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A virtual student: Not an ordinary Joe

Internet and Higher Education Volume 5, Number 2, ISSN 1096-7516 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Some researchers and educators contend that distance education is the new, student-centered paradigm for future learning and one of the fastest growing areas in education. Despite its continued growth and popularity, distance education suffers from a number of problems. One of the most troubling is a much higher course “dropout” rate in online courses compared to traditional campus-based education. There are a number of factors that contribute to course noncompletion in Web-based distance education: feelings of isolation, frustrations with the technology, anxiety, and confusion. This article provides a discussion on certain tools used by the author to mitigate these negative factors, such as the use of electronic office hours. Explored in depth, however, is a tool that the author has had the most success using in reducing some of the chronic problems that seem to assail students taking online courses. This same tool promotes learner interaction and collaborative learning at a distance. This “magical” tool the author has created for his online classes is a fictitious virtual student who is “not an ordinary Joe.”


King, F.B. (2002). A virtual student: Not an ordinary Joe. Internet and Higher Education, 5(2), 157-166. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved May 13, 2021 from .

This record was imported from Internet and Higher Education on January 29, 2019. Internet and Higher Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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