Preparing Students for Learning in an Online World: An Evaluation of the Student Passport to Elearning (SPEL) Model

Francesca Lorenzi (, Kay MacKeogh (
and Seamus Fox (
Oscail - National Distance Education Centre, Dublin City University, Ireland
This paper was shortlisted for the 'Best paper award' at the
Third EDEN Research Workshop, Oldenburg, Germany, 2004


This paper outlines the way in which Oscail (National Distance Education Centre - Ireland) has developed its technology strategy, from the initial research on student readiness to learn using technology to more recent studies which have identified the need for a programme specifically designed to prepare students for learning in the online world.

The skills for learning are not necessarily innate, and in particular, the skills for learning with technology need to be recognised and made more explicit. However, regardless of discipline, the development of preparatory courses for students to equip them with the skills for eLearning is essential if maximum benefit is to be garnered from the potential of this exciting means of teaching and learning.

The Student Passport for elearning (SPeL) programme has been designed as a learner-centred pedagogically driven module using a scaffolding approach to gradually introduce students to use of electronic media. Crucial to the success of the SPeL programme has been the level of support offered to students in pedagogical, technical and administrative terms.

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e-learning, distance learning, distance education, online learning, higher education, DE, blended learning, MOOCs, ICT, information and communication technology, collaborative learning, internet, interaction, learning management system, LMS,

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