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Distance education and ‘discovery learning’ in first-year journalism: A case in subject improvement
journal contributionposted on 12.12.2017, 00:00 by Kathryn Ames
This paper examines the implications of adopting a discovery learning education model in a first year undergraduate journalism subject taught by distance education and to on-campus students at a university in Australia over a period of three years. It reviews subject enhancement strategies against learning theory, and analyses the ways in which students engaged with subject content and assessment. Results of subject redesign included increased student satisfaction, greater retention, and more authentic grades despite the subject being more challenging and an increase in overall assessment requirements. It demonstrates that discovery learning based on groupwork and social engagement can be adopted in a distance education environment with successful outcomes. This paper maps the redesign from a subject designed initially along cognitivist/behaviourist model to one that adopts a social constructivist approach and discusses the issues associated with that transition.