A Comparative Study of Diffusion of Web-Based Education (WBE) in Singapore and Australia

A Comparative Study of Diffusion of Web-Based Education (WBE) in Singapore and Australia

Y. Y. Jessie Wong (Independent Educational Researcher, Canada), R. Gerber (University of New England, Australia) and K. A. Toh (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-939-7.ch088
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Examined and compared in this chapter is the diffusion of WBE in Singapore and Australia. These two countries were chosen in this study because of the close educational collaborations and developments between them. A number of Australian universities have offshore bases in Singapore. It would be more cost-effective and profitable to use WBE instead of using the usual corresponding method, or flying professors into the country a few times a year for intensive residential studies. In this chapter, WBE at some selected institutions is reported in detail, because these institutions represent the more advanced developments of WBE in the respective country. Meta-analysis, using a modified Taylor’s model (Taylor, 2001), reveals that though Singapore and Australia are different in their approach and policies to education and technology, they share similar trends and achievements in the development of WBE. Tertiary institutions in both countries have generally achieved all the characteristics of Generations 4 and 5 of the development model of Distance Education, as described by Taylor. However, this is not to say that face-to-face teaching has been phased out. This study also indicates that WBE supports the development of distance education and e-universities in Australia. On the other hand, it is hard to say when Singapore will develop its first e-university.

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