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Developing tools to support online distance learning
Furnell SM, Evans MP, Dowland PS
Proceedings of EUROMEDIA 2000, Antwerp, Belgium, 8-10 May, 2000
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This paper considers the emerging concept of Online Distance Learning (ODL), which utilises Internet and the World Wide Web technologies to deliver educational courses to remote students. Many authors have conjectured that ODL has the potential to revolutionise educational provision, facilitating, for example, concepts such as lifelong in the workplace. However, online courses cannot be created and offered effectively without the provision of appropriate supporting tools for use by academic staff and students. The paper describes two specific tools that have been developed to support online course delivery. The first is a Module Authoring Tool (MAT), for use by academic staff wishing to create course materials for web-based dissemination. The MAT provides a number of features and optimisations that make it more suited to this purpose than standard web authoring tools. The second tool is a software-based framework for the delivery of interactive online lectures over the Internet. This enables remote students to participate in a traditional lecture scenario and includes features for video and audio broadcasts, as well as supporting elements such as slideshow and whiteboard facilities. Such tools are considered to represent core elements of an overall ODL solution.

Furnell SM, Evans MP, Dowland PS