The Australian Educational Researcher

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 107–128 | Cite as

Self paced learning: A student perspective

  • Donna Inkson
  • Erica Smith


Training reform in Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) has been well under way for over a decade. Reforms include marketisation, the widespread adoption of competency-based training, and most recently an adoption of various forms of flexible delivery. One of these alternative methods of delivery is self paced learning (SPL). SPL is presented by VET management as being advantageous to students and their employers, and in addition is generally less resource-intensive than face-to-face teaching. This paper examines SPL in a TAFE college from a student viewpoint. The research, using qualitative methods, examined the experiences of SPL, in Office Administration subjects, of students who have a Non English Speaking Background (NESB) or no regular access to computers. The paper describes how they adapted, reacted and responded to self paced learning. The difficulties experienced by these students when studying by self paced learning are discussed in detail The findings indicate that, whilst students are appreciative of the flexibility which self paced learning affords, there are some concerns about its efficacy in relation to educational outcomes.


Student Perspective Wagga Wagga Focus Group Member Major Participant Paced Learning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Australian Association for Research in Education 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donna Inkson
    • 1
  • Erica Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Industry Training Advisory BoardSydney Institute of Technology and the South Australian Wholesale Retail and Personal ServicesAustralia

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