Advising college students with dis/abilities in online learning


Most distance universities have adopted advising practices traditionally employed in on-campus institutions. Nonetheless, little is known about the role of academic advisers while guiding students with dis/abilities to engage and achieve success in online higher education. This study aimed to explore and analyze advisers’ perspectives related to supporting the diversity of these students in a fully online university. We followed the methodology of a case study based on semi-structured interviews in which 14 advisers participated. Our findings show that even though advisers face challenges when advising online students with dis/abilities, they attempt to support them proactively by offering personalized tracking. A paradigm shift from a reactive to a proactive approach by adopting inclusive practices would greatly improve the inclusion of all learners. Online institutions could better support learners with dis/abilities by framing all processes in the universal design principles and promoting collaborative and coordinated work among advisers, faculty, and staff.

Distance Education, 43(4), 526-542

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Reyes, J. I., & Meneses, J. (2022). Advising college students with dis/abilities in online learning. Distance Education, 43(4), 526-542.
José Israel Reyes
José Israel Reyes
Investigador doctoral

Investigador predoctoral del programa d’Educació i TIC de la UOC.

Julio Meneses
Julio Meneses
Full Professor

Professor de metodologia de la investigació, director de Learning Analytics de l’eLearning Innovation Center i investigador de l’Internet Interdisciplinary Institute de la Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.