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Communication Support for Distance Learners (Interactive Training Module)

Rating: 3.8/5 (8 votes cast)

Communication has been shown consistently to be a key element of retention for online and other remote learners. A lack of communication between students and instructors, unanswered questions, or shuffling of students from one place or phone to another without meeting their needs has been cited as a major cause for course drops. “Some administrators and faculty members attribute the lower rates in distance-education courses to demographics, saying that distance-education students are often older, and thus busier, than traditional college students. However, others blame the nature of distance education, arguing that online and television courses will never be able to supply the personal interaction that some students crave”.

Setting up a communication center – based on website, e-mail, and phone-based services – can be a key element of assuring that communication occurs, helping students receive the support they need. Some communication centers offer students a virtual “one-stop-shop” for support services where a simple call can provide the financial aid, advisement, and registration support to begin classes. Once registered, students can reach other services electronically and may be contacted regularly from the center to assure connection and communication continues.
(This is a Free Resource)

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (by: Dale Longbine, Director of Customer Services, Amarillo College)