Optimising the use of online technology for learning and teaching science

Joy Penman, Jyothi Thalluri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the introduction of online initiatives, namely, electronic learning communities, online selfassessments, online problem-based conferencing, and the inclusion of multi-media learning tools to offer practically oriented science learning to urban and regional science students. It examines the issues surrounding the implementation of these technological innovations by identifying the perceptions of the students about their use, illuminating their impact on students, and clarifying the practical issues encountered in the application of these online initiatives. A descriptive analytical approach was used to explore the experiences of students in the use of these innovations. The technological initiatives are embedded in the Thalluri-Penman Best Practice Model for teaching and learning sciences for health science students. This model aims to improve the learning experiences of science students and increase student retention and success rates. The model also links students from urban and rural areas, studying both on- and off-campus, with the university campus and with co-students and is primarily structured to boost students' confidence in studying sciences. Findings of the evaluations show that the technology exemplified in this paper provides: an approximation of face-to-face lecturing when it is not possible for a lecturer to be at the same site as the class; enhance communication between students and lecturers; and help students access, collaborate and interact with each other. The use of technology that is carefully considered in each stage of the program has been shown to enhance the quality of university teaching and learning, allowing students greater accessibility, flexibility and interaction.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th International Conference on e-Learning (ICEL 2013)
EditorsEunice Ivala
Place of PublicationReading UK
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Ltd.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781909507289
ISBN (Print)9781909507265
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on e-Learning 2013 - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 27 Jun 201328 Jun 2013
Conference number: 8th


ConferenceInternational Conference on e-Learning 2013
Abbreviated titleICEL 2013
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
CityCape Town


  • E-learning
  • Flexibility
  • Learning and teaching
  • Online technology

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