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Developing effective digitally-enhanced blended learning environments: A comparative study of Australian universities

Philip Uys, Janet Buchan, Linda Ward
Charles Sturt University

Blended learning has become a prominent trend in university learning and teaching. This raises various questions for traditional distance as well as face-to-face universities internationally and in particular in Australia. A key area where many issues arise is the development process to create effective digitally-enhanced learning environments within a blended learning milieu. A comparative study of Australian Universities has been conducted in 2006 to identify factors in the development of learning materials and environments that support effective blended learning that is digitally enhanced. The prominent team-approach for the development of learning materials (Bates, 1993; DEC working party, 1989; Garrison, 1989; Holmberg, 1995) has been one of the foci of the study. Innovative approaches have been identified in learning material development that could benefit both Australian and international universities that are pursuing blended learning which is digitally enhanced.

Keywords: blended learning, instructional design, higher education, collaborative learning