Digital Distance Learners Poorly Served

Digital Distance Learners Poorly Served

February 2014

In New Zealand digital distance learners
have the lowest completion rates.

The latest
interpretation of extramural learner data, released by the
Ministry of Education,
shows distance digital learners
have lower completions than distance learners using
traditional (paper–based) systems.

Simply put, distance
learners are more likely to succeed in distance study using
traditional means. It is not the distance – it is the

Considering the data shows that older, part time,
and lower socio-economic learners are more likely to study
by distance, the higher completion rate for traditional
distance delivery is not a complete surprise.

In New
Zealand it is the lack of obvious structure, and narrative
flow and interconnection, coupled with large sections of the
material being hidden from immediate view that is
compromising digital distance learning. Add to this the
necessity to study online and it is no surprise completions

The solution? Learner centred design and the
provision of downloadable resources: rich digital media with
the functionality of print. What learners are looking for is
a new generation of resources – mobile and integrated, yet
functional offline.

Technology now allows us to provide
the solution. The education sector needs to step up to the
challenge of getting the technology to work for the learner
rather than stick to the ‘deliver from the cloud’ model
which is clearly failing those who need education
opportunities the most.

The consequence of failing to
deliver will not only be low completions but learners taking
courses from more learner-centred offshore offerings.

New Zealand is going to compete in the global education
market as Minister Joyce desires, some quick steps are
needed to bring our digital distance offerings up to


© Scoop Media

Speak Your Mind