Friday, October 29, 2004

Reflecting on Online Teaching and Learning. The Winter 2004 issue of Academic Exchange Quarterly will soon be out. It has a theme of Information Literacy included. Elizabeth Blakesley Lindsay who is the instruction librarian at Washington State University was the feature editor. Several of the article are online. Here is one of them.

From the site:

By 2001, Rural Health had been taught for some years at La Trobe University, Bendigo, in Victoria, Australia. It had, with constant evaluation and monitoring, developed real strengths in the theoretical and practical assessment of health issues for regional, rural and remote areas. In the annual Quality Assurance (QA) subject evaluation students had consistently assessed it as relevant, informative, useful and appropriately taught. In 2001 the subject was selected for online delivery, using WebCT and Dreamweaver, to enable access for rural and remote students unable to attend the physical university (Edwards and Nicoll, 2000).

Evaluating Rural Health Online

The evaluation used qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative data consisted of three semi-structured interviews and a focus group with six students, students' online feedback, and answers to the questions “What was the best thing about this subject” and “How could this subject be improved?” on the QA tool used by the University for each year of the course. The quantitative data came from students’ responses to twelve statements on a Likert-type scale on the QA tool and online tracking of the students’ use of the material. All student data was used with the approval of the students involved.

This paper does not present the full results of the evaluation. Rather, we reflect on our online teaching experience, using, where it is relevant, the data from the evaluation.

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