In October 2016 another Flinders NT staff member celebrated their doctoral graduation in Darwin.
Dr Helen Wozniak graduated from the School of Health, Faculty of Engineering, Health, Science and the Environment, Charles Darwin University with her PhD. Supervised by Professor Rose McEldowney the title of her thesis was: ‘Get Ready, Get Learning: Investigating university students’ transition to online distance learning in the health sciences‘.
Helen was joined by family members and also supported by Dr Narelle Campbell at the graduation ceremony, leading to a celebration with family and friends!
A brief synopsis of the thesis
Technological advances and policies to widen university participation have led to students choosing flexible, online, distance study options while managing complex lifestyle demands. Low retention of these cohorts currently plagues the higher education sector. An educational design research (EDR) framework was used to investigate student transition to online distance learning. Design principles embedding educational theories informed the creation of online orientation resources for undergraduate and postgraduate health science students at two universities. By studying student engagement with these resources this research contributed to: enhancement of the EDR methodology by integrating a conjecture mapping process; development of six refined design principles to guide student orientation to online distance learning; and, the crafting of a theoretical framework for transition to university study. These outcomes have the potential to reshape how universities support new online distance learners.
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