.

About the speaker(s):

Dr Dianne Chambers is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Melbourne and teaches in the area of computers in education and her research areas include the uses of computers in teacher education, online education, and the development of educationally rich teaching resources to support learning in teacher education. Dianne is also Assistant Dean (Learning Technologies) for the Faculty of Education (since 2000) and teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students studying in the areas of early childhood, primary, and secondary education, and teaches in on campus, online and intensive modes.

Dianne has been involved in a number of major multimedia projects to support learning in teacher education, including: Computers & the K-6 Classroom: Kids Can Do!, CLICK! Computers & Learning In Classrooms K-6, Teaching and Learning about Decimals, Teaching and Learning about Whole Numbers, and the Sample Science Project. Dianne has won a number of awards for teaching, including the inaugural Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Faculty of Education at the University of Melbourne.

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