Deakin University, Australia, has committed resources over a number of years to developing the use of information and communication technologies in all aspects of teaching and learning. This paper focuses on the development over a four year period of an Asynchronous Learning Network (ALN) for distance education students studying undergraduate introductory macroeconomics. The research is based on quantitative and qualitative data gained from student evaluations, academic staff interviews, participation levels and an analysis of the online communication. Key findings from the research relate to the quality of the learning environment, the level of communication, and the role of academic staff in the learning experience. Strategies discussed for the successful use of an ALN include the nurturing of a collaborative learning environment, the adaptation of curriculum and pedagogy, the role of assessment, and the role of academic staff training and development.
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