The Attitudes of Students and Academic Staff Towards Electronic Course Support—are we Convergent?
Keywords:Electronic course support, ICT, Learning and teaching, Virtual learning environments
The present study investigates the views and attitudes of both the students and staff with regard to the usefulness of electronic course support throughout all four years of the MPharm programme at Aston University.
Students were sampled between January and March 2001 using a self-completion questionnaire administered during the start of a practical or tutorial class. All internal academic staff were interviewed using a semi-structured interview format. Response rates were 100 and 89.5%, respectively.
The study found that students rapidly embraced the use of electronic course support within the under- graduate programme, although they view its role as augmenting traditional course delivery. This view was mirrored by the academic staff, although only around a half currently place their material on the University’s virtual learning environment (VLE), WebCT. The failure of staff to completely embrace the VLE is grounded in a lack of confidence and ability in its use. A majority of the academic staff indicated that they wish to be trained further in the use of information technology. Academic institutions need to understand and meet these needs in parallel with the introduction of any electronic course support.
CAL: Computer Assisted Learning. http://www.pccal.com. Accessed February 2004.
Dearing Report (1997) “Higher education in the learning society”, The National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education (HMSO, London).
Herson, K., Lloyd, A.W., Stainer, R. and Sosabowski, M.H. (2003) “Overcoming resistance to networked learning and teaching modalities—a longitudinal comparison of changing staff attitudes towards learning technologies”, Pharm. Edu. 3, 177 – 189.
Langley, C.A., Belcher, D., Marriott, J.F. and Wilson, K.A. (2002) “The use of digital video to support extemporaneous skills in pharmacy practice”, Pharm. Edu. 2, 155–156.
Perrie, Y. (2003) “Virtual learning environments”, Pharm. J. 270, 794 – 795.
SPSS. http:/www.spss.com. Accessed February 2004.
Wake, M. and Lisgarten, L. (2003) “VLEs and pharmacy—learning
from experience”, Pharm. Edu. 3, 209–214.
WebCT. http:/www.webct.com. Accessed February 2004.