Flexible resources for flexible courses – are these really helping students perform in an assessment-driven learning environment?

R.J. Kewley


At this regional university, second year Human Biochemistry is taught concurrently in both the face-to-face and distance education modes. Consequently, a variety of different resources are made available through an online subject portal, to assist all students in their learning. However, despite the availability of different resources, assessment in biochemistry is still predominantly examinationbased, and subsequently student learning remains focused on “what will be in the exam?”. This pilot study examined how students studying biochemistry differently perceived an array of flexible learning resources provided to them, and examined whether there was a relationship between overall subject performance and the usefulness of different flexible resources.

Following the completion of Human Biochemistry, face-to-face students were contacted and surveyed on their perceived usefulness of the different resources made available to them. Students who completed the questionnaire also gave permission for their final grade to be compared to the questionnaire responses.

This paper discusses the types of resources made available to students and their perceived usefulness. Furthermore, this paper attempts to evaluate the possible effectiveness of flexible resources in assisting students in their preparation for examination-based assessment tasks.

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