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This paper reports on work undertaken within a pilot study concerned with the design, development, and evaluation of online computer science training courses. Drawing on recent developments in e-learning technology, these courses were structured around the principles of a learner-oriented approach for use with adult learners. The paper describes a methodological framework for the evaluation of three main educational issues involved in the learning process of Web-based computer science training courses, and analyzes the results of this study with the aim of providing an improved learning design, and environment, for these courses. The findings highlight a number of potential barriers to learning and indicate the failed indicators that need to be improved in order to enhance effective performance. The authors give their views both on ways to improve the proposed learning environment and on the need for an optimal balance between asynchronous and synchronous activities, enhanced collaboration, and interactions among adult learners and e-tutors.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2011