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Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education

Yıl 2004 , Cilt 5 , Sayı 3

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Benefits of an online discussion list in a traditional distance education course

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Central Queensland University1
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With a changing composition of the student population in higher education, there is a greater push for flexible delivery of courses. The student role is often a secondary one, with many students engaged in full time primary tasks associated with their career or family. The ability of these students to have contact with other students and their lecturer without spending inconvenient and large amounts time on campus is a now a common feature that motivates their choice of course and institution. Distance education, in being both time and place independent, is an attractive study option for these students who cannot commit to the role of the traditional internal student because of life circumstances. In order to meet learning outcomes, educators may need to be flexible in their choice of teaching tools in distance education delivery. This paper outlines the challenges faced in teaching a course on recreational drug use and abuse via distance education. Initially using traditional print based educational materials, the lecturer had difficulty offering students the opportunity to challenge negative stereotypes and assumptions relating to drug use. This paper chronicles the introduction and evaluation of an asynchronous discussion list based on the constructivist model of learning.

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