Learners and the Internet
While the learner has been mentioned in previous chapters, this has been in terms of access and equity issues, but there are other issues that face the learner. The purpose of this chapter is to start to address these issues, from the learner's perspective, to inform the learner. The information in this chapter is based on the small but growing field of research on student responses to the use of the Internet or computer-based learning requiring computer-based communication. My concern here is with courses that extend the learners beyond mere downloading of information. There are many reports on computer-based learning. In searching for studies using the 'full potential' of computer-based communication I came across a problem. The problem with these studies is that in the main they are sm all scale and taking place in the unstable environment of the evolving Internet. As a consequence, the reported results of these studies are tentative, at best, and speculative, in the main. However, as it is not my intention to turn this chapter into a literature review, I will use these speculations alongside the emerging information on Small Office, Horne Office (SOHO) and teleworking. In my opinion,
Following abrief discussion of budget considerations for learners, the chapter deals with:
• small-scale pilots;
• ability / skills you will need;
Budget considerations for learners In my opinion, the first thing that you need to think about before you undertake any course using the Internet is your budget. For some learners the cost of using the Internet may not be an issue. These learners will be set up with equipment, financially supported at horne and work. They will be living in an environment that supports learning. This support may not be the case for other learners thinking about doing a course requiring use of the Internet.