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New approaches to supporting students: strategies for blended learning in distance and campus based environments

Macdonald, Janet and McAteer, Erica (2003) New approaches to supporting students: strategies for blended learning in distance and campus based environments. Journal of Educational Media, 28 (2-3). pp. 129-146. ISSN 1358-1651

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Abstract

The availability of electronic media challenges our approaches to student learning support in a variety of ways. In spite of much work into online course design and delivery, we have tended to neglect the contribution of other modes and media used in learner support, and there has been a critical lack of overt integration of online use with other good learning support systems. In the SOLACE project, we have been exploring current practices for learner support and the degree to which tutor interventions and interactions with their students map to their use of communication media. The main focus for this study is 'traditional distance' tutors at the Open University, and contrasts are drawn with three courses taught within a 'traditional campus' setting at the University of Glasgow. Preliminary findings from the first phase of this project reflect present practice in learner support for a range of courses, and describe factors influencing the use of media in a blended solution to learner support.