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The challenge of providing a truly flexible and totally online postgraduate program

Ian Gaynor and Stephen Kessell
Curtin University of Technology
This dilemma paper outlines briefly the rational, content, delivery, and outcomes of the postgraduate learning technology programs offered by the Science and Mathematics Education Centre at Curtin University.

These courses show both teachers and tertiary academics how to use Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) effective in their classrooms and their professional lives (while also encouraging a paradigm shift in teaching styles). The tertiary version additionally shows lecturers how to build and manage online courses, and integrate appropriate educational technology, effectively. Both versions are taught totally online via the WWW and CD-ROM.

The 800 students (from nine countries) see the courses' extreme flexibility and range of options as major attractions. All courses are promoted as "start when you are ready, proceed at your own pace, select options useful to you, and finish when you finish". Additionally the courses serve both the northern and southern hemisphere academic years and seven time zones.

The implementation of such courses, within the confines of traditional university structures, timetables, procedures, staffing arrangements, administrative systems and reporting processes, poses some very real administrative dilemmas, in addition to student management, assessment and technical challenges.

The presentation will examine several of these issues, including:

Authors: Ian Gaynor and Stephen Kessell
Science and Mathematics Education Centre, Curtin University of Technology
I.Gaynor@smec.curtin.edu.au, s.kessell@smec.curtin.edu.au

Presentation format: Dilemmas in teaching or teaching/learning research

Please cite as: Gaynor, I. and Kessell, S. (2002). The challenge of providing a truly flexible and totally online postgraduate program. In Focusing on the Student. Proceedings of the 11th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 5-6 February 2002. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2002/abstracts/gaynor-abs.html

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Created 2 Dec 2001. Last revision: 1 Feb 2002. HTML: Roger Atkinson [ rjatkinson@bigpond.com ]