About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 576-582
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0239

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

COMPARISON OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ENROLLED TO A DUAL-MODE DEGREE: IN PRESENCE AND ONLINE

N. Scarabottolo

Università degli Studi di Milano (ITALY)
The University of Milan (Italy) offers an undergraduate, three-year degree on Security of Computer Systems and Networks in a university campus located in Crema, a small town 40 Kilometers east of Milan. Such a degree (from here on denoted as SSRI from its Italian name: “Sicurezza dei Sistemi e delle Reti Informatiche”) has been activated in academic year 2003/04 as a traditional, classroom based university degree, but starting from academic year 2004/05 it is also offered online.

The online version of SSRI required a significant design process, involving a deep revision of all teaching materials already prepared for classroom lectures by teachers as well as of the role of the staff supporting the student learning activities. Main characteristics of the resulting degree structure are the following:
• lectures are supplied in form of videos mainly constituted by slide sequences and/or desktop capturing synchronized with teacher’s voice, or blackboard like effects recording teacher’s voice and handwriting (almost no teacher’s video recording);
• students are supported by one Expert tutor for each single course of the degree and for each group of 40/50 students;
• in addition, the degree is supported by a Process tutor, who acts as e moderator, process facilitator, adviser/counsellor for the whole community of online students;
• online students must come to the Crema campus for intermediate and final exams (by law, exams cannot be undertaken online) scheduled in reserved sessions on friday afternoon and saturday to facilitate participation of students already employed (the majority of online students);
• if online students do not succeed in passing all exams in the reserved sessions, they must present themselves in regular exam sessions, together with classroom students.

To evaluate the effectiveness of the learning scheme adopted for SSRI online, this paper compares the results of the online students vs. the classroom students over eight years, from 2010 to 2017. Comparison is made in terms of grades obtained in the various exams, time passed between the end of each course and the corresponding exam, sequence of passed exams vs. sequence of courses in the study plan, grade obtained in the final degree.

Main conclusions are the following:
• Online students demonstrate a stronger commitment to study and pass exams than classroom students. In fact:
o exam grades obtained by online students are higher in almost all courses;
o time to pass exams for online students who are able to keep the correct study pace is almost always shorter.
• A consequence of the above is that the online approach adopted for SSRI proved to be very effective, since it allows committed online students not to be penalized in their learning process.
• The counterpart is that online students not sufficiently committed, or too busy in their professional life, tend to delay excessively exams and final dissertation.
• Not all exams are passed when planned by the curriculum of the degree: especially classroom students tend to postpone some exams even if related to basic topics.
• There is no significant correlation between time to graduate and grade obtained after the final dissertation: several “slow” students – both classroom and online – obtain excellent results.
@InProceedings{SCARABOTTOLO2018COM,
author = {Scarabottolo, N.},
title = {COMPARISON OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ENROLLED TO A DUAL-MODE DEGREE: IN PRESENCE AND ONLINE},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.0239},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.0239},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {576-582}}
TY - CONF
AU - N. Scarabottolo
TI - COMPARISON OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ENROLLED TO A DUAL-MODE DEGREE: IN PRESENCE AND ONLINE
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0239
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 576
EP - 582
ER -
N. Scarabottolo (2018) COMPARISON OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ENROLLED TO A DUAL-MODE DEGREE: IN PRESENCE AND ONLINE, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 576-582.
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