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Online learning prepares kids for HE

Pre-university online learning experience positively influences higher education study skills, says new research

A research study by the Institute of Education has explored the impact of online learning on 16-19-year-olds and its influence on their learning experience at university. 

Many people think of online learning as MOOCs and a tool for adult learning, but an increasing number of secondary school students are now studying some of their subjects online – with an online teacher and alongside classmates from around the world.

The Institute of Education University of London (IOE) researched students who are now at university, some of whom participated in online learning during their time in school.

Out of the 108 university students aged between 17 and 23 surveyed, including students from the UK, 58 had studied at least one two-year subject online as part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), delivered by UK-based Pamoja Education. 

Of all the students surveyed, 78% said they considered it important in university to be able to plan and coordinate group tasks using online tools, and 94% said having the ability to find academic resources online is valuable.

Those students surveyed who had participated in online learning at school said that they had gained proficiency in a range of online learning tools that they were now using as part of their university working practice. They said that the online learning experience had helped them develop confidence in using technology to source information and that they were more  likely to carry out their research online.  

Ed Lawless, Principal of Pamoja Education said: “The research suggests there is a shift from school learning to university study, and that a good online learning experience helps students to prepare for that shift. It helps them to develop the ability to work with a whole range of online media, and to develop an awareness of managing their personal progress which university students recognise as an essential part of their study requirement.”

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