Skip to main content

Full text of "ERIC EJ1098126: Online Education and the Death of the Transient Delivery Mode"

See other formats


ARTICLES 


ONLINE EDUCATION AND THE DEATH OF THE 
TRANSIENT DELIVERY MODE 

By 

JOCASTA COLLIER* 

*Blended Learning Coordinator, School of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Western Australia. 

ABSTRACT 

This paper addresses the need for educators to re-conceptualize the way we teach in an online environment. The call for 
this stems from a need to recognize the heterogeneous nature of the learners we engage. The online educator faces not 
just the challenge of meeting the needs of a multi-cultural audience and increasingly an audience of differing ages but 
further a group of students who are geographically andtemporally diverse. 

This paper will argue that online learning is both challenged by and uniquely capable of meeting the needs of this 
heterogeneous learning community, but not if it is simply conceptualized as a repackaging of traditional pedagogic 
modes of delivery in order that they operate in a virtual environment. 

High initial production costs require the development of an enduring educational architecture which calls for the online 
educator to be both creative and aware of the unique needs of this new heterogeneous community and to develop 
materials that are tailored specifically to these learners. 

The material needs not only to cater to learners who display each of Gardner's [1983] multiple intelligences, but must also 
be able to adapt to the geographic and temporal differences that obtain in each learner's physical environment. 
Keywords: Pedagogical Paradigms, Multiple Intelligences, Online Educator, Heterogeneous Learners, Educational 
Architecture, Narrative Style, Challenges, Communicative Potential, Decision Management Methodology, Epistemic 
Respect, Fallibility, Emancipatory Education, Positive Freedom, Negative Freedom, Social Enquiry. 


INTRODUCTION 

This paper addresses the need for educators to re¬ 
conceptualize the way they teach in an online 
environment. The online educator faces not just the 
challenge of meeting the needs of a multicultural 
audience and increasingly an audience of differing ages 
but further a group of students who are geographically 
and temporally diverse. 

The argument here is that online learning is both 
challenged by and uniquely capable of meeting the 
needs of this heterogeneous learning community, but not 
if it is simply conceptualized as a repackaging of 
traditional pedagogic modes of delivery in order that they 
operate in a virtual environment. 

Wild et al (1994) maintained that in the creation of online 
learning materials there is a tendency to take the narrative 
style of lecturing and simply to recreate it online. They 


explain that many of the ways of providing information 
traditionally (for example books, videos and lectures) are 
narrative in construction: the information is structured in a 
linear form and tends to be "book-like". They argue that 
information thus constructed provides limited space for 
learner engagement and interactivity is all too often 
added sporadically without adequate thought to its 
integration within the overall instructional design. Further 
they explain that a book or a lecturer is in fact better at 
transmitting knowledge in this manner than online 
material. Students, they argue, due to prior experience 
with the medium understand the way a book is structured. 
The visual cues, such as the shapes of words on a page, or 
headings, as well as formal the mechanisms for example 
the contents and bibliography, allow the reader to easily 
find information. Some of these functions can be 
programmed into online unit materials but they believe 
these materials are not as intuitive or useable in the online 


24 


i-manager's Journal of Educational Technology, Vol. 5 • No. 4 • January - March 2009 






ARTICLES 


medium as they are in a book. Further, because of the 
immediacy of the interaction a lecture delivery within a 
traditional format is often better than linear or narrative 
forms of online materials as they can provide discussion 
and appropriate feedback, as well as opportunities for 
adaptation and reflection. 

Pedagogic design principles are not the only challenge 
confronting online educators. When developing online 
learning materials as indicated above we need to 
recognize the heterogeneous nature of the learners we 
engage. This heterogeneous community exists in part 
because of the opportunities that online learning opens 
for the tertiary learner, as Moran and Greville explain, that 
there is growing evidence that distance education 
methods are becoming a primary model for delivery that 
helps counteract the personal and financial costs for 
adults of studying away from home or the workplace 
(especially for lengthy periods overseas). Distance 
education is also making feasible access to highly 
specific training that would otherwise be impossible, 
either because the expertise does not reside in the local 
area, or because the demand within a country is too small 
to warrant mounting an expensive programme, or 
because the workers simply cannot leave their jobs to take 
up study. (Moran and Greville 2004, pi 5). 

