Balanced Assessment of Flexible e-Learning versus Face-to-Face Campus Delivery Courses at an Australian University

Balanced Assessment of Flexible e-Learning versus Face-to-Face Campus Delivery Courses at an Australian University

Kenneth David Strang (University of Technology, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-779-4.ch003
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Abstract

This case study reminded researchers of the value in using formal methodologies to gain an objective balanced perspective of actual practice. By using models and survey instruments that gathered objective input from key stakeholders in the higher education market, several of the true underlying factors were revealed. The key instrument used in the case study allowed us to objectively measure if flexible e-learning was at least as effective as campus delivery mode. More so, the assessment was not just performance and not just student satisfaction – instead the outcomes assessed included six factors that were linked to Australian university accreditation: Industry focus, resources/content materials, critical thinking activities, teaching quality, student satisfaction, and student performance (including completion). One of the most interesting aspects of the case study was that we are seeing history in the making to some degree in that as a result of the 2008 global economic crises, the international student market is changing which will force universities to change what and how they offer higher education in the future. More countries (and their populations) in the world are seeking a credible university higher education and they do not always want to travel to holiday destinations to obtain that… the world economic model is changing, continuing to increase the demand for education, yet changing how that product/service must be delivered. Successful higher education institutions around the world are already showing the followers how to do that. This case study provides some ideas and benchmarks for becoming more competitive in higher education, and while the model was developed and used in Australia, likely it can be applied elsewhere since the majority of students feeding into this model and research were international.

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