About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7007-7012
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.2641

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

PREPARING UNIVERSITY STUDENTS FOR SUCCESSFUL ONLINE STUDY

L. Smith

Charles Sturt University (AUSTRALIA)
Charles Sturt University(CSU) is large, regional, multi campus university in Australia where nearly 60% of its students study by distance education. Since 1998, those studying by distance have been afforded the benefits of an online environment to facilitate peer to peer and teacher to student interaction along with access to services and support. Despite the benefits of technology, when this mode of study was introduced, little that students had previously experienced in traditional classrooms had prepared them for the era of online learning (Smith, 1999). In order to address gaps in student readiness for successful online study, in 1999, CSU developed and piloted a short, voluntary, online subject called Skills for Learning Online.

Nearly 20 years on, internet access and usage rates have increased exponentially. Online learning has become the norm rather than the exception. Australian household internet access reached 86% in 2016 and 85% of Australians 15 years and older were internet users in the same year (ABS 2016). Some may assume that universities are now filled with digital natives who are not only tech savy but who also possess the necessary skills to support online study success at a university level, but this is not always the case. While the digital divide has narrowed, it has deepened in some demographics. Not surprisingly, the proportion of Internet usage reduces proportionately with educational attainment and attrition rates of students studying online are more than double that of students studying on campus. (Department of Education 2016)

Universities should not assume that students have the necessary skills or dispositions to be effective online learners (Jones, Ramanau, Cross and Healing 2010) and if attrition rates are to be addressed, appropriate support strategies must be in place. This paper reports on the implementation, uptake and evaluation of the subject Skills for Learning Online over an 18 year period, the takeaway lessons of which are readily transferable across the sector in order to better support online students.
@InProceedings{SMITH2017PRE,
author = {Smith, L.},
title = {PREPARING UNIVERSITY STUDENTS FOR SUCCESSFUL ONLINE STUDY},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.2641},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.2641},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {7007-7012}}
TY - CONF
AU - L. Smith
TI - PREPARING UNIVERSITY STUDENTS FOR SUCCESSFUL ONLINE STUDY
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.2641
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 7007
EP - 7012
ER -
L. Smith (2017) PREPARING UNIVERSITY STUDENTS FOR SUCCESSFUL ONLINE STUDY, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 7007-7012.
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