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Multimedia Presentations Workshop


Moving Towards Electronic Lectures

Philip Barker
see also:

What are Electronic Lectures ?

There are a range of different approaches to the use of computer technology in teaching and learning activities, e.g., conventional CAL, electronic books and libraries, electronic lectures, virtual classrooms, laboratories and universities. In an electronic lecture the lecturer is using a computer, with a projection system, ideally with a database of online lectures which can be accessed in the lecture theatre, or by students on their own machines.

Some basic approaches

A range of packages are available, such as PowerPoint and other tools like Excel, Harvard Graphics and Toolbook. Electronic lectures are easy to produce, update and share, can support distance and tele-learning, and can form the basis for ancillary support materials.

An evaluative study

To determine effectiveness of, and attitudes towards, electronic lectures, 10 lectures were converted into electronic form and made available to students and staff for evaluation. Students evaluated them when used by a lecturer and as a self study resource, and staff attitudes towards them were evaluated. In general student responses were very positive, finding them professional, well organised and highly legible. Students would welcome a change to electronic lectures provided notes were still made available, with paper as the preferred medium. In the second phase of the evaluation, the lectures were made available over the network. The evaluation was more extensive, but again all the results were very supportive.

Future directions

Allow electronic lectures do seem to offer a number of benefits, more evaluation is required, with controlled evaluation to measure pedagogic benefits. More extensive use of WWW seems desirable, and the appropriate organisational infrastructures will be needed to support the use of electronic lectures.


Electronic (not necessarily multimedia) lectures are cost effective, provide an extensible resource and are positively supported by student feedback. Until CAL/CBT resources can be made and used as easily as OHPs there will problems with uptake, and electronic lectures may act as a 'half-way house' in moving towards multimedia electronic lectures.
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