Title: Exploring student adaptation to new learning environments: some unexpected outcomes

Authors: Peter G. Taylor, Hitendra Pillay, John A. Clarke

Addresses: Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia. ' Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. ' Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia '

Abstract: The emerging knowledge-based society is transforming pedagogical practices in the post-compulsory education sector. One feature of this transformation is the substantial investment in new learning environments (NLEs), characterised by decreasing use of face-to-face teaching and a corresponding increase in use of information and communication technologies. While the rapid evolution of NLEs has been driven by economic/commercial forces and technological advances, and advocates claim enhanced learning outcomes, there is little critical understanding of how this is achieved or manifested. This paper reports empirically-based research that is seeking to develop a grounded understanding, from the learners| perspective, of the effects of participation in NLEs. The research site is an Australian purpose-built flexible learning mode university campus where web-based resources augment on-campus face-to-face activities. The research design involves a three-year longitudinal study of students, tracking their developmental patterns in perceptions, attitudes and beliefs. Data collection involves annual measures of learning approaches, perceptions of learning environments and epistemological reflections, along with biannual group interviews. Outcomes of aspects of the first year data are reported, highlighting patterns in students| reactions not evident in previous literature and which have potentially significant pedagogical implications.

Keywords: deep approaches to learning; surface approaches to learning; epistemological reflection; flexible learning; information technologies; communication technologies; new learning environments; peer-based learning; perceptions of learning environments; traditional learning environments.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLT.2004.003684

International Journal of Learning Technology, 2004 Vol.1 No.1, pp.100 - 110

Published online: 06 Nov 2003 *

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