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Colleagues, I want to share with you my new learning assistance assignment. As of this week, I am on line as a virtual learning support center specialist for an undergraduate web course in Psychology.  
 
Has anyone else done this? I have reviewed the literature and do not find any examples of this type of on line pairing of course instructor and learning skills specialist. I think, however, that Supplemental Instruction is moving in this direction.
 
Here is a brief description of this activity. My participation as the Virtual Learning Support Center Specialist for the course was described by the Psychology instructor in his course syllabus. He has also assigned a course project in learning and study skills which I designed. It has a course value of 80 bonus points in a total point system of 980 points.
 
The students meet me by accessing my personal web page where they see my photo and a brief bio. They are required by the instructor to respond to my welcome message that I have posted to my discussion forum that is entitled: Virtual Learning Support Center.
 
In the course project, students will be completing an on line study skills survey, six study skill tasks based on web material, and a feedback task at the end of the semester in which they evaluate the project  as to its value for them in improving their study skills for their on line course. Students also have access to a discussion forum, entitled: "Virtual Learning Support Center, " where they and I will be dialoguing about learning and study skills during the semester-long Psychology course. In addition, my email address is available to them for one-on-one communication.
 
Before doing this on line, I had  team taught  two other courses in the behavioral sciences with the same instructor.   If you think about it, learning and study skills are applications that are very relevant to courses in psychology and especially to any course in Cognitive Psychology.
 
I will be reporting how well this course  was received  at a SIG during  Winter Institute 2001 in Phoenix this coming January. By then I will be at the beginning stage of my next project which hopefully is to set up a Virtual Learning Support Center on the web for all on-line courses. 
 
These are exciting and challenging times for us as learning support center facilitators and administrators.  On of the challenges to us comes by way of the announcement by the Secretary of the Army that $600 million is allocated for distance learning for all military personnel.  His on line discussion is available at http://chronicle.com/colloquylive/ where a transcript of this discussion is archived.      I hope that you get involved in a similar activity.    Collegially................
 
[log in to unmask]        "...what we need at this point in human
Frank L Christ                   evolution is to learn what it takes to learn
Emeritus, CSULB              what we should learn -- and learn it."
Visiting Scholar, U of AZ    ... Aurelius Peccei, Pres/Club of Rome
LSC & WI Web site:    http://www.pvc.maricopa.edu/~lsche/