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Spencer Chambers OMDE 608-9040

Spencer Chambers
OMDE 608-9040
February 23, 2016
Word count: 1890

Brindley, J. E. (1995). Learner services: Theory and practice, Distansutbildning I itveckling,

Rappart nr. 11 (pp. 23-34). Umea, Sweden: University of Umea.

In this article, Brindley attempts to show the importance of Learner Intervention as a key

component of learner services within open and distance learning (ODL). The author does this by

explaining the development of learner services as an add-on service for distance education

programs and how this affected the development of learner services and learner support in general

developed as a part of ODL. The author suggests making learner intervention a central part of the

overall mission of the institution ODL services. Intervention as a learner service, is a learner

development model that provides learners with the support they need throughout the learning

process. This helps increase the odds of learner development and the successful completion of

courses and programs. Although this article is not comprehensive, it does give the reader the

opportunity to think and discuss the need for a centralized framework for leaner services with an

emphasis on learner intervention and development. This would be a good read for anyone who

wishes to gain better insight into the development of learner intervention strategies within distance


Brindley, J.E., Walti, C., & Zawacki-Richter, O. (2004). The current context of learner support in

open, distance and online learning: An introduction. In J. E. Brindley, C. Walti, & O. Zawacki-

Richter (eds.), Learner support in open, distance and online learning environments (pp. 9-27).

Oldenburg: Bibliotheks-und Informationsystmers der Univarsitat Oldenburg.

Spencer Chambers OMDE 608-9040

In this volume, the authors assert that learner support activities are all those interactive processes

that are intended to support and facilitate the learning process. These include tutoring, teaching,

counseling, advising, as well career and personal counseling. In addition, administrative activities

such as admissions, registration, library and information systems.

The author attempt to validate their assertion by taking a close examination of different kinds of

learner support actives in a variety of contexts with a focus on planning and management. Moving

from a more teacher centric teaching model towards a more learner centric model requires a greater

focus on learner support and learner development. The authors look at planning and management

by using four basic forms of media- based learning and teaching. These four forms are hierarchal

with computer based learning being a subset of online learning. Each of these is a subset of e-

learning and the overarching term is distance learning. The authors are well known scholars in the

field of ODL and the research presented was clear and concise. I think this paper would be helpful

to any ODL practitioners who wants to get a historical view of learner support in distance education

and compare that to contemporary trends based on the advancements of Information

Communications Technology (ICT).

Spencer Chambers OMDE 608-9040

LaPadula, M. (2003). A comprehensive look at online students support services. American

Journal of Distance Education, 17(2), 119-128.

In this article LaPadula attempts to analyze student satisfaction with current online student services

and what service they would like to have in the future by conducting a survey of online students

at New York Institute of Technology. Overall students at the school were satisfied with the support

services but they did indicate the need for improvement. The methodology used was a thorough

review of other institutions that provided online student support services. Based on this research a

wide range of services were identified and placed into three categories. (1) Academic healing, (2)

personal/ mental health counseling and (3) services that promote a sense of community.

This article would be particularly helpful for those individuals interested in providing a

comprehensive yet efficient student support systems in distance education. Based on extensive

research and the identification of three major areas of support, the author clearly points out reasons

why online student support services are important. Increased enrollment, decreased attrition, and

ease of transition for students into college but some of the benefits of a comprehensive online

student support program.

Rekkedal, T. (2004). Internet based e-learning, pedagogy and support systems. In J. E. Brindley,

C. Walti, & O. Zawack-Richter (Eds), Learner support in open, distance and online learning

environments (pp. 71-93). Oldenburg: Bibliotheks-und Informationsystem der Universitat


In this article, Rekkedal attempts to identify and discuss areas of internet-based learning related to

need for systems and actions for student support. To validate his assertions, the author uses the

Spencer Chambers OMDE 608-9040

theoretical foundations of the EU Socrates Minera project. The pedagogy, examined are theories

of autonomy and independence. The theory of industrialization and the theories of interaction and

communication. These three categories represent the evolution of learning theory as it relates to

distance education. From correspondence education, to mass printed material to the world wide

and development of dynamic web tools. The authors material is well organized in a chronological

order well researched using expert references for each phase of the theoretical evolution of distance

education from teaching and learning as well as a learner support perspective. This article is useful

to professionals in the field of distance education or other individuals interested in how

pedagogical theories have evolved in distance education and how technology has forced

practitioners to adapt a systems approach to learner support.

