Distance learning is becoming an increasingly popular way of studying, and most universities now provide courses using these methods. Today's students, though, are demanding high quality, consumer-focused and flexible courses, as well as learning resources and active learner support. This means that providers of distance education need to reconsider key issues about their learner support systems, ensuring that this is delivered appropriately and effectively.
Considering the changing needs and demands of distance education students, this book draws together contributions from the UK, USA, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, South Africa and Botswana, to offer an international perspective on:
* the challenges and opportunities of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
* quality assurance, commercialisation and the learner as consumer
* the impact on learners of cultural differences on internationalised curricula
* the implications for learner support of a wider range of learners
This book should be read by all those involved in developing and delivering distance education courses.
'The editors have skilfully selected and ordered the contributions … to create a book that flows well and which makes a significant contribution to this important, but often overlooked, aspect of distance education … The book tackles most, if not all, of the challenges facing distance education providers in the way that they support their students. This book will be particularly interesting to students on Masters or undergraduate programmes who may be specialising in this aspect of distance education. It should also be an essential read for distance course developers and deliverers.' - Escalate
'This book provides a very useful window on current debates - it's full of interesting examples and poses questions that lie at the heart of the future development of ODL.' - British Journal of Educational Technology
'Rethinking Learner Support is a timely book. Its confrontation with the very profound changes in education systems is unique. In sum, this volume makes a significant contribution to distance education practice'. - The American Journal of DIstance Education