ERIC Number: EJ842677
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Serving the Online Learner
Boettcher, Judith V.
Campus Technology, v20 n8 p22, 24, 26 Apr 2007
Systems and services for recruiting, advising, and support of online students have seldom been at the top of the list when planning online and distance learning programs. That is now changing: Forces pushing advising and support services into the foreground include recognition of the student learner as "customer" and the increasing expectations and demands of government and business in the global information economy. Institutions will be investing in and transforming their advising and support services, and it is now not a question of "if," but of "when." For now, however, investing in systems and services that focus on the learner's needs, lifestyle goals, and choices may well hold the key to competitive edge in the world of online learning. The key to affordability for these systems probably lies in approaches that encourage a long-term relationship between the student and the institution. The period of data gathering and decision-making is an important advising juncture for many online learners; a time during which institutions have an opportunity to capture the learner and forge connections that last over time, even if, at that point, those potential students are not actually providing revenue to an institution. Potential undergraduates are also potential "customers"; they are searching for colleges that match their academic, life, and financial needs. Prospective students of graduate and professional programs are searching for affordable programs that fit into their career, life, and family responsibilities. And many working adults and professionals are looking for programs that will increase their skills and general earnings potential. This article discusses some tactics that institutions have employed to demonstrate that they can meet those needs.
Descriptors: Distance Education, Online Courses, Electronic Learning, Undergraduate Students, Higher Education, Academic Advising
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina; Ohio