In their own words: student stories of seeking learning support

Brown, Mark and Hughes, Helen and Keppell, Mike and Hard, Natasha and Smith, Liz (2013) In their own words: student stories of seeking learning support. Open Praxis, 5 (4). pp. 345-354. ISSN 2304-070X

Abstract

Many Open and Distance Learning (ODL) providers report that their students are prone to lower rates of retention and completion than campus-based students. Against this background, there is growing interest around distance-specific learning support. The current research investigated the experiences of students during their first semester as distance learners at Massey University in New Zealand. The overarching methodology was Design-Based Research, within which phenomenological data gathering methods were used to study the experiences of twenty participants from their own point of view. Using video cameras, over twenty-two hours of self-reflections were gathered between July and November 2011 using a technique adapted from previous studies. A grounded theory approach was applied to the process of thematic data analysis. Results revealed how participants varied in their engagement with learning supports, including orientation events, outreach activity, cultural services, learning consultants, library services, fellow students, lecturers, residential courses, and other people. The discussion reflects on clusters of participants who utilised learning supports effectively, moderately and barely. The paper concludes by summarizing how the current research has had an impact on the design of learning support services at one of the world's leading providers of distance education.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright International Council for Open and Distance Education 2013. Paper presented at the 25th International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) Conference, Tianjin, China. 16 Oct 2013
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Australian Digital Futures Institute
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2014 06:19
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2015 02:11
Uncontrolled Keywords: distance learning; study support; phenomenology; impact
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130305 Educational Counselling
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930501 Education and Training Systems Policies and Development
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/24951

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