Online learning systems are rapidly changing the nature of teaching and learning. Large amounts of resources are being put into their development, despite inconclusive evidence of their effectiveness and a lack of pragmatic, empirically supported guidelines to aid the design and development process. A profusion of learning theories has added little to the enterprise with a critical review showing that that the dominant learning theory at any point over the past 30 years has mirrored the characteristics of the latest learning technology. In a complex research domain, this study proposes a research methodology which foregrounds teaching practitioners' experience and beliefs and seeks to investigate the differences in both teaching theory and practice between disciplines. Using a University-wide trial of online learning, the ongoing study will compare the learning theories and design decisions made by development teams across the University's discipline areas.
Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) 43rd Annual Meeting, Houston, Texas, United States, 27 September-01 October 1999,
Vol. 1, p. 410-414