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Abstract

This paper reports on the findings of a study of first year students studying a fully online computer literacy module on a Real Estate Agency and Property Economics degree programme at Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland. In addition to the cohort of entrants to higher education without prior computer literacy skills, there will also be a cohort who are unfamiliar with learning in an online mode. Those students well versed with internet and social media network skills do not necessarily have good office/desktop software skills. "Digital natives" they may be but are they really computer literate? Fully online learning systems in themselves do not foster the type of supportive environments that would encourage students to succeed. In this study a scaffolding approach was adopted with the inclusion of a number of learning supports (ranging from regular e-mails through to face-to-face tutorials) to provide a more likely opportunity to succeed. The results indicate that those students who navigated the unfamiliar online terrain and availed of the supports succeeded in this module.

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