University Of Tasmania
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Perceptions of E-Learning within Primary Education in Tasmania with regards to future design, direction and policies

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posted on 2023-05-26, 08:34 authored by Colbeck, DF
The purpose of this study was to gain insight into the perceptions of E-learning held by Primary School teachers in Tasmania. It is also a secondary aim of this research to examine any currently available research on E-learning so that matters of public policy relating to primary education may also be better informed. This research attempts to provide innovative insight into some of the issues currently in focus within the Tasmanian Education Department. Some of the issues addressed during this research were: - * What are the findings of the research on the effectiveness of E-learning? * Are they valid interpretations? * Are there any gaps in the research that require further investigation and information? * What does the literature as well as the findings of this research suggest for the future? * In what context can E-learning work? * For what use is e-learning most appropriate? * Will E-learning replace traditional leaning approaches? * How can E-learning be designed to be effective? These questions are becoming increasingly important as pressure (or hype?) grows, both from within the Tasmanian Education Department as well as public pressure applied through government taxpayer funded policies, to use more and more technology as a primary method for delivering education to our children. As bandwidth and transmission speeds increase and compression technologies become more sophisticated, new opportunities are emerging for the convergence of existing and new media in the learning environment. Digital technologies are the catalyst and the means for enormous changes in the way in which learning and teaching are conducted. They affect the knowledge, the information sources, and the interactions that underpin learning and teaching. They are reshaping the time, place, and pace of education. They have the potential to increase the accessibility of education to huge numbers of people. What will this new E-learning environment in the information society look like? Will it be characterized by diversity, complexity, and flexibility? Lifelong learning is rapidly becoming a reality rather than an aspiration. The old distinctions between distance education and classroom teaching are rapidly fading, in order to create more flexible teaching and learning arrangements that move the focus from teaching to flexible learning. Flexible learning aims to develop students' capabilities as information-literate lifelong learners, as well as their knowledge and skills in a variety of subject areas. It uses a rich array of resource-based learning techniques and project-based pedagogy to respond flexibly, in a multi-media environment, to the increasingly diverse backgrounds and motivations that learners bring to their study. A wide variety of reports and research indicate that flexible E-learning is now a worldwide phenomenon, with long-term implications for all types of educational institutions. Traditional school-based approaches to teaching, on their own, cannot hope to meet such a demand. Alternatives based on digital technologies are essential, not optional. In this new E-learning environment, knowledge becomes a modularised product, giving learners unprecedented control over the content, place, time, and pace of their learning (Barker and Wendel, 2001). The innovative insight offered by this somewhat voyeuristic presentation, based on real concerns of directly involved participants, will benefit decision-making processes of those who develop, create and disseminate education-based information, as well as adding reassurance to all those caught up in the hi-tech maelstrom of this new technology that they are not alone.


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