Productive diversity in changing realities of distance education: is online group assessment the answer?

Becker, Karen L. (2004) Productive diversity in changing realities of distance education: is online group assessment the answer? Malaysian Journal of Distance Education, 6(1), pp. 57-75.

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Groups operating in a virtual learning environment present specific challenges for educators both in terms of the learning process and in terms of assessment and evaluation of individual and group learning outcomes. An exploratory study was undertaken into the use of a problem-based learning approach in an online group assessment for an undergraduate tertiary course. The groups comprised students geographically spread, and studying internally at campuses around Australia and by distance mode. The study has provided a rich source of information on group dynamics and development in an online learning environment as well as considering the importance of task structure to group interaction and overall assessment methods. It shows how harnessing multiliteracies within a learning environment can add value to the learning experience. In addition, it allows for the notion of students studying via distance education being treated differently, to be challenged. It encourages the move to focussing beyond mode of study back to the learning of individuals and encouragement of the students to engage in a learning process utilising the diversity in the student cohort. In summary, a number of key learnings are offered relating to the harnessing of new communication technology in distance education for both course designers and facilitators.

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ID Code: 10631
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Access to the author-version is currently restricted pending permission from the publisher. For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
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Keywords: distance education, online groups, tertiary education, group dynamics
ISSN: 1511-6433
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Educational Technology and Computing (130306)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Business and Management not elsewhere classified (150399)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia
Deposited On: 23 Jan 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:39

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