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1.5 Recognise diversity

One of the main advantages of the online environment is that students can learn in their own way, at their own pace. This is attractive to people who have other responsibilities or employment. As such, try not to curtail the freedoms that online study offers by imposing unnecessary limitations on the way students undertake their learning.

Differentiated instruction – a term used to describe ways in which learning might be tailored to the differences between individuals in a class – is important here. Online instructors can usefully tailor their instruction according to factors such as the individual’s ability or interests (Beasley and Beck, 2017). However, this might need to be considered in light of our previous discussion of the potential for online study to result in isolation, and the value of giving learners some shared structure to follow.

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