Both these challenges present the online educator with 
the question of how best to conceptualise and structure 
the learning materials. High initial production costs require 
the development of an enduring educational 
architecture which calls for the online educator to be both 
creative and aware of the unique needs of this new 
heterogeneous community and to develop materials that 
are tailored specifically to these learners. 

One of the problem of online education is that it is often 
used as a rote learning drill, The learner is required to 
engage in a linear pedagogic experience with 
"interaction" in the form of "test your knowledge" style 
activities located most often at the end of a module. 
These are usually intended to serve as a private testing 
regime through drill in order to embed routine skills. Whilst 
this has the obvious advantage of removing public 
evaluation stress it remains at the lower end of cognition. 


Dominique Sluijsmans and Rob Martens quoted in Jeroen 
(2003) argues that assessment is the weak link in e- 
learning systems. E-learning designers have relied 
predominantly on tools that are directed at the 
construction of test items. The disadvantage of such items 
is that they tend to focus on the measurement of low-level 
retention of isolated facts, rather than on the 
application of knowledge to solve ill-structured 
problems.(Dominique Sluijsmans and Rob Martens 
quoted in Jeroen 2003, p.39). 

Taylor & Maor (2000) believe that for many online 
educators material is developed because it is technically 
possible not because it offers anything that is of value or 
provides the solution to a particular problem. They are 
concerned therefore that too much material has been 
developed because it is possible to do so and too little 
attention has been paid to producing educationally 
sound material which takes account of the unique new 
capabilities offered by online delivery. In part, Taylor & 
Maor argue that the reason for this is that it is extremely 
difficulttobreakfromold pedagogical paradigms. 

One method of achieving the breakdown of existing 
pedagogic paradigms is to utilise the communicative 
potential embedded within the online context. To this 
end Karabenick (1994) argues that class discussion, 
compared to lectures, increases motivation and 
facilitates critical thinking. Discussions afford students the 
opportunity to evaluate their comprehension of course 
content and apply concepts. Even instructors of large 
classes are urged to encourage student comments and 
questions. (Karabenick 1994, p. 189). 

Another requirement would be to adapt to the 
geographic and temporal differences that obtain in 
each learner's physical environment. Morrison (2003) 
believes that Internet-based learning experiences hold 
revolutionary potential the chance to provide global 
audiences with critical information and skills, to open the 
myriad pathways that reach experts and tap their 
knowledge, simulate experience and allow 
collaboration in ways never before imagined. E- 
learning has the potential to be the engine that 
harnesses the combined power of classrooms, chat 


i-manager’s Journal of Educational Technology, Vol. 5 • A/o. 4 • January - March 2009 


25 






ARTICLES 


rooms, video games, knowledge management, XML, 
artificial intelligence, the world's largest resource library 
and what some are calling the new semantic Web. 
(Morrison 2003, p 41) 

It is not just the pedagogic paradigms or the geographic 
differences in the online learning environment that must 
be taken into account but the social and temporal 
differences that impact on the delivery of online 
materials. Moran and Rumble (2004) argue that the state 
of flux in the nature of an individual's employment in 
contemporary societies leads to the reality that the "half 
life" of knowledge and skills is extremely short. They argue 
that this impetus calls for a strategic approach to life long 
learning. Vince (2004) maintains that learning is always 
situated in social power relations, cultural practices, 
contexts and artefacts. That is to say learning is situated 
within the social realm and exists in the liminal interface 
between teacher and learner. Piskurich (2004) explains an 
edge is a linear surface where something begins (or ends). 
For e-learning it is that fragile interface between the e- 
learning and the e-learner. 

Vince, moreover, maintains learning occurs in 'here and 
now' experience within learning groups or 'learning 
spaces' that have been deliberately created to entertain 
the possibilities of learning. Jochems, Merrienboer and 
Koper (2003) also stress the collaborative construction of 
knowledge through active learning and they emphasise 
the importance of higher-order skills such as problem 
solving, learning strategies and self-regulation. They 
argue, further, that e-learning is characterized by its 
independence of place and time, its integrated 
presentation and communication facilities, and its 
opportunities for the reuse of instructional materials in the 
form of learning objects. 

