|Teaching and Learning Forum 2002 [ Proceedings Contents ]|
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:
- Operating within "traditional" university administrative structures;
- Managing out of synch enrolments and student progress;
- Creating assessment that is appropriate to such a wide range of student backgrounds;
- Supporting a very diverse audience by attempting "to be all things to all people";
- Keeping students "on track" while allowing them to study the materials most relevant to their needs;
- Supporting students with different types and vintages of hardware and software, and/or poor / unreliable / expensive WWW access;
- Providing timely feedback, encouraging those who get lost and/or overwhelmed, and "gathering in the lost sheep"; and
- Supporting students when and where THEY want to study (evenings, weekends, outside regular semesters).
|Authors: Ian Gaynor and Stephen Kessell|
Science and Mathematics Education Centre, Curtin University of Technology
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