The LASU-ODLRI have a strong Learner support services, which consists of the entire setting in which learning takes place, the disciplines that provide the knowledge, the learners and the arrangement made for them, the teaching and learning process and the assessment of learning, the institution and programme.
The role of the Learner support services is to guarantee the validity of the educational process by providing structures for interpersonal communication and feedback in the ODL. Adequate resources should be invested in it. The amount of support services an institution can offer largely depends on the resources at its disposal in terms of academic (tutorials, advisory and counselling services) and administrative (enrollment, admissions, registration, record keeping up to date information provision as well as delivery of the study materials). It enlists the assistance provided by the institution in the actual process of learning.
Reasons for Learner Support Service
All learners need information on various aspects of the system as well as guidance on matters pertaining to registration while coming fresh into a programme or into an institution.
- Personal Support throughout the programme: This enables them to deal with inevitable problems that will arise
- Welfare Support: A number of sources of help students can turn to for assistance
- Communication and Interpersonal Relationship and Networking: Support staff needs to get learners net-worked with their studies and study materials.
Communication activities that can assist learners get connected with the system:
- Correspondence with tutors via letter or email
- Telephone/online discussion with tutors
- Tutorials, face to face, chat rooms, teleconferences
- Field trips
- Newsletter and News bulletin
- Radio tutorials
- Self-help groups
- Social events
- Web files
Support for peer tutoring: Where they can learn from each other
Examination and Records: Learners need support from Exams and Records Unit. Accurate and clear information on the conduct of examination.
Library Services: Information on how to linkup with the virtual library or electronic library
Student Advocacy Learner support will:
- Facilitate frequent communication between learners
- Peer support
- Feedback e.g. on performance
Other Reasons: Face-to-face interaction through the academic counsellors and co-learner
To enjoy guidance on course choice, preparatory diagnosis and study skills
Participate in regular orientation programme for new students
Monitor academic progress
Important Elements in Learner Support Services in LASU-ODLRI
- Counseling/tutoring support services
- Technology mediated support services, the use of on-line and interaction through assignments
- Personnel in Learner support services
- Capacity building for support services providers
- Student information systems in ODL
- Providing study materials in ODL
Personnel in Learner/Support Services
Learner support should be in charge of establishing and running of the study centres and should be responsible for recruitment and posting of staff to these centres. Every employee is involved in providing support that would assist learners in one way or another to facilitate learning. Personnel are to be assigned regularly to render support which would ease out difficulties that learners would likely come across in the course of study right from the stage of advertisement for admission to course registration, settling down for study, and writing of examinations to graduation.