Internet based teaching in geography at Macquarie University: An analysis of student use
AbstractThe design of a first year course with enrolments of about 400 students which is delivered using information technology via the Internet or Intranet is reviewed. The course is composed of a variety of information technology based applications including course materials, bulletin boards, email, quizzes, access to the World Wide Web and multimedia packages linked together using a single Internet browser interface. Access statistics through the entire course were collected hourly over the sixteen weeks of semester and separated on the basis of gender and final grade. Statistical analysis is presented which shows that different groups of students access the course in different ways. Performance in the course is statistically related to the number of times the student accesses the package. We find no evidence that males are advantaged or disadvantaged compared to females through the use of information technology although females appear to use the communications part of the course more than males. Based on the access statistics, we make recommendations on the components which seem to be well received by students and we note some components which will require more careful integration into a teaching program. Overall, the delivery of a first year course via information technology works well provided the components are carefully integrated into the course framework.
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