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Home > News > June 2005 > 13-Jun-2005

How effective is online learning? - New research seeks answer

As more and more people are using computers and the Internet for a whole host of different tasks – such as shopping, banking and booking holidays - the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) is conducting a research project to find out how effective learning online is.

With thousands of courses now available to study online - in subjects as diverse as languages, IT and fork lift truck driving – NIACE say this form of learning is often seen as convenient for learners and, as such, it is anticipated to become ever more popular. However NIACE is keen to hear about the experiences – good and bad - of learners who have chosen to study online, so future learners can benefit.

The research is part of the 'Overcoming social exclusion through online learning' project.

Lisa Englebright, Researcher, ICT and Learning Team, NIACE, said, "This is the first generation of learners who have studied online. For NIACE it’s both interesting and important to find out what the benefits are and what the drawbacks have been. We’re keen to get an accurate picture of how effective or ineffective online learning has been for adults.

"We want to hear your stories whether they’re positive or negative. Perhaps your online course led to a better job or a new career? Or perhaps you couldn’t complete your course because it wasn’t suitable or you didn’t have the time or suitable computer hardware to commit to it fully. Whatever your experience, we want to hear from you to help with our research.”

"Once we’ve got our findings, we hope to be able to increase the understanding of providers and decision makers about online learning. This will ensure that steps are taking to improve on what’s available and help more learners to take advantage of the flexibility of learning in this way."

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