Publication Details

Dearlove, J. & Rowley, J. (2010). Enhancing learning through strategies lecturers use: A snapshot of students' learning at a satellite campus. JANZSSA: journal of the Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association, 35 1-23.


This study sought to investigate undergraduate Education and Commerce students’ perceptions of learning within a distributed learning environment at the Loftus Education Centre (LEC), University of Wollongong (UOW). The LEC was established in 2003 as part of a distributed learning environment comprising regional campuses and centres to enable UOW to deliver tertiary education opportunities to regional students. It offers both undergraduate and post-graduate degrees. The distance of Loftus from the hub campus requires that, for reasons of economy and efficiency, studies often involve a blended learning approach. Also, the campus is small in size (an enrolment of 286 in 2009), which is a feature that allows for the development of cohesive on-campus learning communities. Thus, its size and its distance from the main campus are features which influence both the nature of the teaching and the learning that takes place. An open-ended questionnaire, based on the instrument used by Calder and Daly (2007) at James Cook University, asked students to identify strategies used by Loftus lecturers that assisted students’ learning. They were also asked which features of their subject environment contributed to their learning. The findings revealed differences between this study and the James Cook University study, raising questions about student engagement and highlighting possibilities for the effective use of blended learning in a distributed learning environment. The findings from the two faculties in this study share a number of similarities and a key difference in relation to technology. This suggests and affordance gap that could be dealt with by student and staff planning of the environment and the technologies used.