ECER 2000 Proceedings
Title of paper with abstract or introductory passage
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Factors influencing learners' perceptions of the quality of computer based learning materials
This paper reports on a research study conducted in the UK, exploring learners’ perceptions of the quality of computer based learning materials. It is argued that with the continuing shift from training to learning, the encouragement of lifelong learning from the UK government and an increasing emphasis on individual and collective learning to enhance competitive advantage, there are increasing pressures to find innovative and effective approaches to learning within organisations. New education and training technologies are emerging, offering potentially accessible, flexible and affordable opportunities for learning. With the growing supply of computer based learning materials, and as responsibility for developing employees shifts, it is important for managers and HRD practitioners to be able to judge the quality of ICT based learning resources to assure effective learning. Yet, this is often a difficult task and a potential barrier to the use of computer based learning. Researchers in the Centre for Learning Development at the University of Wales Bangor have developed a series of evaluation tools within a quality assurance system. A feature of the Learner Evaluation Tool is the use of qualitative methods to elicit learners’ experiences. This data enables managers and HRD practitioners to recognise, understand and address factors - identified by learners themselves - that might influence, positively or negatively, the effectiveness of ICT based learning in education and work contexts. The paper explores qualitative data associated with learners’ quality judgements and identifies factors influencing learning. Research findings suggest that the same factors could be both positive and negative features, highlighting the complexity and subjectivity of investigating learners’ perceptions of the quality of computer based learning materials. However, it is argued that identifying such factors is an important step enabling managers and HRD practitioners to recognise how learning might be hindered or helped within the ICT context.
Manning, Sabine; Raffe, David (eds.). 2000. VETNET ECER 2000 proceedings: Current research in European vocational education and human resource development. Berlin: Wissenschaftsforum Bildung und Gesellschaft e.V. [Internet: http://www.b.shuttle.de/wifo/vet/ecer00.htm].