Learner Support


  • Distance learning activities are effectively supported for learners through fully accessible modes of delivery and resources.


  • Distance learners often must assume greater responsibility for their own learning. They must understand and address their own learning needs; take initiative in asking questions and obtaining help; interact with faculty and other students as appropriate; and be prepared to deal with technical difficulties in the two-way flow of information. At the same time, institutions must develop and provide the necessary information and learner support systems to assist learners in carrying out their learning activities and using the available resources. Learner support must be appropriate to the distance learning modes used.

Operational Criteria

  1. The institution provides distance students with detailed information on admissions and program graduation requirements.
  2. Distance program materials clearly and accurately represent the program, including detailed program completion requirements, the nature of the learning experience, program and faculty responsibilities, and the nature of faculty-student, student-faculty, and student-student interaction opportunities, techniques, and requirements. They define any specific student background, knowledge, or technical skills needed to undertake and successfully complete the distance program, and describe in layman's terms any technical equipment and/or software required or recommended.
  3. The institution provides distance learners adequate academic support, including academic advisement, technical support, and other student support services normally available on campus. Program materials clearly describe how students obtain these support services.
  4. The institution provides adequate library and information resources, services, and support for academic programs, including training in information literacy. These resources and services are accessible at a distance on a timely basis.
  5. Administrative processes such as admissions and registration are readily accessible to distance students, and program materials clearly describe how access is obtained.
  6. The institution provides orientation opportunities and resources for distance learners that are appropriate to the technologies used, the content, and the learners.


Last Updated: April 12, 2010
April 12, 2010