Abstract: Context: This article provides a case study which analyses the application of diverse online resources intended to enhance student engagement in post graduate courses in Project Management, delivered online and in class. These students are a diverse group of adult learners who work in different formats (e.g. Fly In Fly Out, shift work, open business hours etc.) and in different locations and time zones, therefore their online program needed to provide for asynchronistic learning and an adult learning pedagogy. The participants come from a wide range of professional backgrounds, with some having no Project Management experience, whilst others have 20 years or more of managing complex projects but no formal qualification. Students need to achieve the academic requirements of this Master's Degree, plus they have to gain an understanding of an advanced body of knowledge. To achieve this, the course educational designers had to identify what made learning interesting for this cohort and recognize different resources that could be used to stimulate their learning. What evolved were a number of different online learning resources within several courses within the MPM program, each designed to apply a different type of learning.
Purpose: What the researches seek to demonstrate is that by appreciating the characteristics of these learners, who they are, and how they learn, course developers need to develop online resources based on what they need to learn and achieve.
Approach: Different online learning resources/tools have been developed and introduced to the course. The online learning resources included: the development of video case studies; use of gamification; the creation of conflict and situational adversity, demonstrations utilising drop boxes and student interaction; video case studies and interviews. All these online resources required the development of extensive supporting documents, visuals, forums and activities. Both qualitative and quantitative data are being collected on the different online learning resources, including a comparison of student feedback matrices from before and after the introduction of the resources; student's comments and the lecturer views on students understanding gained.
Results: These digital learning resources/tools are being used for the first time in 2016. Initial data and qualitative comments from students have been highly supportive of these digital resources and initiatives. Currently there have been some good reactions to different learning resources. As the courses continue to be implemented, more specific and further data will be collected.
Conclusions: Though restricted by the characteristics of your learners there are different resources that can be applied to provide an effective learning mechanism. What online learning resources you develop will depend on your student cohort and what type of learning is required. With limited financial resources, educational developers need to judge what are the most effective online resources for their client group, given their learning needs, characteristics and academic requirements.
To cite this article: Jepson, Jacqueline Mary and Moulton, Deb. Different horses for different courses: Which online resources/tools work for different learning purposes? [online]. In: 27th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education : AAEE 2016. Lismore, NSW: Southern Cross University, 2016: 377-386.
[cited 23 Jun 17].