Design and usage of learning materials in a VCE online oncampus education environment in the 21st Century

Thatcher, K 2014, Design and usage of learning materials in a VCE online oncampus education environment in the 21st Century, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Education, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Design and usage of learning materials in a VCE online oncampus education environment in the 21st Century
Author(s) Thatcher, K
Year 2014
Abstract This thesis examines information technology teachers’ perceptions of the online oncampus learning materials they create to deliver the Information Technology Study of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) in Australia. In this research ‘online oncampus’ describes teachers working in an online environment and face-to-face with students who are studying in the classrooms of secondary colleges in the traditional oncampus fashion.

Information technology teachers were developing their teaching practices during the last decade of the twentieth century and into the first decade of the twenty-first century. Their classrooms continue to be the first to adopt each new technology and they are in the front line of pedagogy development/evolution. As a consequence of these changes the following research question was identified as a focus for the study: Are the major learning theories of the late twentieth century (Behaviourist, Cognitive and Constructivist) evident in the online learning materials of VCE online oncampus learning environments?

As a framework for the research, major learning theories were explored from relevant literature about the design of online instructional material. Three theoretical constructs of interest were identified: Behaviourist Learning Theory; Cognitive Learning Theory and Constructivist Learning Theory. The study was designed to investigate how information technology teachers incorporate these three theoretical constructs in the development of their online oncampus learning materials. The study used a constructivist paradigm, qualitative methods and an instrumental case study of eight purposively selected information technology teachers.

Data were collected from each participant during in-depth interviews. Follow-up discussions were conducted to confirm interpretations presented in individual case reports. When the data were analysed across the collective cases five themes were identified and the frequency of occurrence of behaviours associated with the theoretical constructs were recorded.

The findings indicate that individual information technology teachers are innovative practitioners who have, in response to a rapid uptake of communication technology by their teaching institutions and their students, become life long learners. In addition that information communication technologies influence teaching practices which in turn influence the information communication technologies chosen by information technology teachers. Further that information technology teachers rely on pedagogies that are familiar.

Considered collectively, the information technology teachers’ responses evidence the influence of Behaviourist, Cognitive and Constructivist theories of learning. This study presents a range of perspectives about the design of online instructional activities for Year 12 VCE information technology students and the online oncampus environment information technology teachers create to support those learning activities.

Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Education
Keyword(s) online
case study
information technology
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Created: Fri, 21 Nov 2014, 09:14:12 EST by Denise Paciocco
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