In many countries across the world, online learning is playing an ever-increasing role in higher education. However, there seem to be starkly contrasting analyses of the educational value of online learning. In this paper, I reflect on my own online learning experiences in the UK and Australia and conclude that there are significant differences between partial and fully online course units. I also develop general criticisms of online learning system design and suggest a number of fundamental design and performance objectives for the design of online learning systems.
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