Schutz as quoted in Brown, Weinstein and McKeachie 
(1994) raises a point that needs to be addressed. The 
relationship between cognition and motivation is a issue 
that is receiving increased attention in both education and 
psychology knowledge of learning strategies does not 
necessarily lead to better academic performance; 
students must also develop the motivation to use those 
strategies. Therefore, if we are going to understand and be 


able to facilitate the self-directed behavior that is needed 
to reach academic as well as other life goals, we must 
understand the combined influences of motivation and 
cognition on those processes. (Brown, Weinstein and 
McKeachie 1994, p 113) 

The proposition presented here is that we must reposition 
online learning higher on the cognitive curve and to this 
end a decision management methodology offers a rich 
palette of cognitive (pedagogically enhancing) 
possibilities. Such a methodology operating through 
elaborate case studies that present challenges at the 
strategic resource allocation level and which restructure 
cognitive levels in the participant, allows the possibility for 
an intellectual platform where multi-attribute decision 
making skills can be honed within an architecture of 
enabling procedures. These procedures assist in 
developing and familiarising in e-learners their higher 
level intelligences. 

Sternberg (1985) and Gardner (1983) have developed a 
theory of intelligence that departs from the standard view 
of intelligence as a single immutable factor and argued 
instead that what we assumed was one single intelligence 
was in fact a multitude of different intelligences that exist in 
different quantities in each learner. Sternberg (1985) views 
intelligence as a singular construct composed of multiple 
sub-theories or components, while Gardner (1983, p60) 
claims that human intellectual competence entails a set 
of problem solving skills which enable the individual to 
resolve genuine problems that he or she encounters and 
to create when appropriate an effective product that also 
entails the potential for finding or creating new problems 
and thereby laying the groundwork for the acquisition of 
new knowledge. 

Goleman (1997) explains that Gardner's theory of multiple 
intelligences does not include emotional intelligence as 
such, the intelligences he described as inter-personal 
intelligence (the capacity to recognise the intention of 
others) and intra-personal intelligence (the ability to 
understand one's own feelings and motivations) appear 
according to Perry and Ball, (2005) to display some 
commonality with emotional intelligence. Nardi goes 
further to explain that Goleman's concept of emotional 


26 


i-manager's Journal of Educational Technology, Vol. 5 • No. 4 • January - March 2009 






ARTICLES 


intelligence and Gardner's multiple intelligences are 
different but compatible theories (Nardi, 2001, p. 122). He 
posits that emotional intelligence includes inter-personal 
and intra-personal intelligence. 

Whilst these theories have more value than the singular 
construct referred to above they are, nevertheless, not 
expansive enough to cover the intelligences that need to 
be developed in tertiary and post tertiary education. For, 
as VanderStoep and Seifert as quoted in Brown, Weinstein 
and McKeachie (1994) argue The essence of a critical 
thinker is not simply the acquisition of knowledge, but the 
application of knowledge across time and circumstance. 
Many studies have shown that students often have 
difficulty abstracting a principle from examples, encoding 
information into flexible memory representations, and 
accessing the appropriate principle in new problem 
contexts. How can we help learners maximize potential 
use of what they have learned? (Brown, Weinstein and 
McKeachie 1994, p 27) 

In order to fully meet the educational needs of learners we 
should not be restricted to standard models of 
intelligence but we should be prepared to explore the 
introduction of critical intelligences, moral intelligences, 
empathetic intelligences communicative intelligences 
and decision management intelligences. The content of 
learning materials becomes less important in the tertiary 
and post tertiary environment for as VanderStoep and 
Seifert (1994) explain many cognitive skills are domain- 
general and can therefore be applied in many different 
contexts. 

The suggestion here is that routinised rote learning and the 
private acquisition of intellectual medium-level skills must 
be enhanced if online learning is to deliver on its earlier 
potential. Such enhancement would at least involve the 
learner in an intellectual developmental process which 
allows him/her to achieve a socialised form of rationality, 
where group work drives the progressive mastery of the 
higher level generic skills within the enabling cognitive 
environment of advanced online learning. Deploying a 
decision management methodology, this paper argues, 
meets the criteria for such progressive mastery and will be 
outlined below. What this paper stresses is that an 


environment that informs and conditions the best tertiary 
performance may involve a virtual world reconstruction of 
social/intellectual intercourse between avatars which 
transcends the temporal, gendered, spatially discreet 
limitations of an internationalised community of learners. 
This is one way to accommodate the requirement that 
online learning address a heterogeneous community of 
learners at the highest cognitive level. 

