Griffith University established its Logan campus in 1998.
At the same time, the Logan Evaluation Working Party was established to oversee a three-phase evaluation process of the new learning environment offered there.
The final phase of the evaluation having now been completed, the university has summarised the following strengths and limitations of the Logan campus:

  • Staff have been encouraged to become more innovative teachers

  • Students have responded positively to the enthusiasm and commitment of staff

  • Students have perceived themselves as more independent, self-managed learners

  • A significant element of choice in course and program design has been offered to students

  • Online learning has enabled students to study when and where they wish

  • The supportive environment offered by university support services (eg Library, orientation program, learning assistance unit) is highly regarded by students, and

  • Students perceive they had attained various generic skills through learning in this mode (eg time management, group work, writing skills, the ability to deal with challenges).

  • Limitations
  • Staff experiencing lack of institutional support, frustration with and/or lack of commitment to teaching at Logan can impact negatively on students? experiences of learning

  • Developing flexible learning materials is, for staff, a time-consuming process. Lack of recognition of the time involved has resulted in some staff reverting to more "traditional" teaching modes

  • Some teacher-centredness was perceived by students in many third-year courses

  • Significant student uncertainty about whether the teaching methods they experienced were effective in helping them to learn

  • The factor which limits the effectiveness of the course websites seems to be the construction of sites primarily for knowledge transmission.
    Students have reacted negatively to poorly designed and unclear assessment items, inconsistent advice and inadequate or unhelpful feedback

  • "Disastrous" experiences of students and staff with videoconferencing
    Failure of staff and students to use the learning centres for their teaching and learning function, and

  • Limited access to academic staff (eg late responses to emails).

  • The Logan campus evaluation, while focused mainly on staff and student perceptions and self-reported outcomes, nonetheless offers some useful insights into successful flexible learning innovations, including:
  • Flexible learning principles (student choice, student-centredness) should be understood by both students and staff

  • Staff commitment to the pedagogy is probably important in maintaining students? positive perceptions. Therefore, staff induction should be more thorough

  • Flexible learning requires appropriate resourcing, and

  • While independent learning is an aim, an appropriate balance of independence, interaction and guidance needs to be achieved.

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