Strategies for Improving Instructor-Student Communication in Online Education

Strategies for Improving Instructor-Student Communication in Online Education

Stuart C. Freedman (University of Massachusetts Lowell, USA), Steven F. Tello (University of Massachusetts Lowell, USA) and David Lewis (University of Massachusetts Lowell, USA)
Copyright: © 2003 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-93177-739-1.ch010
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Abstract

This chapter identifies potential communication barriers between instructor and students in an online educational environment, and suggests ways to reduce or eliminate them. There are at least five such barriers—social distance, conceptual confusion, fear and mistrust, isolation and disconnectedness, and lost efficacy—which, when present, are likely to diminish the effectiveness of an online course. Several approaches to structuring online lecture notes and composing individual student messages are proposed that are hypothesized to increase the likelihood that student satisfaction and learning goals will be achieved. It is assumed that the application of these communication tactics will enhance the attractiveness of online courses, particularly among students who would not otherwise have access to higher education. Suggestions for future research are proposed.

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