Integrating internet tools into traditional CS distance education: Students' attitudes

Judith Gal-Ezer, David Lupo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes a study conducted on the attitudes of students towards the integration of the Web as a channel of communication and a study tool in traditional distance teaching of Computer Science (CS) at the Open University of Israel (OUI). We examined the incorporation of web communication into the traditional model with three different groups of undergraduate students-one of 700 students in our introductory course, another of 150 students in our advanced "Computer Networks" course, and the third including the remaining 3000 students in the CS department. Questionnaires were answered by a representative sample. The findings show that when the use of the Web is voluntary, students do not take full advantage of it, even those who are advanced in their studies and have rich experience in using computers and the Internet. The results, however, do show that the use of the Web increases as students advance in their studies, although even in this case the Web is not used as much as it could be, either as a communication channel or as a study tool. Our findings support the following assumptions: The Web cannot substitute entirely for face-to-face learning, but it can serve as a reasonable alternative when the latter is unavailable. Using the Web to its full pedagogical potential requires a high level of self-study ability; the more distance-based the learning is, the more the Web is used and accepted by the students, and the more it serves them as a communication channel and as a study tool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-329
Number of pages11
JournalComputers and Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2002


  • Computer mediated communication
  • Distance learning
  • Media in education


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