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Teaching and learning online: A beginner's guide to e-learning and e-teaching in higher education

Oliver, R. and Herrington, J. (2001) Teaching and learning online: A beginner's guide to e-learning and e-teaching in higher education. Edith Cowan University. Centre for Research in Information Technology and Communications, Edith Cowan University. Mt Lawley.

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    Abstract

    The move to online learning has a huge groundswell of approval and support across all sectors of education and it is likely that this level of interest which has been growing steadily will continue to grow even further in the immediate future. There are a number of clear reasons that can be seen to sit behind the popularity of this form of technology-based education. Some of the more common factors and influences driving the uptake of online delivery include:

    Flexibility: In many institutions, administrators are seeing advantage in the flexibility that online learning settings create for course delivery. The technologies provide a capacity to tailor courses to the needs of learners and to provide support for program delivery to new markets;

    Economy: Many people are of the firm opinion that online delivery provides opportunities for cost savings over conventional delivery forms due to its ability to be scaled for mass delivery; and

    Enhanced learning: Some people see online delivery as a means to provide enhanced learning opportunities for students and as a means to help students become self-sufficient and capable self-learners.

    While it is true that in some cases online learning will support the delivery of more flexible programs and that in some cases, the technology can provide for economies of scale, this book is aimed to help those people who believe that online learning provides a means to enhance learning quality. The purpose of the book is to provide practical ideas and guidance in the development of effective online learning settings.

    The use of online technologies in education can take many forms and assume many different roles in educational settings. Harmon and Jones (1999) describe five levels of Web use in schools, colleges, and corporate training: (a) informational, (b) supplemental, (c) essential, (d) communal, and (e) immersive. Each level represents the relative amount of online-related course content and the level of reliance on the course Web site to deliver instruction. In other settings, use of the Web and online materials usually extends from instances where online learning supplements the teaching setting, through instances where it is used in ways which are essential to learning (mandated parts of the environment) to more contemporary forms where the totality of the learning is though online access. In this book we are mainly concerned with the latter, the use of online learning as the principal form of course delivery. Naturally much of what we discuss has implications for any form of online and Web-supported setting.

    Publication Type: Book
    Publisher: Edith Cowan University. Centre for Research in Information Technology and Communications
    Copyright: 2001 Edith Cowan University. Centre for Research in Information Technology and Communications
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/6931
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