Student support is at the same heart of the student success.
Under a student-centred learning perspective, giving support to students is a powerful tool to engage them and increase retention, enhancing their academic performance, integration and satisfaction and promoting sustainability and continuity of education, that is, long life learning.
The final goal of this field of expertise is to empower students to become long-life self-directed and regulated learners in online and blended-learning environments.
Empower experts can help those universities moving towards blended and online teaching and learning, to develop effective students’ support systems.
The main reason is that learning environments mediated by ICTs generate different needs, difficulties and possibilities for students, so new ways to give them support are also required, as they need to be informed, oriented and trained in whatever they might need to become successful e-learners.
Based on our experience and expertise, we can help to:
- Organize supportive learning communities and networks, in general.
- Design online and blended responsive personalized learning environments.
- Deliver efficient student support in large and even massive courses.
- Generate OER and Massive Open Online Courses to give students additional support they might need.
- Elaborate global institutional actions to help students in different stages all along their studies, such as online induction programs for novel students.
- Develop specific actions to help students with special needs.
We can also share our experience in helping students to become autonomous and self-determined learners in blended and online environments, thanks to the development of key competences, such as:
- Basic and advance digital skills.
- Self-regulated learning strategies.
- Collaborative skills, peer-to-peer support.
- Other generic and professional competences.
In short, as Open and Distance Universities, we can show what works for us with ICTs in the Student Support field and what does not, hoping to be helpful in the development of successful student support services in online and blended learning environments.