University of Tasmania
Si_Fan_PhD_Thesis.pdf (2.86 MB)

Significance of the web as a learning resource in an Australian University context

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posted on 2023-05-26, 03:42 authored by Fan, S
The Web and web-based technologies have become widely acceptable and feasible in the modern society. It has created a new paradigm in various areas, including the field of education. Web-based learning, as a strong manifestation of e-learning, has also become indispensible within the tertiary education context. Web-based learning is powerful in many aspects in both traditional curriculum as well as online courses. The Web provides teaching staff and students with a powerful source for interactive communication, placement of teaching materials, assessment and evaluation. As the main stakeholders in Web-based learning are students and teaching staff, it is important to understand their views and attitudes toward the Web as a learning resource. This research involved the participation of 502 students and 100 teaching staff from seven faculties/disciplines at the University of Tasmania. The aim of this study was to investigate the significance of the Web as a learning resource in this university context. It examined the views of teaching staff and students toward the significance of the Web in teaching and learning practices, and identified the environment in which the Web was used to facilitate teaching and learning. This study used both quantitative and qualitative methods for data collection and analysis. It involved two stages of data collection. One questionnaire and two sets of interview questions were used respectively. The statistical data were analysed using the SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) software version 18.0. The textual data collected from the interviews, were analysed using the NVivo qualitative data analysis software version 8. Constructivist grounded theory and thematic analysis were the basis of qualitative data analysis. The results of this study indicated a strong recognition of the role of the Web as a learning resource at the University of Tasmania. The Web was recognised as performing an essential role in the processes of communication, information retrieval, collaborative learning and assessment. Also, the Web and web-based technologies were seen as an important supplementary tool for face-to-face learning. However, there were differences between perceived expectations of web-based education by teaching staff and students, and the ways in which it was conducted and managed. By discussing the end-users‚ÄövÑvº views and evaluations, recommendations are made on the further development and modification of the Web adoption. It suggests that taking student expectations and needs into consideration can help create a more supportive and meaningful web-based learning environment. Training for both staff and students is also desired to enhance their skills in using the Web as a learning resource and to provide standard web-based support in all courses.


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