Learning human biology: Student views on the usefulness of IT materials in an integrated curriculum
AbstractGiven the significant investment by tertiary institutions in the design and creation of computer based teaching and learning resources, it is important to continually evaluate outcomes from their implementation. Within this context, this study reports on the use and perceived usefulness of educational multimedia resources and communications technologies within a single course in a first year biology program. Using an action research model as the basis for the evaluation, data of expected and actual use and usefulness of the resources were collected from students using surveys and focus groups. While the majority of students indicated the multimedia resources were useful for learning activities through providing off campus access to supplementary and relevant materials, others did not find the resources useful, and some did not use them at all. In addition, the use of communications technologies was greatest for social interactions rather than course specific activities. Use was not a function of students' access to computers or the Internet. These findings highlight that online resources will not necessarily generate value added learning for all learners, and that programs will need to offer a variety of learning resources that target different learning styles and enable a mix of off campus and on campus opportunities. Other important factors also emerged from the study, in particular the barriers that learners encounter when working with computers and the integration of these resources into the teaching curriculum. In addition, the study highlighted the value of action research as a means of conducting evaluations of computer based learning resources.
Articles published in the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET) are available under Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives Licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). Authors retain copyright in their work and grant AJET right of first publication under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Users have the right to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles in this journal, and to use them for any other lawful purpose.
Articles published in AJET can be copied, communicated and shared in their published form for non-commercial purposes provided full attribution is given to the author and the journal. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal’s published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
This copyright notice applies to articles published in AJET volumes 36 onwards. Please read about the copyright notices for previous volumes under Journal History.