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End of award report

Principal Researcher

Professor Paul Light
King Alfred's College Winchester


Mr David Barrowcliff
Delahaye Medialink

Dr Charles Crook (contact)
Dept. of Human Sciences
Loughborough University
Leicestershire LE11 2TU
+44 (0)1509 223032

Ms Vivienne Light
University of Southampton

Ms Emma Nesbitt
Bournemouth University

Ms Su White
University of Southampton

Research Period
1 October 1997 to
30 September 1999
Learning sites : networked resources and the learning community

This project examined the extent to which the new online university challenges its traditional counterpart. How does it affect students? Can established institutions be reshaped by the 'virtual' resources provided by the Internet?

Previous ethnographic research had found that there is an integral relationship between what is learnt and where that learning occurs. Virtual Society? researchers observed that students with online access in their study bedrooms use this facility for support of study and recreation but still visit the library, use text books and attend lectures to the same extent as their non-networked peers. A detailed analysis of PC logs revealed an animated or even agitated pattern of usage. Students are regularly interrupted by other applications on their desktop, like email, demanding immediate interaction.

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Contents current at 29th May 2001