This paper is concerned with issues rising of current practices in learner and learning support in elearning. The underlying research attempts to address the needs and establish new ways of supporting online learners to cope with time and distance constraints affecting the distance education curriculum. The focus of the paper is on presenting a framework of using online portfolios for providing learner and learning support in e-learning. This framework is currently tested with 32 different modules over 5 undergraduate and postgraduate courses delivered through the Global Campus distance education programme. This work concludes with a summary of the benefits of applying online portfolio in education and in elearning specifically.
been conducted trying to improve e-learning through improving1, 2: technology (e.g. system stability, accessibility and fast system response) pedagogy (e.g. collaborative learning, group learning, peer-based learning, reflective learning, inquiry learning, problem-based learning, game learning, situated learning and competitive learning) learning materials (e.g. authentic, comprehensive, up-to-date, appropriate degree of difficulty and combination of different medias) presentation and delivery (e.g. page layout, legibility, presentation structure, ease of navigation and page loading time)
2. Learner support needs
Providing adequate learner support is a critical component of the e-learning experience in conjunction to technology, pedagogy and development of learning materials. Primarily this work is concerned with addressing issues regarding learner and learning support in e-learning. This concern is echoed by many reports in literature about learners’ difficulties and problems in e-learning              . These difficulties can for instance include learners’ lack of: (i) time and time management skills, (ii) awareness of their learning progress, (iii) self-monitoring and self1
E-learning has gained great popularity in recent years for its flexibility in terms of time and place  , as well as its capability of integrating various medias (e.g. pictures, animation, video and simulation) into learning materials to help visualise learning content through multiple representations. However, despite these benefits, practices in e-learning are often reported as unsuccessful or not as successful as expected with high attrition rates and low learner satisfaction    . Significant research has
Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) (2001) House of Commons Sub-Committee Inquiry into Higher Education. 2 Select Committee on Education and Employment (SCEE) (2001) Education and Employment - Sixth Report
Proceedings of the Fifth IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT’05) 0-7695-2338-2/05 $20.00 © 2005 IEEE
regulation skills and (iv) motivation towards and confidence in learning over time.
3. Supporting learners in e-Learning: a literature review
Current practices in learner and learning support in e-learning indicated that such support is provided in a variety of forms. Some of the most common types of learner and learning support in e-learning are: The typical structure of the created e-learning material follows the five steps mentioned below: Technical support Most institutions provide forms of technical support to online learners such as technical help desk  . Administrative services Most institutions provide online administrative service to learners such as online application and registration, online tuition payment and grade report. Orientation and advising to e-learning Some institutions started providing orientation to...