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Discussion Sessions

Teaching, Learning and Research Issues

Various inputs were made to the discussions on the issues and people's experiences. These are points which emerged:

All Computers in Teaching Initiative (CTI) Centres have their own WWW page.

Considerable interest from librarians in acting as mediators between the information and the recipients-making it all easier to use and more useful. There are difficulties for librarians in identifying and collecting material. It is often ephemeral and it is-hard to identify what it is intended for.

There are developments in industry and we should liaise where appropriate (and possible).

We need to liaise with learned societies and SIGs.

There is a need to have refereed journals available on the network and to have appropriate subscription mechanisms-this is being dealt with through FIGIT (Follett Implementation Group for IT).

There can be problems with students becoming disillusioned at the poor quality of material.

We need to ensure that materials are not "amateur" and to train people in their production.

We need to think about futureproofing the content-the WWW is the delivery vehicle and provides some structure which is likely to last and be portable. Will the WWW be the tool we use in 5 years?

In HE, we are in a great position to collaborate, and we should/must do this-saves time (effective. efficient).

We will not always use online experiments-there will still be chemistry labs

How do things scale up? MOOs may be great fun at first but can they work with larger numbers?

Students can usefully help each other using online facilities.

How can we offer help to students lost in a sea of information?

Learning is a very personal thing-using WWW is just a part of a strategy for learning.

We need help-a support unit?-to get people off the ground in using the technology.

Summary of Issues Presented at Plenary Session

The main issues which emerged from the discussions were:

How can the WWW be used effectively in a variety of learning and research contexts:

The group considered that these could be assisted by a number of actions:

  1. Various training events and seminars should be run. These should include courses for staff development, particularly as part of induction courses. There should also be subject based symposia.
  2. There is a need to develop a quality code of practice for information providers.
  3. An initiative to stimulate the production of Web-delivered courses should be mounted.
  4. A project should be funded to identify good practice in Web-delivered courses.
  5. The outcomes of this workshop and other events which follow on should be widely disseminated.

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