Transactional Distance

IDevice Icon Activity

Access the following resource from Athabasca University, Canada’s ‘Open’ University.

Consider carefully as you read,  the ‘transactional distances’ in this module, you may wish to make a note of these for yourself in your blog for future assessment tasks.

Transactional distance presents a serious challenge when one is teaching students separated by time and distance. Many staff report that the proximity to learners, the ability to ‘see the change’ is part of their professional motivation. Separated from that stimulus many staff feel uncertain about their role and the impact they are having.

The key to creating a sense of community on a disparate group of learners is to seek ways to minimise that ‘transactional distance’. This is often done by the instructor ensuring that the language used to create these communities is emotional in nature, to communicate their excitement, hopes and concerns in the online environment in a way that perhaps they would not feel necessary face to face.

Staff are expected by online learners studying at a distance to be responsive, organised and effective in their use of communication tools. This expectation is itself a stress on staff adapting to new roles.
iDevice icon Reflection

What would you advise a new online instructor to be aware of in their practice based on your experience, this course and other online experiences.

Consider this, read my suggestions below and then make a response in the thread ‘What makes an Effective Online Teacher?’

Last Modified 19 September 2008