More than Connectivity: Challenges in bringing Online Learning to Rural and Remote Learners (E) (HE.14)Track: Hacking Education
Beyond connectivity, some of the issues we’ve encountered in supporting rural and remote students are surprising and have forced us to reevaluate the learning program. The rural vs urban framework changes the nature of learning in the classroom and impacts the role of the instructor.
Comparing our experiences at North Island College delivering the same online program to rural and urban cohorts highlights challenges rural and remote learners face that urban learners are not equally affected by:
· familiarity and experience using technology
· knowing how to learn
· low resilience when faced with learning challenges
· fear of standing out in the community/amongst their peers
· discomfort of viewing classmates as direct competition
· fear of public failure
· perception of the learning opportunity
Our goal is to highlight the additional challenges we’ve observed for rural and remote learners, and some of the ways we’ve addressed them. In our view, developing programs that meet the needs of rural learners and increases their comfort and capacity to engage in further education benefits everyone.
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