In order to achieve this, this paper draws on the work of de 
Reuck et al (2000) and their theories in relation to the 
essential role that moral theory has to perform in any 
adequate decision management methodology. De 
Reuck et al, in formulating a Group Decision Assurance 
Methodology (GDAM), offer an analysis of modes of 
decision making that optimizes the interaction of all the 
parties in an essentially Habermasian mode of inquiry 
that, though it has several facets, ultimately allows for the 
'force of the better argument' to take precedence, while 
acknowledging that under conditions of risk and 
uncertainty convergence of opinion is highly unlikely. 
Hence they postulate a majority vote mechanism in order 
to reach decisions while allowing those members of the 
decision team with reservations to constitute a Humean 
'Cabinet of Dissenters'. These latter play an essential role in 
driving the proceedings toward the better argument as 
well as providing the pool of candidates who would 
constitute the majority in any subsequent monitoring of 
the relevant Key Performance Indicators that function as 
an audit control of the commitments undertaken. 

There is a clear need for such a re-conceptualisation of 
the roles of both teacher and learner in any online 
education program that has as its goal the development 
of the highest cognitive intelligences as outlined above. 
As Biggs and Moore (1993) explain, The teacher interacts 
with the learner in line with the assumption that learning 
involves active construction of meaning by the student 
and is not something that is imparted by the teacher. 
(Biggs and Moore 1993, p. 25). 

In order to achieve the above what is required is epistemic 
respect and an acknowledgement of fallibility on the part 
of all participants in the learning interaction. To hold 
someone in epistemic respect allows them to maximize 


i-manager’s Journal of Educational Technology, VoI. 5 • A/o. 4 • January - March 2009 


27 






ARTICLES 


their creativity and knowledge acquisition. Epistemic 
respect need be distinguished from human respect 
insofar as it acknowledges the potential cognitive value of 
individuals' creativity and intelligence, while reciprocally 
affirming the epistemically respectful subject's 
acknowledgement of his/her fallibility. Thus, the 
fundamental role of epistemic respect is to minimize the 
emergence of dogmatic patterns of thought and control. 
The same processes of epistemic leadership (De Reuck, 
et al 2008, pp 2-13) with their focus on facilitation and the 
development of strategic approaches to the 
enhancement of positive freedom provide the on-line 
course designer with the architecture that would facilitate 
the potential for on-line learning to function as an 
educational technology, capable of delivering high level 
cognitive skills of the kind described above by the 
community of e-learners. 

This communicative rationality requires that people 
moved out of the heteronomous field of behaviour into 
autonomous fields of predicated human endeavour. Thus 
the possibility of human emancipation must be explained 
to reintroduce a critical communicative framework 
where, ideally, the concept of positive freedom can find 
genuine application. 

At this point it is necessary to explore the concept of 
emancipation if it is our intention to create through our 
online endeavor an emancipatory education. Isaiah 
Berlin (1958) advances two types of freedom: 'Freedom 
from' and 'freedom for'. 'Freedom from' is a negative 
freedom as it defines itself by what it denies (i.e. freedom 
from prejudice, freedom from oppression etc) 'Freedom 
for' on the other hand relates to positive freedom the 
freedom to be that which you desire to be (i.e. freedom to 
select your role in society or your purpose for existence). 
One solution to the dilemma of the question of morality 
development is to develop a system that ensures a 
substantive set of negative freedoms (freedom from 
oppression etc) on the one hand and a procedural set of 
positive freedoms on the other aimed at maximizing the 
cognitive quality of the e-learning community's decision 
outcomes. 


It is to this end that this paper argues for a need for online 
learning to function autonomously rather than 
heteronomously. In order for online education to develop 
the higher cognitive skills in its e-learners, a commitment 
must be taken to autonomy: a requirement for the positive 
conception of freedom to flourish among e-learners. The 
recognition that social rationality - as embodied in group 
learning makes available dimensions of intelligence 
(toleration, fallibility, engagement, diversity management, 
moral negotiation and so on) unavailable when rationality 
is conceptualized around the isolated learning subject as 
pure Cartesian ego must remain central if e-learning is to 
release its capacity to instill in its e-learners the higher 
cognitive skills that have been limned in above. To do so, 
online learning must deliver (GDAM) processes that bring 
people to their full potential for social enquiry. 

Ethics, for example, communicated within the online 
medium, is procedurally indicated through intensifying 
the level of human understanding and interaction and 
processes of social inquiry participating fundamentally in 
human understanding, triadically understood. If this is 
done well, it can afford people an insight into the complex 
dynamics of intra-subjective strategic communication 
that support the Enlightenment's programs of human 
emancipation. 

