Web technology support for more effective higher education: A formative evaluation
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Do WWW based technologies provide a pedagogically sound foundation on which to build more effective higher educational systems? This study describes research conducted with a large (600+ students) first year accounting course during March-April 1998. The research focused on the impact of a web learning environment on student learning. The research used multiple methods to gain insight into the learning phenomenon including: case study, experimental and survey work. The research design generated both quantitative and qualitative data with which to test a research model and a series of hypotheses. Major findings included a supporting chain of evidence that the web learning environment had a significant positive impact on student learning working through the intervening variable of student attitude towards the subject content area. The positive impact on student learning was significant for both deep and surface learning, using Bloom's taxonomy for measuring depth of learning. Students also appeared to learn more with less time-on-task. Student participants were largely enthusiastic about the system. However a significant minority preferred more human contact than was provided. Outcomes of the study included formative recommendations for future research and development of web based courses including collaborative and quality recommendations.