The Role of the online learner: onsite students becoming online learners

Borges Sáiz, Federico
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As universities are offering tuition through online learning environments, “onsite students” in higher education are increasingly becoming “online learners”. Since the medium for learning (and teaching) online is a digital environment, and at a distance, the role taken by students and teaching staff is different to the one these are used to in onsite, traditional settings. Therefore the Role of the Online Learner, presented in this paper, is key to onsite students who are to become online learners. This role consists of five competences: Operational, Cognitive, Collaborative, Self-directing, Course-specific. These five competences integrate the various skills, strategies, attitudes and awareness that make up the role of online learner, which learners use to perform efficiently online. They also make up the basis of a tutorial for would-be online learners, going over the Role of the Online Learner by means of concepts, examples and reflective activities. This tutorial, available to students in the author’s website, is also helpful to teaching and counselling staff in guiding their students to become online learners ​
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