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Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

The Blurring of On-Campus and Off-Campus Education: A Position Paper

The Blurring of On-Campus and Off-Campus Education: A Position Paper
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Author(s): Patricia A. H. Williams (Edith Cowan University, Australia) and Rachel Mahncke (Edith Cowan University, Australia)
Copyright: 2005
Pages: 4
Source title: Managing Modern Organizations Through Information Technology
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-822-2.ch046

Abstract

There was a time when an on-campus student gained his or her subject knowledge from attendance at lectures and primarily used this medium to assimilate and develop an understanding of the subject. Modern information systems have changed this and made information more accessible by alternative means (Chalmers & Fuller, 1996). This phenomenon is particularly evident in the fast-paced science fields taught in the School of Computing and Information Science (SCIS) at Edith Cowan University (ECU), Western Australia. Cross disciplinary and interdisciplinary units characterise the breadth of study opportunity in SCIS, with a diverse range of subjects (units), from computer networking, wireless systems, and computer forensics to library technology, information literacy, internet computing and medical informatics. It is within this context that a paradigm shift is occurring in the educational demographic of the student population. There is now little difference between the on-campus and off-campus students enrolled in SCIS or indeed between on-campus, off-campus and off-shore educational offerings. This shift has been driven by the change in technology which affects support of student learning, promotes educational benefits, and presents new educational challenges. These factors have prompted SCIS to develop an in-house courseware delivery system and supportive learning environment called eCourse. A significant amount of research has been undertaken into effective methods of teaching off-campus students (Cohen & Ellis, 2004). Institutions are learning that these techniques, mainly driven by advances in technology, can be used equally effectively with on-campus students. In addition, the positive aspects of student learning previously linked with off-campus students, shown to be associated with good independent learners and higher student success (Mazoue, 1999), are becoming characteristics of on-campus students too. These characteristics include the ability to function independently, to engage in reflective learning, and good self motivation to study. Therefore the question arises, has the difference between the on-campus and offcampus students education become indistinct? This paper suggests that the distinction between on-campus and off-campus students has become blurred and demonstrates this with reference to the eCourse system.

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