Communicating Outside the Classroom: Internet-mediated Course Communications

By John Lodewijks and Peter McGuinn.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

We examine the nature, characteristics and effectiveness of internet mediated course communications via an empirical investigation of the use made of the course website in a first year economics course with an enrolment of 1515 students. In particular we focus on the Discussion Tool. When the site closed there were 792 postings. Was this an effective way to enhance learning? Do foreign students use it more extensively, do females, do the weaker or stronger students? Our quantitative research reveals that almost seventy percent of students were actively using this information technology tool. We find that much learning and communicating occurs outside the classroom and that demographic differences strongly influence student-to- student and teaching staff-student communication.

Keywords: On-line Discussion Forums, Quantitative Evaluation, e-Learning, Internet Communication

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 13, Issue 12, pp.43-54. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 939.516KB).

Prof John Lodewijks

Professor and Head, School of Economics and Finance, University of Western Sydney, Parramatta, NSW, Australia

John Lodewijks is Professor and Head, School of Economics and Finance, University of Western Sydney. He was formerly at UNSW for 21 years as Head of the Department of Economics, Director of the Centre for South Pacific Studies, member of the Organizing Committee and Scientific Program Committee, XIX Pacific Science Congress, and Editor of the History of Economics Review. He has published more than eighty articles and books including: "Small is Beautiful: Economics as if Students Mattered" in L. Hewson & S.Toohey (ed.) The Changing University, PDC: University of NSW, 1996 pp.228-243; “Teaching High School Economics” in T. Bryant et al (eds.) Proceedings of the 6th Annual Teaching Economics Conference 1999 pp.187-99; (with Satya Paul) “Alternative Structures and Teaching Modes for a Multi-Campus University” Economic Analysis and Policy, Vol.33 No.1 March 2003 pp. 136-143; (with Glen Otto) “Innovative Responses to Learning Constraints”, Australasian Journal of Economics Education, (1:2) September 2004 pp. 155-182; and “The Doctoring of Economics” in Simon Marginson (ed.) Investment in Social Capital, Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia, University of Queensland Press, Chapter 3, 2002 pp.73-89. He was the recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2005.

Peter McGuinn

Education Technology Project Coordinator, Education Development Unit,, Faculty of Business, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Peter works with individual academic staff members, as well as general administrative staff to ensure access to online learning and teaching is available, well organised, and appropriate for the needs of the Faculty. Predominantly, this means working with WebCT, where Peter is the Faculty's first point of contact.


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