THE EVOLUTION AND APPLICATION OF E-LEARNING/TECHNOLOGY ENHANCED LEARNING OF EXERCISE AND SPORT SCIENCE IN AUSTRALIA
The Australian context the delivery of higher education has changed dramatically over the past ten years with an evolution from face-to-face classroom based internal delivery of content and skills to external/distance education delivery with an almost complete dependence on E-Learning/ technology enhanced learning. Many factors cited for the benefits of e-learning and include flexible times better suited for students or 24 hour/day access, flexible locations almost anywhere nationally or internationally and dependent on internet access, diverse and enriching experiences such as intercultural and intergenerational dialogue, access and equity providing diverse mechanisms for participation (a commonly espoused concept in Australia), diverse contexts as virtual classrooms, diverse industry contexts and multiple dialogues, capability via multiple modes of analytics to map student-teacher interactions, information sharing and enhanced via digital information formats as text, video, podcasts, YouTube, collaborate recordings and so on. Online education can use extensive search engines, digital libraries and social networking tools to find, access and share information, resources and materials. At the higher education administration level online education can streamline some administrative aspects of teaching as marking mass communication to students, uploading assessments (non hardcopy model), automated marking, setting-up collaborate groups and facilitating final grade allocations. However with this evolution more creative and innovative teaching and assessment methods are required, especially considering the exercise and sport science is a discipline with a significant emphasis on the development of practical skills with motor elements as well as in its current form represents a technologically dependent discipline. The paper will describe how the program evolved from an internal model of delivery with minimal e-learning dependence to a predominantly an e-learning dependent external model as the clients moved to predominantly external students. The current ratio of internal to external is currently 1:3 respectively. Outcomes of the trend to externalisation was the development of the first external exercise and sport science degree in Australia, development of significant learning infrastructure (both human and technology), redesign of laboratories and classrooms to capture real time lectures and practical as well as for storage in digital libraries, constant upgrading of LearnLine functionality (technology enhanced learning) and enhanced interactive functionality when staff-student and student-student communicate. A decisional balance model was also implemented to assess the positive and negative outcome when utilising of E-Learning/ technology enhanced learning.