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Educational and institutional flexibility of Australian educational software

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)

Campus-Wide Information Systems

ISSN: 1065-0741

Article publication date: 28 March 2008

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Citation

Shurville, S., O'Grady, T.(B). and Mayall, P. (2008), "Educational and institutional flexibility of Australian educational software", Campus-Wide Information Systems, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 74-84. https://doi.org/10.1108/10650740810866576

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited