The Proceedings of the Information Systems Education Conference 2006: §3133    Home    Papers/Indices    prev (§3132)    Next (§3134)
Sat, Nov 4, 8:30 - 8:55, Normandy A     Paper (refereed)
Recommended Citation: Dykman, C and N J Johnson.  Maximizing the Online Student Experience.  In The Proceedings of the Information Systems Education Conference 2006, v 23 (Dallas): §3133. ISSN: 1542-7382.

Maximizing the Online Student Experience

Refereed9 pages
Charlene Dykman    [a1] [a2]
Management Information Systems
University of St. Thomas    [u1] [u2]
Houston, Texas, USA    [c1] [c2]

Nancy J. Johnson    [a1] [a2]
School of Business
Metropolitan State University    [u1] [u2]
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA    [c1] [c2]

Students are faced with the choice of taking traditional lecture classes or pursuing their education online. There has been substantial focus on the pedagogy of distance learning, the tools and platforms that are available, the requirements for effective teaching at a distance, and the appropriate support mechanisms needed for success. However, there is little understanding of what it takes to "learn" at a distance. The learner is the other part of the distance learning equation. This paper, written by professors with extensive experience teaching distance based classes and significant research in computer-mediated communication processes, addresses this often overlooked aspect of distance learning. Taking classes at a distance requires much more planning and diligence than just a “how-to” course related to navigating the platform used. This discussion includes helping learners understand and modify (if necessary) their own personal social interaction style to be effective online. Learners must be able to organize their distance learning class experience, develop relationships with faculty whom they may never meet, network with other learners in the class whom they may also never meet. Learners in distant education programs must also work diligently to establish the credibility of their educational experience and their online degrees.

Keywords: distance learning, online education, managing expectations, learner responsibility, networking, communication skills

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