Impact of online training in a first year undergraduate course

Gibbings, Peter (2006) Impact of online training in a first year undergraduate course. In: AaeE 2006: 17th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, 10-13 Dec 2006, Auckland, New Zealand.


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Students studying university courses in the off-campus (distance education or external) mode may be at a disadvantage to on-campus students since they don’t have the benefit of face-to-face instructions. Furthermore, they don’t have the opportunity to participate in formative assessments that are often delivered informally in lectures. This may lead to feelings of remoteness and isolation leading to poorer learning, lower results in assessments, and may also contribute to drop out rates, particularly in first year courses. To overcome this inequity, the usual training materials presented for a first year course in 2005 were supplemented with PowerPoint lectures, enhanced with synchronous audio, and a series of quizzes to be used as formative assessments. The lectures and quizzes were presented online via a course web site and were designed to become an integral part of the learning experience. The effectiveness of these enhanced materials was evaluated by surveying the users. Outcomes of the survey indicate that the enhancements to materials facilitated improved students’ learning, contributed positively to the learning experience, increased enjoyment of the course, and were a strong motivator. Off-campus students reported feeling less disenfranchised with the university and having a greater affinity with the lecturer, both of which should help increase first year retention rates. The information presented in this paper will be of benefit to others designing online teaching and learning activities.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Authors retain copyright.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Surveying and Land Information
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:48
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2016 01:15
Uncontrolled Keywords: Breeze, quiz, online, engineering education, first year students, student retention
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing

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