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dc.contributor.authorScott, Donald E.
dc.contributor.supervisorDr. Kathryn Dixon
dc.contributor.supervisorDr. Lou Siragusa

This study was a 360 degree exploration of the effectiveness of online learning experiences facilitated via Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) by incorporating the insights afforded by students, their lecturers, and the administrator responsible for a VoIP trial in an Australian university. Also examined were the teaching considerations in designing effective online learning experiences and institutional rationale for adopting VoIP. This research investigated potential relationships between the adult learners’ motivations to engage with the Voice-over-Internet- Protocol learning environment and their multiple intelligences (Gardner’s theory) and learning management styles (Lessem’s Spectral Management theory)A pragmatic paradigm underpinned the mixed methods approach whereby questionnaires and inventories were used to ascertain students’ multiple intelligences, learning management styles, and their perceptions of the learning experiences. An interpretive orientation was represented in the use of in-depth interview data, content analysis of reflective journals, and open-ended data from the questionnaires. These data enabled richer insights into students’ perceptions of their learning environment and motivations, and academics’ perceptions of teaching and administrative imperatives.The conceptual framework (Figure 2.1) paid homage to the university student as the central figure in the teaching and learning cycle. Teaching and learning should remain a cyclical process whereby students learn from the academics’ knowledge and their design of sound pedagogical experiences; contrastingly, lecturers learn about the effectiveness of their practice from student feedback and achievement. Lecturers are able to improve their pedagogical practice through professional development activities. Hence, good teaching and learning are the two key aspects in the literature identified as appropriate in this study. Student focus is on their learning; hence, the domains of adult learning and motivation are important inclusions. Additionally, it is useful to explore the knowledge-base related to learning styles and multiple intelligences. As this study has educational technology as a significant theme, it is important to include literature relating to teaching with technology. The Business capstone course in this case was designed by pedagogical and content experts and utilised a team approach as the core teaching strategy. Therefore, cooperative learning, good teaching, and an outline of the context of university teaching in Australia provided insights into this case.A significant finding in this study was that students preferred face-to-face and blended learning over purely online delivery. Good teaching was a major issue for students and they were articulate in describing what assisted them in their learning and were critical of poor pedagogical practices. Students desired positive relationships with their lecturers, and needed instructor-guidance and clear coursework structures. Students’ priorities were good teaching, having control over their learning, and working effectively in collaborative teams. Students were motivated by facilities such as VoIP which increased the convenience factor in their studies. Learning communities were established by the students within face-to-face modes but were not as successfully established within the VoIP medium. They were motivated by working together in productive groups and enjoyed developing and refining their professional skills, such as leadership, communication, and teamwork. They were motivated by aspects of the course (including the VoIP) which they perceived to be directly relevant to career-oriented, pragmatic knowledge and skills.From the academic perspective, VoIP was successful in creating online interactive environments, although more professional development was needed so that the full power of the medium could be utilised. Administratively, it was also found to be effective in providing a stable teaching and learning medium ensuring against potential disruptions due to global instability.Students’ multiple intelligences were distributed across the eight intelligences, with the three predominant being musical/rhythmic, kinaesthetic, and visual/spatial, respectively. A similar distribution was found for the seven learning management styles with the predominant being “indigo” with a ‘developmental’ management and ‘intuitive’ learning style; “green” with an ‘enterprising’ management and ‘energising’ learning style; and, third, “orange” with a ‘people-oriented’ management and ‘responsive’ learning style.VoIP was found to be suitable for all students regardless of their multiple intelligences and learning management styles. There was no statistical correlation found linking students’ learning management styles, with multiple intelligences and their motivation to engage with the VoIP environment. Learning management styles and multiple intelligences were found to be distinct constructs with no interrelationships. There were weak relationships found though between individuals who were ‘people-oriented’; ‘energised’ and ‘enterprising’; and/or ‘managers of change’ with an enthusiasm for things ‘experimental’ in terms of their learning management style, whereby they had greater affinity for, and motivation to engage with VoIP learning experiences. Similarly, those whose multiple intelligences were people-, interpersonally-, and verbally-oriented were more receptive to this synchronous interactive (VoIP) environment. Even so, all students reported VoIP as being a positive experience.Australian universities have become an essential economic export commodity in a competitive global market. Therefore, university administrators and their government counterparts are understandably focused on enhancing institutional reputations to ensure the ongoing sustainability of this lucrative market. A key performance indicator of the quality of universities is students’ satisfaction with their learning experiences, which relates to word-of-mouth marketing of programmes. Business, industry and other employers make judgements about the institutional quality based upon perceptions of graduates’ knowledge and professional skills. Hence, graduate performance in the workplace can positively influence future enrolment, demand for graduates from particular institutions, and research funding opportunities. This highlights the importance of quality teaching and learning to institutional reputation. This means university leaders must set realistic goals for their staff and actively support teaching and learning priorities.Two models, Webs of Enhanced Practice and the Webs of Enhanced Learning, have been developed as a result of the findings of this research. The first model focuses on the macro context and relates to the professional development of academics with the view to improving teaching practice. It is a blended networking model which encompasses academics, their leaders, technologists, content and pedagogical experts, and students. In this multi-modal interaction model, professional development is reconceptualised as a more flexible, technologically-blended, and holistic approach. The second model, Webs of Enhanced Learning, is a micro model which articulates how the impact of the first model relates to good learning and teaching within the university classroom. This model describes how academic development can translate to better learning and assessment for students. It also identifies the potential for more student-to-student interaction and the learning which can be facilitated as a result of these collaborations. These models, working in concert, aim to facilitate better learning and teaching at the student level, academic professional development level, and to further organisational goals for quality teaching and learning and institutional reputation.

dc.publisherCurtin University
dc.subjectmultiple intelligences (Gardner's theory)
dc.subjectinstitutional rationale
dc.subjectVoice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP)
dc.subjectuniversity students
dc.subjectonline learning experiences
dc.subjectlearning management styles (Lessem's Spectral Management theory)
dc.titleEffective online learning experiences: exploring potential relationships between Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) learning environments and adult learners’ motivation, multiple intelligences, and learning styles
curtin.departmentSchool of Education
curtin.accessStatusOpen access

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