This page provides links to resources that deal with the different types of support services that need to be put in place to support distance learning and e-learning initiatives.
Articles in date order, most recent first.
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"The guidelines aim to assist: managers of learning schemes wishing to develop support to learners, providers of programmes and materials wishing to recommend support options to customers and course designers who need to ensure that programmes are adequately supplied. It provides users with an overview of what is meant by learner support and the different options and includes a step by step approach with a checklist at each stage to help users develop a strategy for the review and development of learner support in the organisation." British Learning Association
Added: 8 April 2005
Development of the guide was supported by S2-NET, a project funded through the Leonardo da Vinci Programme with the support of the European Commission, Directorate-General for Education and Culture
"Colleges and universities throughout the world are finding ways to integrate technology into the teaching and learning process. However, despite the rising use of information technology (IT) in instruction, both in the traditional classroom and at a distance, there remains a substantial gap in providing off-campus students with an array of academic and support services equivalent to the on-campus resources." Leslie P Hitch and Pamela MacBrayne, the technology source, March/April 2003
Added: 7 March 2003
"Effectively supporting e-learning means connecting segments of institutions never intimately related before."
"In face-to-face classrooms, the value of peer-to-peer interaction in enhancing educational outcomes is generally recognised and supported; however, in the more tenuous atmosphere of Distance Education , the sense of community and ensuing interacting networks that evolve within face-to-face groups are slower and more difficult to develop." Graeme Daniel and Kevin Cox, Web Tools Newsletter, February 2003
Added: 11 February 2003
Looks at "how students' interactions may be optimised and supported in Distance Education courses, with some comparisons to practices in face-to-face courses, and thoughts on how effectiveness might be measured"
"the application of ICTs to the delivery of education now poses a different set of problems for students, both oncampus and online, who must now learn how to navigate the complexities of Web-based delivery systems, and assimilate new learning skills and strategies if they are to succeed as lifelong learners. This week in Web Tools Newsletter, we look at what is being done to provide Web-based self-access support for students with learning issues - or just needing to learn how to learn ." Kevin Cox and Graeme Daniel, Web Tools Newsletter, 7 October
Added: 14 October 2002
A comprehensive look at supporting online learners
"The delivery of support services to distance learners has expanded tremendously from a link to an institution's library, one of the earliest off-campus aids offered to students. Most schools with a distance alternative provide opportunities for all their students to apply for admission, register, and, increasingly, to pay for courses, get financial aid, and purchase textbooks online. The colleges and universities linked to this issue are samples of ones that have developed a Web-visible assortment of support services beyond the basics and specific to distance learners." BEEP, November 2000
Added: 19 July 2001
Links to a variety of support resources prepared by some US colleges offering online learning
"The Guide to Developing Online Student Services is intended to help higher education institutions develop effective online approaches to delivering student support services. It provides: General tips for designing effective online student services; Brief discussions on a range of student support services, especially the needs of online and distant learners; and Guidelines for basic good practice in delivering these services via the Internet; and Examples of some institutions that use the Internet to offer students a variety of opportunities for self-help and customized services in addition to providing information and electronic forms online. The Guide will remain on the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications' Web page for one year only-from October, 2000 to September, 2001." B Krauth and J Carbajal, The Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications
Added: 18 July 2001
Although the project concentrated on providing online student services for a distance learning programmes, the guide is also applicable for designing student services for any student
"The online guide for student affairs professionals" Includes links to websites, listservs and the e-zine Student Affairs online.
Added: 18 July 2001
a comprehensive site dedicated to student affairs issues
"Why should we bother providing services for students at a distance? Why online? Can't the students just come to campus to access the services? Isn't an e-mail address good enough? My short answer: Because more students will be able to access services faster and better, and when they can access services better, they learn better." Susan Smith, Student Affairs On-line, Spring 2001
Added: 18 July 2001
Lessons learned and guidance how to create support services online