WHAT EFFECT DOES E-LEARNING HAVE ON THE STUDENT LEARNING EXPERIENCE?

Ruth Baxter

Abstract


The landscape for Higher Education, within the UK, is changing and educational institutions are evolving in order to respond to new challenges. Budgets have been reduced which has resulted in colleges and universities having to re-look at the way their programmes are being delivered.E-learning has become a means of empowering and engaging learners, and enabling the teacher to become an active innovator of new practices and techniques (JISC, 2011). The rationale for this project was to establish whether recently implemented e-learning technology into a traditional course had an effect on the learner experience in terms of motivation, retention and achievement.This empirical research was conducted within a University Centre in a large Further Education College in the North of England and involved twenty new learners enrolled on the new Assessor Award. A variety of research methods were used such as questionnaires (pre and post), focus groups, semi-structured interviews, retention and achievement figures. This small-scale research project aimed to gain insight into learners’ perceptions of learning on-line, and to provide evidence of whether technology affected their learning experience, by evaluating their learning journey.It was found that e-learning had a mainly positive effect on student learning and both retention and achievement targets were exceeded. It was also found that in order for effective on-line courses to be developed, teachers must be given time and training to meet both the needs of their college and learners.

Keywords


e-learning; technology

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