Online learning and supporting students: new possibilities

Mason, Robin (2002). Online learning and supporting students: new possibilities. In: Tait, Alan and Mills, Roger eds. Rethinking learner support in distance education: change and continuity in an international context. London: Routledge Falmer, pp. 90–101.



Since the 1970s, the Open University (OU) has pioneered the concept of supported open learning in which adult students are provided with a range of systems and supports to help them overcome the loneliness of studying at a distance. Examples include: face-to-face tutorials, regional centres, counselling services, pre-course packs and study skills advice and training. However, the advent of on-line courses and virtual institutions since the 1990s raises the question all over again, about the responsibilities of universities towards their students.

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