Enhancing student performance in online learning and traditional face-to-face
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AbstractWithin many educational institutions across the world, the delivery of undergraduate and postgraduate courses is facilitated by online learning technologies. The development and transformation of traditional academic courses for online learning delivery provides a number of opportunities for both the academic institution and prospective students. However, there are a number of important issues that need to be addressed if online learning is to contribute to the educational experience. Over the past four years, two online Masters Degree programmes, namely ‘Management of eBusiness ’ and ‘IT with Web Technology’, have been developed and delivered at the University of Paisley in Scotland. Much of the content of these two programmes have also been delivered using more traditional, face-to-face methods, thus enabling the authors to compare both modes of learning and delivery over a number of years. The authors identified a number of factors related to enhancing student performance among online learners. These factors are both educational and social in nature and include experienced learners studying strategically, selfsufficient learners, flexibility of access to learning materials, learner control over the pace of study and assessments aimed at developing greater learner reflection. This paper explores these factors, highlighting a number of lessons learnt, as well as putting forward some recommendations that will be of interest to readers who are themselves involved in the development and delivery of online learning programmes.