Mediating Student-Academic Interaction Through Contact Centres in Distance Education
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This study investigates the pedagogical issues that arise from mediating student-academic interaction through a contact centre within university distance education. It is not easy for educational organizations to design or implement a customer service culture, or to adopt business practices to increase cost effectiveness and efficiency and the use of the word “customer” when referring to students is often anathema to academics. However, investment in the design of customer service systems and a supportive culture may be central to the ongoing advancement, performance and position of a distance education provider, as well as contribute to the success of students. Before student-academic mediated contact can succeed within academia, it is important to examine academics’ perceptions and expectations of student support service to determine how changes need to be framed for its successful implementation.