Bridging the gap – engaging distance education students in a virtual world
Rachel Crease, Bob Pymm, Lyn Hay, Charles Sturt University, Australia
ASCILITE - Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education Annual Conference, Publisher: Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education
Following a review of the provision of courses in the School of Information Studies (SIS) program at Charles Sturt University, academics in the school worked with learning and teaching services to design and implement a variety of teaching and learning activities in the online environment in order to address the challenges of distance education (DE). These challenges included high student attrition, lack of motivation, a sense of isolation and a need for greater and improved communication. A new model of teaching was developed with subject provision now fully online, utilising a range of social networking software, with the aim of creating a more engaging and sustaining learning environment to help overcome the isolation often noted by DE students. This paper outlines the outcome of the course review and reports in particular on one aspect, the development of the SIS Learning Centre in Second Life, where students and teachers meet to engage in new and innovative learning and assessment activities designed specifically to encourage greater communication and connectivity between DE students.
Crease, R., Pymm, B. & Hay, L. (2011). Bridging the gap – engaging distance education students in a virtual world. In Proceedings of ASCILITE - Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education Annual Conference 2011 (pp. 307-313). Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education.