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Accommodating learner diversity in web-based learning environments: imperatives for future developments

Sheard, Judithe and Lynch, Julianne 2003, Accommodating learner diversity in web-based learning environments: imperatives for future developments, International journal of computer processing of oriental languages, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 243-260.

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Title Accommodating learner diversity in web-based learning environments: imperatives for future developments
Author(s) Sheard, Judithe
Lynch, JulianneORCID iD for Lynch, Julianne orcid.org/0000-0003-3180-8224
Journal name International journal of computer processing of oriental languages
Volume number 16
Issue number 4
Start page 243
End page 260
Publisher World Scientific Publishing
Place of publication Singapore, Hong Kong
Publication date 2003-12-04
ISSN 0219-4279
1793-6748
Keyword(s) web-based instruction
internet in education
online courses
college students
college environment
universities and colleges
Summary In this article, we focus on the use of Web-based learning environments for university students. We draw on an evaluation of an online environment that was developed to supplement face-to-face components of an undergraduate education unit in an Australian university. We explore learners' affective responses to this environment, finding that students' responses were often related to their familiarity with the learning environment, their skills and confidence with computer technology, and their preferred learning styles. It is not surprising to us that different students experienced the environment differently as this is the foundation of constructivist and socio-cultural understandings of learning. Yet, the models that currently predominate in the provision of online learning environments in universities offer very little in terms of responding and adapting to students' individual needs and preferences. Instead, online Web-based learning environments are most often designed to anticipate an average, or sometimes ideal, learner. We argue that designing for an imagined average or ideal learner does not adequately respond to the challenge of accommodating learner difference. If hopes for student-centred education are to be realised, future technological and pedagogical developments in online course provision need to be sophisticated enough to respond and adapt to individual students' needs and preferences across a wide range of variables.
Language eng
Field of Research 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2003, World Scientific Publishing
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30008648

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Education
Higher Education Research Group
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