Learner support is the critical link in online education. A learner support system is comprised of human and non-human resources that contribute to the learning process of an online course and should be designed as an integral part of the course. For example, if the online course requires students to access library resources to complete a research paper, then, easy access to library resources must be provided as part of the learner support system for that course. Learner support for online learners will differ based on the context, learner characteristics such as needs, expectations, prior learning experiences, etc., and the learning process. Online learners are not homogeneous. They differ in age, gender, culture, education, language, social and economic background, family and employment commitments, goals, objectives, needs and desires. Each individual has his or her own needs that have to be met.
Culture and Online Learning: Global Perspectives and Research
Online learners, diversity support
Gunawardena, C. N. (2014). Supporting diverse online learners. In I. Jung, & C. N. Gunawardena (Eds.), Culture and Online Learning: Global Perspectives and Research (pp.79-90). Sterling, VA: Stylus.
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