Open access research
publication repository

Support: The Keystone of Distance Education [r-libre/3052]

Papi, Cathia; Plante, Patrick, & Hébert, Marie-Hélène (Oct 2023). Support: The Keystone of Distance Education. Paper presented at Innovating Higher Education (I-HE2023), Istanbul.

File(s) available for this item:
[img]  PDF - UTELUQ_Support Istanbul.pdf
Content : Slideshow
Item Type: Conference papers (unpublished)
Refereed: Yes
Status: Unpublished
Abstract: TÉLUQ University is the only French-language university in North America that is entirely dedicated to distance education. It has been in existence for 50 years and all courses are delivered asynchronously. As in most open or distance learning universities, the majority of students are adults who are returning to school and trying to balance their studies with their family or professional life. Students are attracted by the possibility of enrolling at any time and completing available courses at their own pace. However, as research in the field has demonstrated, the downside of such freedom is a higher dropout rate in distance learning than in traditional in-person courses. Thus, support seems to play a key role in improving student perseverance. But what type of support do students need? In this paper, we highlight some of the ways in which we support distance students at our university. First, coordinators and professors support and guide students in their choice of programme courses and pathway. Second, follow-up is provided in each course by professors, tutors or supervisors who support the students in their learning. Finally, while the opportunity to communicate with other students is rare within the courses, the system called “Ensemble à distance” allows students to communicate in forums in asynchronous mode or in synchronous mode during virtual cafés. In addition, other special support mechanisms are available for certain categories of students, such as those with disabilities or those taking their first distance learning course. Moreover, during the COVID-19 pandemic, TÉLUQ University played a major role in supporting all teachers in Quebec (and beyond) by creating the J’enseigne à distance (I teach at a distance) training programme at the request of the Ministry of Education. This programme was created in four months and includes four microprograms (support, dissemination, adaptation and evaluation) for the different levels of education (preschool-primary/secondary/college-university). The modules were made available online as soon as each one was created and they were a great success, with more than 300,000 people consulting the training worldwide (connections from 191 countries). Although the majority (79%) of participants were in Canada, the reach of this training is a reminder of the extent of the need for assistance in the transition to distance learning. It is also interesting to note that among the students registered for a certificate, the microprogram on support was the most widely taken. In fact, as highlighted by the difficulties in interaction and the isolation experienced by distance education students during the lockdown, support remains the main challenge and the keystone of distance education.
Official URL: https://i-he2023.exordo.com/programme/at-a-glance
Depositor: Papi, Cathia
Owner / Manager: Cathia Papi
Deposited: 05 Oct 2023 18:32
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2023 18:32

Actions (login required)