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Journal cover: Campus-Wide Information Systems

Campus-Wide Information Systems

ISSN: 1065-0741

Online from: 1984

Subject Area: Education

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Educational and institutional flexibility of Australian educational software

Document Information:
Title:Educational and institutional flexibility of Australian educational software
Author(s):Simon Shurville, (School of Computer and Information Science, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia), Thomas (Barry) O'Grady, (Curtin Business School, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia), Peter Mayall, (Curtin Business School, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia)
Citation:Simon Shurville, Thomas (Barry) O'Grady, Peter Mayall, (2008) "Educational and institutional flexibility of Australian educational software", Campus-Wide Information Systems, Vol. 25 Iss: 2, pp.74 - 84
Keywords:Australia, Change management, Computer software, Distance learning, Higher education
Article type:Viewpoint
DOI:10.1108/10650740810866576 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – This paper aims to provide context for papers in this special issue on Australasian e-learning. The paper aims to examine the background to Australian flexible and transnational education and to evaluate the educational and intuitional flexibility of three typical products of the Australian educational software industry.

Design/methodology/approach – The history of Australian distance education is summarised and drivers for flexible education are presented. A model of flexible educational software is introduced with three dimensions: educational, institutional and support/training. Three educational software products are informally reviewed using this model to establish that the current generation of Australian educational software offers significant educational and institutional flexibility.

Findings – The three examples of Australian educational software rate highly in both educational and institutional flexibility and also offer excellent support.

Research limitations/implications – The existence of hot spots of educational technology innovation in relatively isolated areas such as Perth and Tasmania warrants further investigation.

Practical implications – The Australian educational software industry produces extremely flexible products with excellent support that are worthy of consideration by international customers. Policy makers in Australia are alerted that current policies in ICT off shoring and the Australian Research Quality Framework (equivalent to the British Research Assessment Exercise) may threaten this industry, which contributes to sizable exports in transnational education.

Originality/value – The paper brings the flexible nature of Australian educational software to light for an international audience.

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