Tertiary Education and the Internet

Tertiary Education and the Internet

Paul Darbyshire (Victoria University, Australia) and Stephen Burgess (Victoria University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-553-5.ch495
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For many years, information technology (IT) has been used to find ways to add value for customers to entice them to purchase the products and services of a business. Many educators use the Internet to supplement existing modes of delivery. Importantly, the Internet is providing a number of added value supplemental benefits for subjects and courses delivered using this new, hybrid teaching mode. There are two aspects to subject delivery to where added value benefits may be applied, and that is in the administrative tasks associated with a subject and the educational tasks. In both instances, IT solutions can be employed to either fully or partially process some of these tasks. Given the complex and often fluid nature of the education process, it is rare that a fully integrated solution can be found to adequately service both aspects of subject delivery. Most solutions are partial in that key components are targeted by IT solutions to assist the subject coordinator in the process. If we examine closely the underlying benefits gained in the application of IT to these tasks, there is a strong parallel to the benefits to be gained by business organizations with similar applications of IT. While the actual benefits actually sought by academics depend on the motivation for the IT solution, the perceived benefits can be classified using standard categories used to gauge similar commercial applications. This article examines the possibility of translating the benefits of added value to the use of the Internet by tertiary educators for subject and course delivery. A brief discussion will occur on aspects of course and subject delivery in tertiary education and the use of information technology for added value. These concepts are drawn together to indicate how the Internet may be used for added value in tertiary education. Finally, these concepts were tested with a survey of members of the IS World list serve.

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