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SIMA Reports

Multimedia Formats Workshop Report
This workshop was part of the JISC New Technologies Initiative's workshop programme hosted by the SIMA project. The workshop looked at a range of formats and the issues surrounding them, such as cross platform compatibility, proprietary vs standard formats and conversion tools.

Survey of the Uses of Software and Hardware for Multimedia Applications in UK Higher Education
John Murdoch, Robert Gordon University

Evaluation of Image Capture Pathways for Multimedia Application
Michael Steele, Michael Arnott, Dorothy Williams and Simon Heath (Centre for CBL in Land Use and Environmental Sciences - CLUES), University of Aberdeen,

A look at the costs and quality associated with various different capture paths for a number of different images. It concludes with a section 'Guidelines for Success in Image Capture'.

The Dos and Don'ts of Video conferencing in Higher Education HUSAT Research Institute

This report covers uses of video conferencing, the environment, funding and management with guidance for individual users and service providers. There are also details of what is currently available and in use, and appendices giving details of relevant standards, PC video conferencing products and useful contacts.

Running a World Wide Web Service
Brian Kelly, University of Leeds

This comprehensive report looks at, among other things, what browsers are available, producing web pages, setting up a server and legal issues. It also contains many links to other useful pages.

Dos and Don'ts of Video Conferencing - Experience from LIVE-NET
Philip Riebold, University College London

LIVE-NET, a collaborative project between London University and British Telecom, has been used for teaching academic subjects ranging from theoretical physics - "Quantum Electrodynamics" to classics - "The Dialogues of Plato" as well as for meetings and satellite broadcasts. It has gained a large amount of experience using video networks for interactive communication applications. This has ranged from straightforward teaching applications to multi-site satellite conferences.

Video Conferencing in Higher Education
Lynne Coventry, Heriot-Watt University

The aim of this report is to put Video Conferencing into a learning framework and to take a learner-centred rather than technology-centred view of the problem. The report is divided into two parts. The first describes the technology. It is necessary to understand the limitations and the potential of the technology to be able to evaluate its potential within education. The second part describes a framework for learning and investigates the role of technology within that framework. The report will not provide operating instructions for specific technological systems but will provided general information about how to make best use of Video Conferencing technology.

The Provision of CBL over Network Information Servers
Patrick McAndrew, Heriot-Watt University

The production of Computer Based Learning within the UK Higher Education sector means that there is a need to deliver the material produced. This can be achieved using information servers over wide area networks. This report examines the requirements for serving material and considers if the World- Wide Web offers appropriate tools. The sort of information required on the server is considered together with the possible security implications.

A Review of Multimedia Networking
Alan Taylor and Madjid Merabti, Liverpool John Moores University

This reviews the requirements of multimedia and looks at some of the issues facing users. It also looks at the various compression standards available. The main body of the report is concerned with the hardware and software required for multimedia networking, and the final section provides details of some of the leading edge research and development efforts in networking.

The Use and Capture of Images for Computer-Based Learning II
Jane Williams, Alan Lock, Joel Crisp and Adrian Longstaffe, University of Bristol

This report looks at why images are used in learning, how to capture, store and deliver them, and evaluation of several image cards and a description of some software tools for image conversion and manipulation.

Video Conferencing in Education: Meeting Teachers and Learners Support and Training Needs
Chris Schnurr and Carmel Smith, Heriot-Watt University

This report includes a literature review of current research, and assessment of currently available training resource. Also an on going video conferencing training resource was designed, and a prototype minimal manual produced.

These reports are available online at:

Forthcoming reports include:

Hard copies are available by subscribing to the SIMA project. This costs 50 for UK Higher Education Institutes and 200 for non-UK Higher Education Institutes. More details can be obtained from:

Mrs J T Barradell
Computing Services
Loughborough University Loughborough
LE11 3TU

Single copies of some of the reports, such as Running a World Wide Web Server, may be available from the authors.

Sue Cunningham
Multimedia Support Officer
Computer Graphics Unit
University of Manchester
Oxford Rd
Manchester M13 9PL

Tel: +44 61 275 6095