A French Master’s degree in e-learning: Are the students’ needs met?
In 2004, a new 2-year Master’s programme on “Knowledge Management, Learning and e-learning” in the Language Sciences department of the University of Montpellier 3 was devised. The first year of the programme is both on and off-campus, and the second year is entirely off-campus. Some students enter the second year directly from the first-year course while other students enter from other Universities (either based in France or abroad).
Two years down the track, after a full cycle completed by students, we were keen to check how well we know our learners and to what extent their true needs are met. A questionnaire was designed and issued to students, tutors and teachers involved in the programme. At an initial stage of the research, questionnaire results were examined and provided knowledge about the “typical” learner and indicated if and how their needs have been met so far in relation to the Master’s programme as it is currently structured. At a second stage, current models for online teaching/learning (Salmon’s five stage model, Salmon, 2000) are discussed and compared with the Master’s programme. Suggestions are made on how the programme can be improved based on both learner profile/needs and current online teaching/learning trends.
Keywords: teaching and learning strategies, learning communities, collaborative learning, computer-mediated communication, educational paradigms