Previous studies have suggested significant benefits to using computer-mediated communication in higher education and the development of the relevant skills may also be important for preparing students for their working careers. This study is a review of the introduction of a virtual learning environment to support a group of 60 campus-based, final-year marketing undergraduates. This environment was used to support 'traditional' lecture and seminar approaches and included virtual seminars, a 'frequently asked questions' facility, informal discussion areas, interactive lecture notes and revision support. Data were collected in the form of a questionnaire, focus groups and an analysis of messages posted to and read from the electronic learning environment. This triangulation provided a consistent picture. Overall, campus-based students had mixed attitudes to computer-mediated communication; some seemed to find it very beneficial, others much less so. Most students did not find virtual seminars useful and many found it easy to neglect them. However, many found downloadable lecture notes, the frequently asked questions facility for assignments and online revision support beneficial, and these uses provided evidence of reflection and collaboration. Implications for staff time are also discussed.
|Number of pages
|Innovations in Education and Teaching International
|Published - Feb 2004
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Mike Molesworth is a senior lecturer at Bournemouth University and runs an MA in Interactive Marketing. His research interests include behaviour in computer-mediated environments. This study was produced as part of a Learning and Teaching Fellowship awarded by Bournemouth University in recognition of innovations in the use of technology to support students’ learning.
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