Evaluating an online module on copyright law and intellectual property

Carmel McNaught, Paul Lam, Shirley Leung, Kin Fai Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Various forms of knowledge can be distinguished. Low-level learning focuses on recognition and remembering facts. Higher level learning of conceptual knowledge requires the development of some form of mental structural map. Further, application of knowledge requires learners to put theories and concepts into use in authentic and novel situations. This study concerns learning at a number of levels. The context is a fully online module on copyright laws and intellectual property, designed as an introductory course for all postgraduates at a university in Hong Kong. The paper also explores whether the knowledge learnt through the web-based medium was retained after three to six months. Findings ascertained the effectiveness of the new medium, not only in delivering facts but also for assisting the learning of higher level knowledge. As expected, the performance of students declined in the delayed post-tests but not to any alarming degree. Retention of factual knowledge, however, was much lower than retention of other forms of knowledge. This perhaps suggests that the role of e-learning, just as in face-to-face classes, should focus on concepts and the applied knowledge, rather than on memorization of facts alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-303
Number of pages12
JournalLecture Notes in Business Information Processing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Copyright laws
  • E-learning
  • Intellectual property
  • Knowledge retention
  • Schema theory
  • Schematic knowledge
  • Specific facts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Business and International Management
  • Information Systems
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Information Systems and Management


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