Web-based Learning in Traditional and Distance Education: A Comparative Study

S. Woodcock (South Africa)


WBE, Distance Education, OpenTraditional Education


The aim of this paper is to increase the understanding of the problems faced by Web-based educators who develop courses, by analysing results obtained from three years of student assessment. The background to this paper shows how far the integration of information and communication technologies into the higher educational system of fast developing countries has come in recent years. The paper highlights the sound instructional solution that is obtained from Web-based training through the emergence of technology into this system. This author presents a practical vision of how the new technological developments can assist in transforming the delivery of Web-based distance education courses to South Africa's fast-growing higher educational student body. It is based upon research and analysis of practical work completed and delivered by two distinct samples of student-bodies. One sample is taken from a learner centred Web-based platform, the other from a traditional instructor-centred classroom environment. The case data, which supports the hypotheses made, exposes the communication barriers between the Web based learning environment and by the students. The findings will highlight the differences in the attitudes and the coping capabilities of the two student samples. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications that the results indicate.

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