Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Schools and Centres


First Supervisor

Dr. Carole Steketee


This research examined the implementation of an e-learning tool at Apache Energy, an oil and gas company operating in Western Australia. The e-learning tool was developed to help facilitate an understanding of site safety at an oil and gas facility characterised by an increasingly contracted workforce. The study’s research questions were formulated to describe and explain the implementation, looking particularly at relationships between the design of the e-learning tool, the way in which it was implemented, and the outcomes that emerged. The study adopted an interpretive-case study approach focusing on 256 contractors who engaged with the e-learning tool at a dedicated e-learning centre in metropolitan Perth, Western Australia. Interviewing and detailed observation were the primary data collection methods used in the study. In describing and explaining the implementation of the e-learning tool, the research found evidence to suggest that it achieved its desired outcomes. Further, the study noted widespread acceptance of the e-learning model. Contractors appreciated the self-paced and multimedia attributes of the e-learning experience, finding it a refreshing and empowering change to what they saw as the repetitive treadmill of safety inductions that characterises the oil and gas industry. However, there were some discrepancies between the design of the e-learning tool and its implementation, particularly in relation to the quality and level of social resources that were provided to support the tool. Tailoring the e-learning experience for individualised learning (e.g. scaffolding contractors with limited computer skills) is one of the key challenges for future implementations. This study will interest training professionals and managers in VET and corporate settings who are considering adopting e-learning as an alternative or integrated education and training solution.

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