Learner Support Presence

The Community of Inquiry Framework does not include all potential presences in online learning. One such possible presence is that of learner-support. Learner support is often mentioned in terms of embedded librarianship, but it goes beyond that. Tutors, supplemental instruction, advisors, academic coaches, counselors are all part of the learner support team.

While digital learning assumes a certain amount personal responsibility, but that is often a hold-over attitude from days of yore, when remote learning was very different. With schools developing online programs to save money and reach a greater population, they are bound to have students with a greater need for traditional support services.

For learner support to be present, there must be buy-in from faculty, from the instructional design team, and from the students. Administration must acknowledge the importance of providing learner support in the place of student learning — the learning management system or the remote classroom space. Without such an acknowledgement the support services are stuck in the past and cannot reach the students who need them.

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