SpannerBack Home

Teaching and Learning a Technical Subject. The Impact of Information Technology

George Cho*
University of Canberra

This study attempts to understand how students learn a technical subject and in the process help the teacher learn how best to deliver the teaching material. The technical subject is Geographic Information systems (GIS) a second-year subject. The curriculum and content of the subject is heavily reliant on the use of information technology. The approach adopted in this study is the action learning model. The underlying philosophy is the idea that each of us learns through action and through a reflection of the consequences of our actions. By reflecting we become more critically aware of our actions and the way we frame our problems. We also learn about our values and assumptions and how they influence how we think and what we do.

After a literature review several hypotheses are formulated concerning the modes of learning and associated learning theories. The survey methods and analysis are discussed in terms of the types of questions used in the questionnaire and the results of student interviews. Major findings about student learning, teacher learning and structural changes to the teaching programme are discussed. From this study, international comparisons are made using a similar methodology but with a different cohort of students. While on study leave, the author undertook a similar comparative study of students at Liverpool University, Maynooth College and University College Cork, Ireland. The results of these studies are being analysed and form part of this work-in-progress report.

Back to Posters and Works in Progress Index

This page maintained by Rod Kevill. (Last updated: Monday, 1 December 1997)
NOTE: The page was created by an automated process from the emailed abstract and may vary slightly in formatting and layout from the author's original.