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An evaluation of student learning in a web-supported unit on plant diversity

Phillips, R., Baudains, C. and van Keulen, M. (2002) An evaluation of student learning in a web-supported unit on plant diversity. In: Winds of Change in a Sea of Learning ASCILITE 2002, 8 - 11 December, Auckland, New Zealand.

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    Abstract

    This paper reports on a study of the effectiveness of a basic botany unit, which has been enhanced by online support materials. A WebCT site was developed to provide digital access to materials studied in practical sessions. Whereas previously, students only saw practical material once, now they have access to high quality, colour images, to study at their leisure.

    The online materials were evaluated in the context of the unit of study. The nature of the unit encouraged students to adopt a surface learning approach, but the evaluation process encouraged teaching staff to explore alternative teaching strategies. Students found the online materials very useful, and some students used them for deep approaches to learning. However, the majority of use of the online materials was for ‘cramming’ prior to examinations. The use of the online materials, in this case, reinforced the surface-learning nature of the unit.

    Publication Type: Conference Paper
    Murdoch Affiliation: Teaching and Learning Centre
    School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
    Notes: Appears in: Williamson, A., Gunn, C., Young, A., Clear, T., Vol. 2: Winds of Change in a Sea of Learning, ASCILITE Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, UNITEC Institute of Technology, pp.525-534.
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/3924
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