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The extent of use of Computer-Facilitated Learning materials across the higher education sector in Australia

McNaught, C., Phillips, R., Rossiter, D. and Winn, J. (1999) The extent of use of Computer-Facilitated Learning materials across the higher education sector in Australia. In: ALT-C 99: The Learning Technology Life-Cycle, 21 - 23 September 1999, Bristol, UK


This paper will report on the results of a project which investigated the extent of use of computer-facilitated learning (CFL) materials across the higher education sector in Australia in order to determine overall trends. In addition, the project also investigated how an updated national inventory of such materials might be developed in the context of developing a strategy which could lead to a greater adoption of CFL materials in Australian higher education. It is hoped that this project will assist the in an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the Australian higher education sector 19s use of CFL materials.

The term computer-facilitated learning (CFL) is used to describe materials which use information technology in some way to facilitate teaching and learning, including: educational CD-ROMs; online course content materials; and the use of software for computer-mediated communication within a course.

The study explored issues which facilitated or mitigated against teachers being able to work in an environment which facilitates the adoption of CFL, in terms of:

appropriate policies, infrastructure and supports within the institution;
access to information about CFL resources; and
being able to work collaboratively both within and across institutions.

It also explored issues and described in detail the procedures used for developing a model for a national inventory system. The report also highlighted ways in which a national inventory system might be made accessible to the higher education sector.

Several universal factors in relation to widespread dissemination or use of CFL were identified:

intellectual property, particularly the role of copyright in emerging online environments;
staff issues and attitudes, namely professional development and training; staff recognition and rewards; and motivation for individuals to use CFL;
coherence of policy across all levels of institutional operations and specific policies which impact on CFL within each institution;
leadership and institutional culture; and
specific resourcing issues related to funding for maintenance or updating of CFL materials and approaches, staff time release and support staff.

The factors will be discussed in more detail in the paper and presentation

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Teaching and Learning Centre
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