A comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of IT based education and the implications upon students.

John O'Donoghue, Gurmak Singh, Charmaine Green


There are a number of changes which have taken place within Higher Education (HE) and Further Education (FE) over the past decade, political, social and economic. Certainly within the UK, increasing numbers of people are being encouraged to apply to study at universities and colleges via a variety of formats, Scottish National Committee (1998). Research also suggests that more students are choosing to study online, Meyer (2003). There are many views that suggest this method of learning is suited to a variety of students. For instance, the increased flexibility it provides in terms of study time and location. There are also opposing views that suggest that online learning is only an option to those in society fortunate to be able to afford it financially, and that even those who are able to partake in IT based education are faced with the threat of isolation caused by reduced levels of interaction in the online environment. The aim of this study is to compare both the advantages and disadvantages that online learning can offer to students. The study will consider how online education is increasing the accessibility of higher education to many previously denied, as well as allowing for any evidence that may provide a link between performance levels of online students compared with their classroom counterparts. Providing an insight to how online graduates may potentially benefit the workforce and society. Opposing views, for example lack of face to face interaction, threats of isolation, and the potential creation of a social divide will also be covered, whilst considering how educational institutions may be able to reduce or even prevent these issues and aid the development of online education

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