Wholly online learning in environmental science
journal contributionposted on 2007-01-01, 00:00 authored by Kelly MillerKelly Miller
In recent years there has been a significant shift in the way courses and subjects are delivered to students in tertiary institutions. Advances in technology have resulted in a change to the traditional face-to-face lecture and tutorial teaching format, with many subjects in tertiary education now available online. Although research has explored the advantages and disadvantages of online learning, there has been little attention paid to this teaching format in the field of environmental science. In particular, there is little evidence in the literature to suggest that this method of teaching is appropriate for studies in environmental science or for environmental science students. This study examined the outcomes from a wholly online subject in environmental science at Deakin University, Australia. More specifically, the study aimed to investigate student views about online learning in environmental science as well as online group work. Questionnaires were distributed to all students who completed the core second year subject Society and Environment in semester 1, 2005. Although many of the responding students (n = 48) recognised the benefits of wholly online learning, the findings suggest that most prefer to learn in a face-to-face environment. This paper examines the implications of these findings for future online teaching methods in this discipline.