Superficial social inclusion? Reflections from first-time distance learners. A practice report

Brown, Mark and Keppell, Mike and Hughes, Helen and Hard, Natasha and Shillington, Sandi and Smith, Liz (2012) Superficial social inclusion? Reflections from first-time distance learners. A practice report. The International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education, 3 (2). pp. 73-80.

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This paper reports on a research project that sought to investigate the experiences of first-time distance learners from their own perspectives, in their own words, through weekly video diaries. The research took place against a background of growing concern about low retention and completion rates among distance students, which raises questions about what actually happens to learners once they begin their study. While the project will ultimately generate evidence-based deliverables targeted at both distance education providers and distance learners, this paper reports on a selection of learner stories that highlight the nature of superficial social inclusion in the absence of support and engagement strategies that reach out at the point of need throughout the study lifecycle. The research challenges educators to reflect on the difficulties of supporting distance students to engage effectively with study amid other life and work commitments, at the same time as being mindful that to survive the distance they need to be independent, self-motivated learners.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © Copyright of practice reports is retained by authors. As an open access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings. ISSN: 1838-2959
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Australian Digital Futures Institute
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2014 04:52
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2017 23:51
Uncontrolled Keywords: distance education, social inclusion, video diaries
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
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930501 Education and Training Systems Policies and Development
Identification Number or DOI: 10.5204/intjfyhe.v3i2.130

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