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《Open Education Research》 2011-06
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Learner Support Services:Going beyond the Usual Notion in Open and Distance eLearning

Melinda dela Pena-Bandalaria(Faculty of Information and Communication Studies,University of the Philippines Open University,Los Banos,Laguna,Philippines)  
One of the key components in the implementation of programs in distance education is learner support services.The traditional notions of student support services look at it as "all activities beyond the production and delivery of course materials that assist in the progress of students in their studies"(Simpson,2000) or "those processes outside course production"(Sharma,2002;Keegan,1996).With the general trend and dominance of online learning in the DE context,there is also a need to rethink learner support which should be configured differently from the traditional or first generations distance education.The web technologies facilitate social construction of knowledge and sharing of user generated content which look at learners as active participants of knowledge creation/building.This paper looks into aspects which should be the focus of learner support services in the open and distance eLearning(ODeL) context.Specifically,it will focus on students frustrations as online learners,the culture of silence in online discussions,the community-based learner support,and the role of the teacher in the overall schema of learner support provision in ODeL.The paper will draw heavily from the more than 10 years of experience of the University of the Philippines Open University(UPOU) in implementing open and distance eLearning.The paper also attempts to recommend necessary attributes of a successful learner support system in ODeL.
【CateGory Index】: G434
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