Distance Learners and Support Services: Current Trends and Prospects

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Ramakrishna, Tata
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF5: Cross-Cutting Themes // As we all know many learners and prospective learners from all walks of life felt that the quality support services should be made available for them to meet their academic requirements in time. Thoughts and ideas should be derived to see that the nature of services has to be transformed from mechanical phase to digital phase to provide learner support services in a better way. The learners also seek more technical support in meeting their requirements rapidly for their academic achievements. Persuasion of higher studies through distance education is the best possible way for the category of children; young people and of course even older people. Any institution may have to plan and design to change the operational scenario in the technical mode in view of the conditions prevailing in the digital era. // Are the DE institutions satisfied with the services offered by them? Can they think for any major transformation of activities in the support-services sector for betterment? To answer these questions, the basic support-staff structure, roles and responsibilities of the staff have to be looked into and accordingly modify the structures technically viable wherever necessary. The roles and responsibilities shall be properly defined suiting the technical environment and allocated to the staff at various levels so as to provide effective services to the distance learners. // This paper analyses the support-staff structures of a DE institution and redesign them accordingly on the basis of Feedback received from the learners. In addition, the paper discusses the Internet-based delivery mechanism, technology-enabled methods, and decentralisation of activities; and thereupon recommends suggestions for ensuring quality services in the near future. // Paper ID 25

Distance Education,Technology-Enabled Learning (TEL),Open and Distance Learning (ODL),Student Support Services