This paper reports on an evaluation of online learning in a large Australian undergraduate first year university subject. A central focus is the effectiveness web based learning and its implications for facilitating pathways into a new learning environment by new university students. The research is situation within a framework of action research and curriculum evaluation by exploring the different uses of a subject web site. Student postings on the web site bulletin board were evaluated. The interpretive content analysis indicates that the online mode of delivery is most beneficial in the distance education mode acting as a socialization and inter-relational device.