Professor Nello Scarabottolo from the University of Milan shared his research with us comparing students who are studying face-to-face or online on his undergraduate computer degree. When the degree was launched it was the only one in Italy and was attractive to students especially those already working in the computer industry as well as those embarking upon a career in computing.

Nello provided us with some key insights into the experiences of the online learners. In general, the online students are more committed to their studies as they have had to “steal time” from their families to study and they also have to pay a higher tuition fee. Tutor involvement is critical and Nello has doctoral and master’s students who also contribute to the community’s online discussions. Nevertheless the attrition rate is 30% because students underestimate the time that is required. Nello emphasised the importance of online marketing material providing fully guidance about studying online for learners before they enrol.

A recording of this session is available through the Online Tutor Network area in the Hub.

Further details about CAP events (face-to-face and online) are available from