Online Learning Resources: Dos and Don’ts of an Institutional Approach

Michelle Moscova, Andrea Crampton

Abstract


As part of its commitment to supporting low socio-economic students, Faculty of Science at Charles Sturt University (CSU) explored faculty-wide implementation of online resources to support its practical classes. In order to do so, review of freely available and commercially produced resources was conducted. In addition survey of staff and students’ use and attitudes to online resources was performed. A number of freely available resources that supported some science subjects were identified on the world wide web. Most common barriers to faculty-wide implementation of these resources were limited scope, low quality and reliability. Four commercial platforms were reviewed and found to be of similar quality. Students and staff perceived these resources to be useful addition to the course, but several issues were identified. The issues raised by the staff included extra time to set up and administer online resources, loss of autonomy and limited customisation and equity of access among the students due to extra cost. Low take up rate among students in some subjects was a concern. Valuable lessons learnt during this review are discussed in this paper.

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