Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Edith Cowan University


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Psychology




Breen, L. J., Cohen, L. , & Chang, P. (2003). Teaching and Learning Online for the first time: Student and coordinator perspectives. Proceedings of 12th Teaching and Learning Forum 2003. (pp. 8 pages). Joondalup, WA. Professional Development@Learning Development Services, Edith Cowan University.


In recent years the higher education sector has moved towards the flexible delivery of individual units and entire courses. As a result, online delivery methods are becoming increasingly common. In this paper we describe students’ and unit-coordinators’ views concerning teaching and learning online for the first time in an introductory psychology unit. Using an action learning approach, views were ascertained through a focus group, messages posted on the online discussion boards, a survey, and coordinator reflections. The results indicate that the current online design of the unit does little to actively engage students in the learning process. We argue that transformation rather than adaptation of unit material to better suit the online environment is required. Facilitating the transformation of unit materials requires greater institutional support and ongoing professional development for teaching staff. In addition, it is recommended that a combined approach (online and face-to-face learning) may be more beneficial than online delivery only, especially for large undergraduate classes and during the transition year.

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