Epistemic leadership, de Reuck et al argue, comes from 
concerns about the relationship between leaders and 
their followers. It is important to acknowledge that that 
relationship is social. Further, no matter how transformative 
or supportive a leadership style, its import still positions the 
members of the e-learner heteronomously. This is 
problematic because the followers' beliefs change as a 
result of the social influence not 'the force of the better 
argument'. Any factor other than the force of the better 
argument, however well intended, degrades the 
epistemic dynamic of the relationship between the 
leader and follower (online educator/student) as a team 
and this diminishes the legitimacy of the followers' 
decisions, foreclosing on the social capital available to 
the decision making of the team. 

In relation to online education, if we aim to create an 


28 


i-manager's Journal of Educational Technology, Vol. 5 • No. 4 • January - March 2009 






ARTICLES 


environment in which individuals -understood in their roles 
as both students and learners - can develop fuller, 'truer' 
identities, one needs to be careful that the shifts in value 
are driven by an expansion of awareness of the 
individual's world view and a deeper empathetic 
engagement through the online environs, not an 
indoctrination in the values held by the online educator. 
The 'force of the better argument' as de Reuck, etaI argue 
should be the starting point from which any shifts in beliefs 
or identity formation are developed. In other words, the 
online learning environment needs to provide a space 
which will allow for the social/intellectual aspects of 
identity and social values to be explored. However this 
exploration needs to be conducted in the spirit of a 
community of equals where ideas are raised and the 
identity maps held by others are explored through 
empathetic links to them rather than the acceptance of 
an indoctrination of values on the part of the online 
educators. 

The question then remains: if online learning should not 
dictate a framework of values in the learners, how then 
can the development of an emancipatory ethic so 
crucial to the enhancement of higher cognitive skills be 
grounded? The future direction of online learning should 
be to provide a learning architecture, along the lines 
outlined above, that explicitly takes as its educational 
goals the imparting of transferable high-level cognitive 
skills. This can be achieved through the development of 
an imaginative capacity in the individual to empathize 
with another individual. This moral intelligence will allow us 
to deal with other minds at their best and provides a 
starting point for a secular ethic, which is ultimately 
enabling. 

This paper has addressed the need for educators to re¬ 
conceptualize the way teaching in an online environment 
is understood. The heterogeneous nature of the learners 
engaged is recognized and the conclusion is drawn that 
this heterogeneity is due to the multiculturally, geographically, 
generationally and temporally diverse nature of tertiary 
online learners. Despite the challenges such a 
heterogeneous student group presents, this paper argues 
that online learning is capable of meeting the needs of 


tertiary learners at the highest cognitive level by 
developing tertiary intelligences. However, this is not the 
case if online learning is simply conceptualized as a 
repackaging of traditional pedagogic modes of delivery. 
The key is to harness the communicative capabilities of 
online technologies in order to utilise the decision 
management methodology, developed by De Reuck et 
al. This methodology of communicative rationality 
requires that people be moved out of the heteronomous 
field of behaviour into autonomous fields of predicated 
human endeavour. Thus, through the deployment of 
Berlin's theories of human emancipation, online learning 
can create a space within a critical communicative 
framework where the concept of positive freedom can 
find application. What therefore can be concluded is 
that, through an expansion of the students' identity, online 
education - if properly conceived- delivers a far stronger 
methodology for tertiary knowledge acquisition. Such a 
methodology, augmenting and enhancing the 
technologies currently available to the online learner, 
supersedes traditional "talk and chalk" and leaves 
unmourned the death of the transient delivery mode. 
References 

[1.]. Berlin, I. (1958). Two Concepts Of Liberty. Oxford: 
Clarendon Press. 

[2] , Biggs, J., 8<. Moore, R (1993). Conceptions of learning 
and teaching: The process of learning (3rd ed., pp. 20- 
26). Sydney: Prentice Hall of Australia. 

[3] , De Reuck, J. D. Schmidenberg, O, 8r Klass, D. (2000). 
The logic of a command methodology: decision 
conferencing reconceptualised, International Journal of 
Management and Decision Making, (1/1), 2-13. 

[4] , Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of Mind: The Theory of 
Multiple Intelligences. New York: Basic Books. 

[5] , Gardner, Howard. (1983). Multiple Intelligences: The 
Theory in Practice. New York: Basic Books. 

