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Thursday, August 26, 2010

The European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning

Take a look at these articles, appears in EURODL.

Communication between tutors - students in DL
By Anastasiades Panagiotis and Iliadou Chrysoula
Publishing 01.07.2010

Two – way communication between students and tutors is one of the two key factors contributing to the success of a Distance Learning programme, the other being the complete and well-designed educational package. Both elements are essential to guide students' learning.
By means of this communication the tutor can facilitate the interaction of students with the learning material, ensure their active involvement and motivate their interest in deeper understanding. Thus, communication is a significant contributor to students' learning. In addition, effective communication can act as support for the student through clear and adequate feedback, which informs the students of their progress and provides vital encouragement.
In this paper we present the survey which was administered to students and tutors of the course module EDU65 (Open and Distance Education) of the Hellenic Open University. The objective of the survey was to study their views on the frequency, subject and ways of communication between students and tutors as well as review their perceptions on the contribution of this communication to the successful course and completion of studies. Through their answers we try to determine the elements of effective communication between tutor and student and compose the profile of the successful tutor according to the students' stance.

Essential, desirable or optional? Making distance e-learning courses available to those without internet access
By Val Hancock
Publishing 01.07.2010

The Open University, an open distance learning institution, is increasingly using a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that requires internet access. This paper investigates how the move to a VLE has affected one group of students who do not have internet access – offender learners studying in prison. Members of the armed forces and secure hospital patients also have restricted access to the internet. E-learning practitioners design courses on the assumption that students will have easy internet access and other appropriate technology. This is not always the case. This paper reports on an action research project that identified alternative approaches to learning activities that required internet access. Project initiatives enabled six offender learners to complete a course that had previously been classified as unsuitable for study in prison. The use of alternative approaches opens up the possibility of distance learning for students who would otherwise be excluded from distance e-learning courses. The author proposes an EDO framework, classifying activities as 'Essential', 'Desirable' or 'Optional'. The framework highlights activities needing alternative approaches if a student is to complete the course successfully. By applying the framework, practitioners can design and deliver a course that utilises technology appropriate to the student's environment.