Building an online learning community : a major communication component of the virtual assistant certificate

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Pederson, Beverly A
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2004
The purpose of this project is to answer the question: "Should the Virtual Assistant Certificate have a strong collaborative component interlaced throughout all the online courses?" Three years ago a search of the Internet for more information as to whether anyone was providing training in how to start and run a successful administrative professional business from home lead to the discovery of a relatively new term: Virtual Assistant. This Internet search showed a growing trend towards contracting to outside office support specialists. Because the majority of Office Administration students are female and because many of them see full-time employment and raising a family as realities in their future, being "connected" from a distance to their place or places of work would be ideal. Information obtained from experienced Virtual Assistants helped determine the course content and gave a hint as to how the material should be delivered. Although there were no journal articles specific to the topic of Virtual Assistants, it was possible to perform a literature review on the topic of building collaborative online learning communities-a delivery strategy recommended for successful online learners. The instructors who would deliver the online courses were provided with training in building collaborative online learning communities. Survey instruments were prepared and administered part way through the first semester of the online courses to experienced Virtual Assistants, online instructors, and online Virtual Assistant students. The results of these surveys indicated that while the working Virtual Assistants and the online instructors could see the benefits of collaboration, the online Virtual Assistant students needed more experiences interacting in collaborative online learning communities in order to become more successful in their online businesses.
ix, 92 leaves ; 29 cm. --
Office management -- Study and teaching , Office management -- Computer-assisted instruction , Office practice -- Study and teaching , Office practice -- Computer-assisted instruction , Education, Higher -- Computer-assisted instruction , Distance education , Computer-assisted instruction