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Yuwanuch Gulatee

PhD candidate
Faculty of Computing, Health & Science

Research is a career boost

I had a choice, either continue along my career path at the same speed, or give myself a boost with a relevant qualification.

I'm grateful I chose the second path, because here I am at ECU, living and learning in a vibrant, diverse and supportive environment! ECU staff are always available to talk to, and are incredibly encouraging.

I began my research journey at ECU in 2006 and it has been a wonderful time in my life. I have learned about thesis preparation, understanding and valuing the software tools of NVivo and SPSS, and all the related issues with the support of the Graduate School and academic staff in School of Computer and Security Science, such as my supervisor (Justin Brown), my
co- supervisor (Barbara Combes) and many lecturers in my school.

I think I am very lucky to be here and that I made the right choice by choosing ECU. In my four years here, I have learned not only from my studies, but also from the chances to make more friends, learn about Australian culture and to be part of ECU.

I drew on my knowledge and interest to choose my topic for study. I really wanted to find a better solution to improve the teaching of Information Technology. A majority of the research literature deals with online learning from the student expectation perspective, particularly in terms of what staff should be doing to meet student needs. My study indicates that truly successful e-learning must be driven by institutions taking a holistic approach and providing leadership, time, and professional development to enable staff to develop online curricula most suited to their students’ needs.

My study found that to design online educational programs successfully, the instructor must ensure that there is a balance between guidelines provided by the system and the human facilitator. The learning materials use a range of processes to facilitate inquiry by motivating learners with the right questions and engaging them in a variety of activities; and by continually providing clear guidance. Recognising that these characteristics are features of any successful educational program, both face-to-face and online single methodology and mindset to be developed and used for teaching and learning across all delivery modes.

During my study, I also wrote several conference papers to encourage myself, to travel worldwide and learn about other points of view.

My ECU qualification will allow me to pursue my career further into the future. When my doctorate is complete, I plan to return to Thailand and pass on my new-found knowledge and enthusiasm, in my role as an academic.

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