The present study investigates the views and attitudes of both the students and staff with regard to the usefulness of electronic course support throughout all four years of the MPharm programme at Aston University. Students were sampled between January and March 2001 using a self-completion questionnaire administered during the start of a practical or tutorial class. All internal academic staff were interviewed using a semi-structured interview format. Response rates were 100 and 89.5%, respectively. The study found that students rapidly embraced the use of electronic course support within the undergraduate programme, although they view its role as augmenting traditional course delivery. This view was mirrored by the academic staff, although only around a half currently place their material on the University's virtual learning environment (VLE), WebCT. The failure of staff to completely embrace the VLE is grounded in a lack of confidence and ability in its use. A majority of the academic staff indicated that they wish to be trained further in the use of information technology. Academic institutions need to understand and meet these needs in parallel with the introduction of any electronic course support.
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- electronic course support
- learning and teaching
- virtual learning environments