The application of the results of learning environments research to an innovative teacher-designed website

Year: 2005

Author: Chandra, Vinesh, Fisher, Darrell

Type of paper: Refereed paper

For more than 30 years, proven qualitative and quantitative research methods associated with learning environments research have yielded productive results for educators. A variety of learning environment instruments has been developed over the years to gather quantitative data. The Web-based Learning Environment Instrument (WEBLEI) (Chang & Fisher, 2003) was developed to evaluate online learning in higher education. In this research, a modified version of the WEBLEI was used for the first time to evaluate students’ perceptions of their blended web-based learning environment in a high school setting. The feedback generated through the WEBLEI was used in the development of Getsmart – a teacher-designed website for students studying junior science and physics at a Queensland Secondary School. Qualitative data was also gathered through written surveys and emails. The research involved more than four hundred students over a two year period. This paper presents the perceptions of these students of their learning environment and how it influenced the development of the website. The paper also presents the changes in the perceptions of a group of physics students during the course of the research. It also highlights the effectiveness of the modified version of the WEBLEI in a high school environment.