Nurturing supportive and engaging induction environments for distance-learning students.
Martzoukou, Konstantina; Kemp, Vanessa
M. Cinta Vincent-Vela
Elena de laPoza
Distance learning (DL) students typically learn with very limited or no requirements for physical presence and this often means that learning may be perceived as a more isolating or less 'natural' experience. Postgraduate (PG) DL students are particularly vulnerable as mature students with working and family commitments who require more support in their transition to a DL PG study, having experienced a longer break in education. This paper presents the main findings of a survey of 82 students and semi-structured interviews with 11 students studying at the Robert Gordon University (Aberdeen, Scotland). The research explored their expectations and challenges encountered in transitioning to a DL PG study across a number of different subject areas. The study found that the online induction process should meet a variety of expectations and needs, focusing primarily on academic and social aspects. DL study can be an isolating experience, which can be made less alienating when there is a chance for students to get to know their peers and teaching staff. An inclusive approach to online induction geared towards flexible support and interactive, engaging content is an important consideration.
|Journal Article Type||Conference Paper|
|Start Date||Jun 21, 2016|
|Publication Date||Jul 20, 2016|
|Journal||Procedia: social and behavioural sciences|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|Institution Citation||MARTZOUKOU, K. and KEMP. V. 2016. Nurturing supportive and engaging induction environments for distance-learning students. Procedia: social and behavioral sciences; proceedings of the 2nd international conference on higher education advances (HEAd'16), 21-23 June 2016, Valencia, Spain [online], 228, pages 535-540. Available from: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2016.07.082|
|Keywords||Postgraduate distance learning; Induction; Survey; Student experience; Engagement; Academic support; Interactivity|
MARTZOUKOU 2016 Nurturing supportive and engaging induction