The Attitudes of Students and Academic Staff Towards Electronic Course Support—are we Convergent?

Authors

  • Christopher A. Langley Pharmacy Practice Research Group, Aston University, Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK
  • John F. Marriott Pharmacy Practice Research Group, Aston University, Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK
  • Dawn Belcher Pharmacy Practice Research Group, Aston University, Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK
  • Keith A. Wilson Pharmacy Practice Research Group, Aston University, Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK
  • Penny Lewis Pharmacy Practice Research Group, Aston University, Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK

Keywords:

Electronic course support, ICT, Learning and teaching, Virtual learning environments

Abstract

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.

References

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Published

19/05/2004

Issue

Section

Research Article