Factors influencing the uptake of Web-based learning in the Australian Army Diane Newton Allan Ellis SOUTHERN CROSS UNIVERSITY
Research aims • To understand what factors were influencing the Army’s development and delivery of CBL • To understand the perspectives of soldiers involved in CBL development and delivery • What is the role of perspectives in development and delivery of CBL?
Research method • Two rounds of interviews with CBL course design and development team (2004, 2005) • Interviews and questionnaires: managers, students (Regular and Reserve), instructors • Classroom observations, historical documents, Army evaluations
What is influencing the uptake of Web-Based Learning? Technical Factors External Factors WBL Uptake Learners’ Needs Cultural Factors Workplace Factors
Technical factors + External Dept of Defence Web-based Learning Project (LMS) + - Standard Operating Equipment updates + - Design software compatibility with SOE - Defence Restricted Network bandwidth availability - Access to DRN and computers in training establishments inconsistent
Cultural factors + High level managerial support: sustainability + Army Training System and instructional design principles: standardisation + - Need to communicate Army culture-values, customs and belief - Authoritarian instructor-student relationship - ‘Turf wars’ over control and methods of training. ‘Blame culture’
Workplace factors + Experienced development team: mentoring, collaboration, consultants +Development of effective project management methods for CBL - Instructors’ resistance and unfamiliarity. Need ‘champions’ - Hierarchical communication. Need for two-way communication between production and delivery sectors
Learners’ needs + - Focus on providing structured, interactive media-rich courses + Variety of learning styles included in CBL + Need relevant and current content - Assumptions of computer literacy - One size fits all - Inexperienced with distance learning
‘Developer’ view of technology • ADDIE Model - Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluation • ‘The implementation phase remains a mystery to many…’ • ‘Technically advanced and instructionally sound products will be desired by end users solely because of their technological superiority’ (Surry & Ensminger 2003).
‘Adopter’ view of technology • ‘Focus on needs and opinions of potential adopters and characteristics of adoption site’ • ‘The end user is the primary force for change’ • ‘The growth of technology is an evolutionary process.’ (Surry & Farquhar 1997)
What factors influence effective WBL implementation? Cultural Social The adoption of WBL is an evolving process of aligning technical, cultural, social, political, external and workplace factors to meet learners’ needs. Effective communication is essential for this process. Political Communication Delivery Development Learners Communication Workplace Technical External
Thank you Diane Newton firstname.lastname@example.org Allan Ellis email@example.com Full Paper: http://www.ntechmedia.com/AusWeb/papers/refereed/newton/paper.html