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A case study using the WWW as the medium for the delivery of learning resources

Appendix C: Technological developments

At the time of writing we are aware of a number of developments concerned with the management of online learning. The following are examples:

Web Educational Software Tools (WEST)

This began as an add on to WebStar for the Macintosh, written by the University of Dublin. It is now multiplatform, and offers a range of additional tools for education. It supports student registration, provides tools for course structuring, and provides a simple discussion facility. Its use requires some training for secretaries and lecturers, and its performance is somewhat slow except on powerful hardware.

Reseau D'Enseignement Multimedia (REM)

The University of Wales, Bangorís School of Education is co-ordinating a large European Framework IV Telematics Applications Programme project to develop a multimedia rich distributed learning environment for telematic learning, aimed in the first instance at teacher education, but ultimately generalisable.

Toolkit for the Management of learning

The CAL Unit at UWB has been funded by JISC under the JTAP initiative to develop a toolkit for the management of learning. This proposal leads on from the growth of on-line learning at UWB, and will provide a range of tools to support:
(a) on-line interaction between student and tutor to allow the negotiation and creation of study programmes
(b) the management, categorisation, browsing and searching of computer based learning resources
(c) the creation of individualised learning programmes from these resources
(d) the creation of student profiles consisting of grades, comments and suggestions based on students' use of resources and other learning activities
(e) the sorting, searching and querying of these profiles to allow the creation of further study programmes.

This will add significant functionality to the approach described in this study. In addition to lecturers being able to provide materials and participate in on-line discussions with their students, they will also be able to enter into detailed on-line conversations with their students to design appropriate learning programmes, based on records of previous learning.

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