Boldic Award 2006 to NKI ’ s Learning Partner Service
Aleksander Dye [email_address]
Astrid de Mora [email_address]
the FLUID Conference, Copenhagen May 24. 2007
NKI Internet College: www.nettskolen.com
NKI has more than 4 70 distance education courses online www.nki.no
a bout 8 0 00 online students in 37 countries
a bout 70 % women
t he students may start whenever they like
individual progress plans
NKI ’s learning philosophy for online students:
NKI Distance Education facilitates individual freedom within a learning community in which online students serve as mutual resources without being dependent on each other. We build on adult education principles and seek to foster benefits from both individual freedom and cooperation in our online learning community.
Professor Morten Fate Paulsen's Theory -Cooperative Freedom in Online Education
The search showed 140 students in postal region 13**
NKI’s LMS supports individual progression plans
Search for Learning Partners in the student catalogue:
When the students register their individual progression plans – the catalogue show s next submission number and planned submission month .
Invite Next submission Month
Invitations and overview of Learning Partners :
Invitations are sent by e-mail ,
and a message appears at
the students site at NKI:
last date online : invitation from: sent invitation to : my learning partners : disconnect accept or refuse
Learning partners have become important resources for Trude Nordbø. She has just finished her final exam in NKI’s economy and management programme. Last summer, she continued her business administration studies with the ambition of passing the exam before Christmas.
With the help of the learning partnership, she was able to advance. She says that she was stuck when it came to cost and income analysis, and searched NKI’s web pages for help. She found the information about learning partners, and also found some potential candidates, including students who were at the same stage in the course as she was and senior students. These learning partners discussed a great deal via MSN and e-mail.
Trude Nordbø enjoys distance education and likes to study alone, but her learning partners have added a new dimension to her studies. In some courses this has been of enormous help, both for her understanding of the topics and for her progression. She is so excited about it that she recommends additional services: graduate students could continue as learning partners for new students, which would also offer them an excellent opportunity to maintain their knowledge.
Status in May 2007
About 3600 students have registered a personal presentation and an increasing number includes their picture.
About 3000 have indicated their privacy level and preference regarding having learning partners: 55 % Yes – 45 % No
About 600 students have found one or more learning partners.
A survey January 2007
In January 440 students had one or more l earning partners, 146 students responded in the survey :
121 women and 25 men
How many l earning partner(s) do you have?
62 have one, 35 have two or more
48 states that they have none.
How did you chose your l earning partner(s)?
students with the same courses, or/and live in the same area
aquaintance, age, sex, active students in the course forum
In what way d o you communicate with
by e-mail, phone
MSN, SMS, face-to-face
How often do you communicate ?
once or twice a week
once a month
What do you wish to achieve from the cooperation with your learning partners?
mutual help with exercises
What have you achieved?
good dialogue and help with exercises
better understanding of the subject matter content
a new friend
How satisfied are you with the service?
20 % are not satisfied
27 % are neutral
53 % are satisfied or very satisfied
Would you like to recommend the service
to other students?
3 No - 5 don’t know – 77 Yes
YES, my brain gets one-tracked by
cooperating only with it self!
Anders Spissøy, student at the NKI School of Project managing:
” I have three learning partners, whom I chose because the y were about at the same stage in the course as I was. Luckily enough, one of my learning partners also lives not far from me. The communication vary, in general I communicate with at least 2 of my LPs every week. I wish to increase my competence by seeing the subject matter content from different angles, and get healthy and inspiring discussions about the assignments. I feel like I have got some new friends, and a possibility to both learn and help others. I feel that I have benefited from the cooperation, I would very much like to recommend the l earning partner service to other online students. ”
Thoughts after the survey, and our other experiences with the LP service:
It can be a challenge to combine the freedom to study when and were you like, having an individual progression plan – and at the same time cooperate with your fellow students – some succeed, and some don’t .
But many would like to
NKI may still make technical improvements of the service, and we may also give the students some guidance in the initial phase of the cooperation .
More about the survey: http://www. hib .no/ aktuelt / konferanse / dokumenter / nvu /documents/3- demora -nki. pdf