In their article ‘Students’ frustrations with a web-based distance education course’, Hara and King identify the following frustrations felt by online learners;
- technological problems;
- minimal and not timely feedback from the instructor
- ambiguous instructions on the Web site as well as via e-mail.
I felt their recommendations to be quite vague;
- More feedback from the tutor
- A need for greater technical support
- Clearer instructions
- Clearer details on expectations of the course
I do think the frustrations raised are valid and can be quite common for students in completely online courses. I agree with their recommendation of making the criteria and expectations of the courses clearer. I don’t think completely online learning works well for everyone, in the same way face to face learning doesn’t work for everyone, so being honest and clear about the expectations, benefits and drawbacks of a course should help students be clear about what they are getting into.
It is slightly unfair to compare the findings of this study to the issues from the video ‘A vision of students today’. As the issues from this study are specifically about completely online learning while the video was more about using technology on a campus based course. However there issue from the video that only a small number of tutors know students names is reflected by the feeling of isolation mentioned by Hara and King