Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering

First Advisor

Associate Professor Ron Oliver

Second Advisor

Dr Tony Fetherston


Telematics, or audiographic conferencing, enables synchronous communication via telecommunications. A telephone link and computer communications allow students in distributed classrooms to participate in an extended, or virtual classroom. Telematics is widely used as an instructional medium for the delivery of curricula to students in rural and remote parts of Western Australia. Previous studies of learning meditated by this technology have shown limitations on the forms of interactivity, tasks and learner engagement. Students typically have been found to assume a passive role, often listening to a distant and invisible teacher, but not engaging in cognitively demanding tasks. The tendency for teachers to display didactic forms of teaching has been noted in a number of studies.