FDOL132 unit 5

Supporting learners

Rationale: Student learning support is a key area in the provision of a ‘quality’ educational experience in formal settings. Students expect academic, technical, administrative and pastoral support as part of their educational provision. Successful student support has a marked and positive impact on retention, progression, completion rates and overall student satisfaction – this can be even more so for students studying at a distance. In this unit participants will have the opportunity to explore a variety of contemporary conceptions of online tutoring and online facilitation derived, including peer-support and peer-tutoring models, from theory and research and consider their initial experiences of good and effective practice in the support of flexible, blended and online learning provisions offered by institutions to own students and external learners.


Helping others grow? What works?

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit, you will have had the opportunity to

  1. critically discuss supporting learners, approaches and challenges
  2. critically reflect on supporting learners in your own practice
  3. critically review in PBL groups supporting learners features of the chosen scenario

Activities/tasks for all learners

  1. Google + FDOL132 community
    Discuss aspects of Flexible, Distance and Online Learning in participants’ professional context with peers and comment on each others’ contributions.
  2. Twitter
    You are encouraged to continue to use your Twitter account. If you would like to it would be interesting if you tweet about your experience from the FDOL course. Please find peers on FDOL and follow them, and comment on tweets by others if you would like to. There are no requirements to tweet and/or comment, however you are encouraged and for those of you who are new on Twitter the idea of Twitter in the FDOL course is that your use will increase during the FDOL journey as you become more familiar with it. Remember to use the hashtag #fdol132 when tweeting.
  3. Reflecting through images
    Have a look at the image below and think about in the context of this unit. Then reflect on your experiences as a learner/teacher. Have you felt like this before in a learning situation? What did this mean for your learning/teaching?


Additional activities/tasks for learners within PBL group

  1. Continue working together on your chosen scenario considering supporting learning features. Remember to use COOL FISh
  2. At the end of Unit 5 share your main findings in the FDOL132 community using the Category Unit 5 section. Consider creating a Google doc, a video, a cartoon or any other more creative representation of your findings and invite the FDOL132 community to provide feedback on your work. Please note, overall findings from all PBL activities will be shared in Unit 7.
  3. Reflect individually and in your PBL groups on your learning and share with the wider FDOL community.

Reflective post in unit 5

  1. How do I support my students and what are the opportunities for further improvement through digital technologies: Reflect on your current support practice and identify how you can further enhance this using digital technologies. Explain how and why.
    Capture your reflections in your portfolio/personal learning space. Use relevant literature. Remember to add the hashtag #FDOL132 and @openfdol to your title if you want to share through Twitter (suggested: 400-600 words or equivalent)
  2. Share the link to your portfolio/personal learning space and invite others to comment
  3. Comment on reflections made by others.

Please note, you are also welcome to reflect using the Google + community space and/or your COOL FISh spaces.

Webinar Thursday 7 November – cancelled!!!
– please check below for the alternative activity

As an alternative for the webinar we want to initiate and organise for a discussion in the Google community around supporting students, please use the cathegory “Unit 5 common activity (replacing webinar)” https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/112393294763616522043/stream/479a76f8-98ea-492b-8c01-15976f775885

Please access the webinar recording from FDOL131 with Dr Keith Smyth where Keith shares the 3E Framework he developed at Edinburgh Napier University and go to the FDOL132 community and discuss with us if this could be useful in your professional context when working with students. You might also find useful reading further details about the 3E Framework.

To access the recording with Keith, use the following link (it can take a while to open!)

Resources for unit 5

suggested readings1. Online learning: it is all about dialogue, involvement, support and control – according to the research, by Marion Coomey and John Stephenson available here2. Motivating learners in open and distance learning: Do we need a theory of learner support? by Ormond Simpson, available here

3. The 3E Framework by Keith Smyth, available here

additional resources

FDOL diigo group at http://groups.diigo.com/group/fdol-resources

Please check this learners’ generated collection and add further resources you find useful and link well with this unit. Remember to use tags and comment on resources shared by others.

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