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Old Apprehensions, New Anxieties: A Study of Student 'Psychological Cost' in Traditional and Distance Education


  • Marilou Ioakimidis

    () (University of Athens)


Two hundred and four students enrolled at a Greek university in the Economics department were asked to estimate the costs for participation in traditional and in distance education. These costs included 'psychological cost', which this paper reports on. 'Psychological cost', such as stress and anxiety for each educational method, was estimated by students on the assumption that they would hire (1) an assistant to facilitate learning and using a PC in the case of distance learning, and (2) an independent expert to help the student understand courses and to overcome any stress associated with class participation in the case of traditional learning. It was hypothesised that the psychological cost for each educational procedure would decline with experience. It was found that for university students following a distance learning course, psychological cost declined with experience and familiarisation with elearning. However, psychological cost did not decrease with experience in the case of students following a traditional course. The latter finding may be partly due to constantly changing professors, classmates and expectations, and to the cyclical nature of academic stress in the traditional setting. In conclusion, it is suggested that a mixture of distance learning and traditional learning may be the soundest strategy, allowing the student to profit from the advantages of both distance and traditional higher education methods.

Suggested Citation

  • Marilou Ioakimidis, 2007. "Old Apprehensions, New Anxieties: A Study of Student 'Psychological Cost' in Traditional and Distance Education," Computers in Higher Education Economics Review, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 19(1), pages 33-46.
  • Handle: RePEc:che:chepap:v:19:y:2007:i:1:p:33-46

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