Online Remedial Education

Online remedial education is defined as an instruction method using Information and communication technologies (ICT) which helps students to provide knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in university. This way, foreign students can study in their home country, which reduces their costs while at the same time offering flexibility to develop their knowledge and skills. ICT has the power to support independent learning as well as to learn irrespective of time and geographical constraints with the widespread implementation of internet.

Advantages and disadvantages
Advantages and possibilities:

Flexible instructional pace and flexible class participation
Elimination of barriers of time and space
Cost-effectiveness of online courses
Electronic research availability (digital libraries and online databases)
A well-designed online course makes it easy for students to navigate and find the adequate information

Disadvantages and problems:
Delayed feedback from the instructor
Unavailable technical support from the instructor
Lack of self-regulation and self-motivation
Sense of isolation, caused by the lack of interpersonal communication and interaction among students or between students and the instructor, or caused by the use of monotonous instructional methods
A poorly designed course interface makes students feel lost in seeking information

Role of teachers
In order to provide a positive experience and to ensure the effectiveness of online remedial courses, the tutor's roles in designing and organizing the learning experience, providing technical advice and support, encouraging and facilitating discussion, encouraging participation, using a variety of forms of instruction, and resolving communication problems are crucial.

Collaborative tools
A recent development in collaborative working and learning is the use of synchronous tools like web-videoconferences whereby learners meet online at a fixed time (synchronous) in an online classroom. While web-videoconferencing is not a new phenomenon, tools like Skype, MSN Web Messenger and Adobe Acrobat Connect allow learners to efficiently communicate using free or low cost technology such as a simple desktop computer. Until recently, such basic technology would only allow for asynchronous learning, as for example in discussion groups.