Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Yeatman, H and Stace, R, in Kevill, R, Oliver R & Phillips, R (eds), What works and why. Proceedings of the 14th Annual Conference of ASCILITE, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia, 1997, 647-651.


A study was undertaken of the effectiveness of incorporating e-mail contact and access to the world wide web within a graduate subject. Students were surveyed at the commencement of the subject to determine their access to and perceived competence in using computers, and at the end of the subject to elicit their views of the effectiveness of the subject materials. Strategies identified to improve student access and use of electronic media, included: very basic, hands-on tutorials; availability of and access to computers; incorporating use of electronic media into assessments; and availability of technical support. Advantages of using electronic media cited by students included: useful for contacting teaching staff and other students; and useful for accessing information. On-going problems cited by students, included: a new form of time wasting; (un)reliability of website information; difficulties accessing appropriate and relevant information; and poor availability of on-campus computers. This study demonstrated that the effectiveness and efficiency of IT in the educational environment is directly related to the educational relevance of IT services, and ease of access by students to computers. Additionally, there exists several student groups who have neither expertise nor confidence in using computers and limited access to them, making the mandatory use of such facilities in a teaching program problematic.