orr-ecommerce-2005-post.pdf (200.42 kB)
E-commerce and graduate education: is educational quality taking a nose dive?
journal contributionposted on 2005-01-01, 00:00 authored by Stuart Orr, R Bantow
Purpose: Online education has been growing rapidly, but has not had the benefit of the extensive teaching pedagogy development of traditional face-to-face teaching. This paper aims to provide a review of the current literature and present the results of a survey, conducted to determine the effectiveness of a graduate online subject. Design/methodology/approach: The literature was reviewed to identify measures of success and quality in online education delivery. These measures were then considered in relation to their application in practice via a case study based around a survey conducted at Deakin University in Australia. Findings: A total of 16 relevant measures of teaching quality were identified in the literature. Most measures had elements of bias and some were more generally applicable to online learning. The case study suggested that the value of computer mediated learning in an online environment was limited and that a combination of print and computer mediated conferencing performed better in more of the identified quality matrices. Practice implications: Online learning does not save teaching resources if standards of quality are maintained. It can be used to provide a remote teaching facility, provided it is backed up by resources such as printed study guides. For the subject evaluated, online mediated learning did not the provide the same quality of education. Originality/value: Whilst some research has been conducted in this area, no substantive grounded theory has been applied to postgraduate or fee-paying online education regimes. As a result, case studies of such applications can be very helpful in the design of future teaching systems.