An analysis of the use of virtual delivery of undergraduate lectures

Smeaton, A. F. and Keogh, G. (1999) An analysis of the use of virtual delivery of undergraduate lectures. Computers and Education, 32 (1). pp. 83-94. ISSN 03601315 (ISSN)


Educators and technologists have been wrestling with the most appropriate way in which to use information technology in teaching and in learning, for some years. We have seen online course notes, both linear, hypertext and hypermedia format, lecturer/student communication via electronic bulletin boards or via e-mail, multimedia courseware with student-directed learning and many others. All of these approaches have had limited impact on mainstream teaching in our universities and colleges and we believe one of the reasons for this is that these attempts all represent a significant shift in the normal student-lecturer relationship and an enormous amount of effort on the part of the lecturer. In our work we have addressed this by using technology to replicate the traditional mode of delivery of lectures to a class. The presentation of lecture material was digitally recorded, both audio and synchronised visuals, and made available for students to take in their own time. In addition we provided 3 orthogonal means to access this material. The present paper describes our analysis of the use of these 'virtual lectures' by a class of over 100 students. Our analysis includes log files of all accesses to the online material, pre-course and post-course questionnaires and anonymous questionnaire feedback, some of this is compared to exam performance. Results indicate that mode of delivery, student usage and a student's technical bias have no impact on overall exam performance.

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