Evaluation of web-based flexible learning: findings and implications

McKavanagh, Charlie, Kanes, Clive, Beven, Fred, Cunningham, Allan D., & Choy, Sarojni C. (2001) Evaluation of web-based flexible learning: findings and implications. In 9th International Conference on Post-compulsory Education and Training, Queensland, Australia.


This paper explores web-based flexible delivery in the vocational education and training (VET) sector, focusing on the uptake of web-based technologies and the quality of teaching and learning that is emerging. The theoretical framework underpinning the evaluation was developed from Laurillard's (1997) 'conversational' theory in which the main types of reciprocal exchanges are idea to idea, action to action and idea to action. Tools for gauging on-line learning in VET were developed and trialed and it was established that the 'conversational' framework and its enhancements form an effective basis for evaluation. These tools help practitioners explore and expand the kinds of flexible learning 'conversations' for learners and are a useful way for course designers and teachers to categorise and compare groups and to conceptualise practice to cater better for student needs and objectives. Key findings include establishing that there was a high level of interest (in 1998) in the evaluation of web-based flexible learning amongst providers and teachers, but that actual provision was quite small. Teacher-centred approaches were dominant. Research implications include recommendations that further testing and refinement of mapping 'conversations' be carried out. Further research is also needed into how web-based flexible learning programs affect learners and the ways they learn.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 7255
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional Information: For more information please refer to the publisher's website (link above) or contact the author: s.choy@qut.edu.au
Additional URLs:
ISBN: 1875378413
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified (130399)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Deposited On: 30 Apr 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 19 May 2010 16:29

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