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Investing in online learning – potential benefits and limitations


Many institutions worldwide, but particularly in North America, Australia and New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and several other European countries, such as Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands, have started to invest heavily in online teaching. Sometimes the courses are offered entirely at a distance, targeted mainly at students who cannot access a conventional university or college campus. Others might better be described as distributed learning, in that they combine some elements of on-campus teaching with on-line access to materials and discussion forums.

Why are institutions across the world investing so much in online learning? Is the investment justified? This paper attempts to answer these questions by examining preliminary findings from a cost-benefit research project conducted at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and federally funded by the Canadian TeleLearning Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE-Telelearning).

This paper written by Silvia Bartolic-Zlomislic and A.W. (Tony) Bates can be read in full here at The University of British Columbia website.


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