Teaching Human Biology to Large First Year Classes: an eLearning Journey for Students and Staff

Osu Lilje, Mary Peat


This paper reports on a journey that has seen the remodelling and redevelopment over a ten year period of a first year human biology course. The students enrolled in the current course are enrolled in many different degree programs (about 15) and thus come with different expectations and aspirations. The course was first introduced in 1996 as a second semester course that not only assumed the knowledge from a prior first semester tertiary level biology course but also the benefit of a semester of tertiary study where the emphasis was student-centred rather than teacher-directed. It is currently a first semester course and additional help is being added to provide for the transition from school to university.

The move from a fully face-to-face to a blended learning environment started in 1998 with the replacement of one lecture a week with an independent student activity that could be done anywhere and at anytime. Then, in response to student requests, more of the content of the curriculum was presented in the online environment with an emphasis on blending the face-to-face activities with the online components, using these online components to direct the overall learning activities.

Evidence that indicates we are providing a supportive blended learning environment is reported here.

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