AGOCG logo
Graphics Multimedia VR Visualization Contents
Training Reports Workshops Briefings Index
This report is also available as an Acrobat file.
Back Next Contents

4. Learning and Technology

For the purpose of completeness, this report will quickly review the role of technologies, other than video conferencing, in learning.

The tables below illustrates the role of technologies for supporting learning. In one way applications, if the tools are put in the hands of subject experts to produce learning materials then they support the learnerís conceptualisation. If, on the other hand, the learner is required to produce the handout, make a video about..., make a tape about..., give a lecture about..., then the same tools now support construction.

  Media          Optimum         One-way applications           Learning phase 
                 no. of                                            supported

 Face to Face    10-200           Lecturing                     Conceptualisation
 print           20-1000+        course units; supplementary    Conceptualisation, 
                                  materials                     Construction

 audio           50-1000         cassette programmes; radio     Conceptualisation

 computer        100+            CAL, CAI, CBT, databases,      Conceptualisation, 
                                 multi-media, CD-ROM,           Construction
                                 productivity tools, structuring

 television      5000+           broadcast programmes; taped    Conceptualisation

Table 2: One-way technology applications in education and training.

  Media          Optimum         Two-way applications              Learning phase 
                 no. of                                            supported

  Face to face   5-10            Seminars, discussions, tutorials  Construction and 

  print          20-1000+        correspondence tutoring;          Reflection

  audio          5-20            telephone tutoring; audio-        Discussion, Reflection

  computer       5-100           E-mail, desktop teaching          Conceptualisation, 
                                 computer-conferencing,            construction, dialogue
                                 audiographics, CSCW, Internet 

  television     30+             interactive television (TV out,   Conceptualisation, 
                 5-30 (video     telephone in); video-             Discussion 
                 conference)     conferencing		

Table 3: Two way technology applications in education and training

Tables 2 and 3 summarises the nature of support for learning offered by different technologies. It illustrates that it is more difficult to support learners in two-way communications than it is in one way. However the difficulties and costs of production and delivery of information in the one-way settings is much higher than in the two way. It is necessary to remember that two-way communication yields more effective learning, where as one-way may be more efficient for the organisation. This is particularly the case if the organisation is already set up to produce materials in this manner, with appropriate equipment and staff. Production costs are high and support costs are low. In traditional universities production costs are kept low and support costs are high. Distance Universities are set up to develop course material on a one-way basis. They have a production cycle of 2 years! A luxury not afforded more traditional universities. It would be more difficult for traditional universities to convert to producing books, multimedia, video tapes than it would be to convert to computer conferencing, using the Internet or video conferencing. For a more detailed discussion of the relationship of technology to the learning model see Mayes et al 1994.

Back Next Contents

Graphics     Multimedia      Virtual Environments      Visualisation      Contents