The study has been framed under the following guiding question:
• What skills, supports and processes are required by learners in the new ICT distance learning environments to ensure successful learner outcomes?
More specifically, the major aims of this project are:
(a) To investigate the experiences of being a first time distance learner ‘in their own words’ from a student perspective;
(b) To develop a set of overarching principles for enhancing distance learner engagement and success;
(c) To develop a conceptual framework for identifying the most effective use of various intervention tools, supports and resources at early stages of the study lifecycle.
The project will achieve the following:
1. A report to the DEHub which will includes:
- a synopsis of the literature
- a student success audit and comparison of the two institutions support strategies
- at least 10 thematically analysed case studies or learner stories exploring the experiences and reflections of first-time distance learners
- a set of principles for enhancing the success of first time distance learners based on insights gained and the research literature
- a conceptual framework that draws on the literature and known strategies and which identifies a range of supports, interventions and resources at different points in the study lifecycle
2. The development of a Student Guide to Successful Distance Learning incorporating the key lessons learnt from the research
3. A Learner Success Colloquium jointly hosted by Massey University and Charles Sturt University, open to DEHub partners, to share the experiences and research findings
4. At least one conference presentation based on the study at an appropriate professional conference (outcome E) (e.g., HERDSA, DEANZ, ODLAA., ASCILITE, etc).