Reality at the coal face

Melanie Birks, Janet Buchan, John Smithson, Philip Norris

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


Online and blended learning modalities have made education accessible to those whose lifestyle, work obligations or geographical location would otherwise deny them such opportunities. The enthusiasm with which such approaches to learning have been embraced has often overlooked those factors within physical and virtual learning spaces that impact on the educational experience. This paper reports on the first phase of a study that sought to engender a Community of Active Learners who are Flexible, Adaptive, Connected and Engaged (the COAL FACE project). Through analysis of focus group data, the authors describe processes of participants getting access to the learning spaces and resources, getting comfortable in this environment, and getting connected to support mechanisms that enhance the learning and teaching.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of ASCILITE 2014
Subtitle of host publicationAnnual Conference of the Australian Society for Computers in Tertiary Education
EditorsBronwyn Hegarty, Jenny McDonald, Swee-Kin Loke
Place of PublicationTugun QLD Australia
PublisherAustralasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780473307509
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventAnnual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education 2014 - Dunedin, New Zealand
Duration: 23 Nov 201426 Nov 2014
Conference number: 31st (Conference website) (Conference Proceedings)


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education 2014
Abbreviated titleASCILITE 2014
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
Internet address


  • Blended learning
  • Learning spaces
  • Multi-campus environments
  • Nursing education

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