The evaluation of educational benefits of online learning tools on student performance in a major assessment item across two higher education institutions in Australia

Abdullah Karaksha*, Russ Chess-Williams, Candice Holani, Andrew K. Davey, Shailendra Anoopkumar-Dukie, Gary Grant, Anthony V. Perkins, Niru S. Nirthanan, Catherine McDermott

*Corresponding author for this work

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


Background: Online learning tools (e-tools) offer a number of inherent features such as independence of time of learning. However, despite several decades of research in the use of computers in education, recent studies show that e-tools implementation has not been as extensive as expected.

Purpose: The purposes of this study were to: evaluate the educational benefit of e-tools, designed and produced in-house, on student performance in a major assessment item for pharmacology curriculums in two universities, and evaluate the importance of aligning the objectives of the course with the e-tool content.

Methods: A retrospective, qualitative and quantitative study was conducted to evaluate the impact of adding e-tools, as supplements to the pharmacology curriculums in 2012, on student learning across two Australian universities; Griffith and Bond. Student attitudes towards the e-tools were assessed using a survey. Student uptake of the e-tools was evaluated by the Blackboard data. Finally, student performance in the first major assessment exams, after the deployment of the e-tools, was analysed in two academic years (2011 versus 2012) to evaluate the improvement in learning at each university.

Results: Overall, students preferred the addition of e-tools to supplement their standard curriculum. The uptake of the e-tools was significantly higher at Bond compared to Griffith. However, students from Griffith performed significantly better in the 2012 exam when compared to 2011. No significant difference in performance was observed at Bond across the two academic years.

Conclusions: Students have a positive attitude towards the implementation of e-tools as supplements to the standard curriculum. However, e-tools should be aligned with the course aims and objectives to be effective in student learning.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationINTED2016 Proceedings: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
EditorsLG Chova, AL Martinez, IC Torres
PublisherIATED Academy
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-84-608-5617-7
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED) - Valencia, Valencia, Spain
Duration: 7 Mar 20169 Mar 2016
Conference number: 10th

Publication series

NameINTED Proceedings
ISSN (Print)2340-1079


Conference10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED)
Abbreviated titleINTED2016
Internet address

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