It takes more than metadata and stories of success: Understanding barriers to reuse of computer facilitated learning resources

  • Carmel McNaught Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Andrew Burd Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Kevin Whithear The University of Melbourne
  • John Prescott University of Guelph
  • Glen Browning The University of Melbourne


A national study in Australia in the late 1990s explored barriers to the adoption and reuse of computer facilitated learning (CFL) in Australian universities. These barriers will be summarised. One of these barriers is that it is hard to find information on courseware that is educationally sound; usually such courseware is expensive to produce and so reuse is especially desirable. However, even when information and access to electronic courseware exists, reuse may still not occur. Two cases will be described to illustrate the complexity of reuse. These cases are: 1) a collection of 169 plastic surgery websites; and 2) an international consortium of veterinary microbiology resources based on a well-evaluated case study design. Some strategies for improving reuse are suggested.


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