Shea, P., & Armitage, S. (2003). Beyond the administrative core: Creating web-based student

services for online learners, resources, guidelines (Research Report: 11627). Retrieved from the

Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education website: http://www.wiche.edu/pub/11627

Based on the Learning Anytime Anywhere (LAA) project funded by the US department ED and

in partnership with Kansas State University, Armitage has created an interactive guideline for

creating a web-based student service. The author offers best practices based on evidence based

research and practical advice on how to assess and evaluate learner needs in order to develop an

online system that best fits the needs of those learners. Based on core student services topics;

resources and material are accessible via links to multiple sources governmental, non-government

Spencer Chambers OMDE 608-9040

and private. In addition, access to information on technical issues and how to integrate technology

and student services are also available.

Beyer, K., & Bruhn-Suhr, M. (2004). The five column model of learner support- Creating

opportunities for growth and change. In U. Bernath & a Szucs (eds.), Proceedings of the 3rd Eden

Research Workshop Oldenburg, March 4-6, 2004, (pp. 335-347). Oldenburg: Bibliotheks-und

Informationsystems der Universitat Oldenburg.

This article discusses the blended learning model, and is based on the blended learning program

in practice at center for continuing education and distance learning. The authors give a brief over

view of their blended learning model as well as summarize the five column learning model used

by this program. The first column; student information system and general information discusses

the learning platform as well as the expectation of virtual group work. Teaching, facilitation and

moderation discusses the relationship between the instructors the student and the learning

environment. Third, course choice and general guidance is based on staff support for student

course choice based on prerequisites student readiness. The fourth, the study skills module is a

mandatory course for all blended learning students in order to introduce them to the online learning

environment and as a way to assess and develop online learning skills. Finally technical support,

discusses the technical issues that arise in an online learning environment and how those issues

are resolved. Even though this article is not detailed and is not based on any extensive research it

does provide insight in to the learning model known as blended learning and offers systematic

approaches to implementing it.

Mills, R. (2004). Looking back, looking forward: What have we learned? In J. E. Brindley, C.

Walti, & O. Zawacki- Richter (Eds.), Learner support in open, distance and online learning

Spencer Chambers OMDE 608-9040

environments (pp. 29-37). Oldenburg: Bibliotheks-und Informationssystem der Universitt


This article is an examination of distance education from a historical perspective and based on the

evolution of distance education the author proposes five key issues that have arisen during the

process. This article is very concise and straight forward and it references key practitioners and

pioneers in the field of distance education. The first issue of concern is avoid the temptation to

treat distance education solely as a business. Next, be on the side of the student. Third, use

resources in the best possible way for students. In addition, use ICT in a careful and creative way

for improving teaching learning and assessment. Finally, give absolute priority to reducing the

digital divide. In conclusion I recommend this article to anyone interested in understand the key

issues affecting distance education from the past to the present.

Blaschke, L. (2004). Sustaining online collaboration: Seven lessons for application in the

Volkswagen Autouni. Kreative Communication, LLC. Im Kipfell 11, 69254 Malsch Germany.

In this brief article the Blasche presents seven lessons to sustain online collaboration. The author

suggests that team building is a challenge in a face to face environment but even more so in an

online environment to combat this she suggest the following lessons. Lesson one, promote a

learning culture where knowledge generation and sharing is openly desired. Lesson two, cultivate

and capitalize on learning champions. Lesson three, build on relationships in teams. Lesson four,

Make use of organizational and knowledge management tools and methodology to keep

communication flowing. Lesson five, provide the necessary infrastructure and technology to

sustain online collaboration. Lesson seven, be flexible and ready and willing to adapt to change. I

Spencer Chambers OMDE 608-9040

believe Blaschkes lessons are a comprehensive set of guidelines that can be used and expanded

by any distance education professional

Simpson, O. Retention and Course choice in distance education. Open University in the East of

England. 12 Hills Road Cambridge CB2 IPF England.

In this article Simpson asserts that the process of course choice is an important factor in new

students subsequent retention or dropout. Course titles and descriptions are usually provided by

the institution and based on that students make decisions about what courses to take. The author

believes the way in which the course title and description is an important factor to consider with

thinking about retention. Another point the author makes is the importance of student comments

and feedback on courses and how they may determine which courses students will take and it kays

a big impact on retention The final point the author makes is the use of diagnostic tools to

determine students readiness for a course and what level of guidance a student may need in order

successfully complete a course. I think this article serves as an overview of the importance of

retention strategies and it would benefit any organization or person concerned with retention.

Spencer Chambers OMDE 608-9040

Tesch, P.C. Ethics in distance education. Concordia University, College of Graduate and

Continuing Studies. 275 Syndicate Street N. St. Paul, MN 55105

The authors primary purpose of this article was the examination of ethics standards, its origins,

the controversies surrounding it and things to consider moving forward. The author asserts that

ethics is the conduct expect of individuals involved in a formal learning process modeled after five

hundred years of western tradition. The article raises important questions about how culture and

religion often play significant roles in how ethics are developed in any given society this is a very

brief article but it does serve as a starting point for anyone concerned with ethics and how it plays

out in an online learning environment.