The use of flexible learning resources for geographically distributed rural students

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19 Citations (Scopus)


The focus of this paper is to describe and explain the evolution of teaching resources and tuition on the Rural Development Studies undergraduate degree programme at the UHI Millennium Institute. This degree was selected for development in a flexible style of delivery due to the curriculum contents and its delivery to a very scattered student population over a wide rural area. The degree has a multi-disciplinary approach with a variety of tuition styles, assessment mechanisms, and student support that have been tutored in both face-to-face and remote delivery, and this illustrates well the changing nature of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in student-tutor interaction. Increasing emphasis is on the simplicity of the application of new technologies to facilitate interactivity between students and tutors but, most importantly, on improving the optimum mixture of the different teaching media used. The emphasis is on consistency and quality in distributed learning to encourage the sustainable delivery of formal education in rural and remote areas where it is not normally readily available. Current course research is investigating the sense of online community identity exhibited by groups of students on different levels, different study modules, and using different blends of resources for tutor-student-student communication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-39
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Distance Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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