[6] , Goleman, D. (1997). Emotional Intelligence. New 
York: Bantam Books. 

[7] , Jeroen, Wim (Ed.). (2003). Integrated E-Learning: 
Implications for Pedagogy, Technology and Organization, 
New York: Routledge Falmer. 


i-manager’s Journal of Educational Technology, Vol. 5 • A/o. 4 • January - March 2009 


29 






ARTICLES 


[8] , Jochems, W; Van Merrienboer, J,J, G., Koper, R (eds.) 
(2003) Integrated E-Learning: Implications For Pedagogy, 
Technology and Organization Falmer: Routledge 

[9] , Karabenick, Stuart A. (1994). Seeking Academic 
Assistance as a Strategic Learning Resource, In Pintrich, 
Paul R, 8c Brown, Donald R, 8c Weinstein, Claire E (Eds), 
Student Motivation, Cognition, and Learning: Essays in 
Honor of Wilbert J. McKeachie. (p3). Hillsdale, NJ: 
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 

[10] , McKeachie J, W (1994) Student Motivation, 
Cognition, and Learning: Essays in Honor of Wilbert J. 
McKeachie. Pintrich, RR.; Brown, D,R. And Weinstein, C,E.; 
(Eds) Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates 

[11] , Moran, Louise., 8c Rumble, Greville, (Eds). (2004) 
Vocational Education and Training through Open and 
Distance Learning (pp 3). New York: Routledge. 

[12] , Morrison, Dan. (2003). E-Learning Strategies: Howto 
Get Implementation and Delivery Right First Time. New 
York: Wiley. 

[13] , Nardi, D. (2001). Multiple intelligences and 
personality type: Tools and strategies tor developing 
human potential. Huntington Beach: Telos. 

[14] , Perry, C. and Ball, I. (2005). Emotional intelligence 
and teaching: Further validation evidence. Issues In 
Educational Research, 15(2), 175-192. Retrieved February 
2009, from http://www.iier.org.au/iierl 5/perry, ht ml 


[1 5] , Piskurich, Janet F. (2004) Voices from the Edge of E- 
Learning, In Harry, Keith, (Ed), Higher Education through 
Open and Distance Learning (p 1). London: Routledge. 

[16] , Sternberg, R. (1985). Beyond IQ: ATriarchic Theory of 
Human Intelligence. New York: Freeman. 

[1 7], Taylor, R, 8c Maor, D. (2000, February 2-4). Assessing 
the efficacy of online teaching with the Constructivist 
Online Learning Environment Survey. Paper presented at 
the Flexible Futures in Tertiary Learning, Teaching Learning 
Forum, Perth, Western Australia.http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/t 
If2000/taylor.html 

[18] , VanderStoep, Scott W, 8c Seifert, Colleen M. (1994). 
Problem Solving, Transfer, and Thinking, In Pintrich, Paul R, 
8c Brown, Donald R, 8c Weinstein, Claire E (Eds), Student 
Motivation, Cognition, and Learning: Essays in Honor of 
Wilbert J. McKeachie. (p 3). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence 
Erlbaum Associates. 

[19] , Vince, Russ. (2004). Rethinking Strategic Learning, 
New York: Routledge Falmer. 

[20] , Wild, M., Oliver, R., Phillips, R., Rehn, G. 8c Dickinson, 
R. (1994). What is the problem to which interactive 
multimedia is the solution? Views on the nature, place and 
value of multimedia in education. Issues In Educational 
Research, 4(2), 57-79. Retrieved February 2009, from 
http://education.curtin.edu.au/iier/iier4/wild.html 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR 


Dr. Jocasta Collier has more than 10 years experience in the education sector from primary school teaching and TAFE lecturing 
to the development of training materials for FESA and creating the Energy Systems Management Masters course for UWA 
(Mechanical Engineering). She is currently working as the Blended Learning Coordinator (Academic) to develop the School of 
Mechanical Engineering's online delivery of both post graduate and undergraduate unit materials. Fter research interests 
include online learning, education, engineering, environmental science, theatre and the successful and innovative delivery of 
tertiary education. In addition to her teaching qualification she also received her Masters from Murdoch for which she was 
awarded both the Thelma Hardy and WAIER awards for educational research. She completed her Ph.D in August2007. 



30 


i-manager's Journal of Educational Technology, Vol. 5 • No. 4 • January - March 2009