Category Archives: 2006/1-2

Learning Networks as Strategy for Sharing e-Learning Capacity

Royal Roads University of Canada chose to develop its own e-learning software platform in order to ensure that the pedagogy adopted for educating mature adults was embodied in and expressed by the technology learners experienced in distance education courses. Currently, the University seeks to share its experience and its software platform with other institutions struggling with the formidable barriers they confront in beginning to offer online learning. The costs of the resulting “learning networks” are slight for the new adopting institutions, but in the aggregate make it possible for Royal Roads to maintain and enhance its platform

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eHealth: A Model for Developing Countries

This paper proposes a model, or framework for analysis, to inform the development of eHealth in developing countries. The framework has five components – the 5Cs.

Firstly there is the Context of poverty, meeting the Millennium Development Goals and the role ICT can play to support health workers. Then, there is the Content of health information provided to health workers and how it can be migrated from being paper-based to a digital format. Providing wireless Connectivity within and between health facilities that supports the transmission of health knowledge and management information provides an entry-level health information infrastructure.

Over such a health facility-based wireless infrastructure it then becomes possible to build workforce Capacity as well as support Community development, via the delivery of information to enable better individual and community decision-making in health and other development issues.

Article originally appeared in: “eHealth International Journal”, V. 2, n. 2, December 2005. Reprinted with permission.

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Aesthetics and Audiovisual Metaphors in Media Perception

A model of audiovisual analysis where focus is on audiovisual aesthetics perceived physically and affectively is presented. Starting from the assumption that image and sound are inseparable in audiovisual media and must be treated as a unit, a “synchresis”, it is proposed that only this premise is able to cover the pre-consciously perceived elements sufficiently, namely the sensorial and affective structures of audiovisual aesthetics. Aspects for an audiovisual aesthetics concentrated on the interfaces between audiovisual perception and audiovisual design are articulated employing to this end the Aristotelian concept of aisthesis. Following the theory of cognitive metaphors (Lakoff and Johnson), audiovisual codes and signs always rely fundamentally on schemata of physical and affective experience. Following George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, the mapping of physical schemata are regarded onto acoustic, visual, and, respectively, audiovisual elements in the media as a metaphorical process. Drawing on an example of film sound, it’s explained how filmmakers project acoustic qualities onto visual Gestalt patterns and thereby construct audiovisual metaphors that we recognize immediately and long before we reflect on them, that is, they activate meanings that rely on basic experiences of our body.

Article originally appeared in: “CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture: a www Journal”, V. 7, n. 4, 2005. Reprinted with permission.

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Remote Access to Instrumental Analysis for Distance Education in Science

Remote access to experiments offers distance educators another tool to integrate a strong laboratory component within a science course. Since virtually all modern chemical instrumental analysis in industry now use devices operated by a computer interface, remote control of instrumentation is not only relatively facile, it enhances students’ opportunity to learn the subject matter and be exposed to ‘real world’ contents. Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and Athabasca University are developing teaching laboratories based on the control of analytical instruments in real-time via an Internet connection. Students perform real-time analysis using equipment, methods, and skills that are common to modern analytical laboratories (or sophisticated teaching laboratories). Students obtain real results using real substances to arrive at real conclusions, just as they would if they were in a physical laboratory with the equipment; this approach allows students to access to conduct instrumental science experiments, thus providing them with an advantageous route to upgrade their laboratory skills while learning at a distance.

Article originally appeared in: The International Review on Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL), V. 6, n.3, 2005. Copyright Athabasca University. Reprinted with permission.

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A Case Study in Integrating the Best Practices of Face-to-Face Art History and Online Teaching

Distance learning courses have for the most part made use of simple structures that focus on the juxtaposition of html texts with static visuals. Instruction in art history demands more. It requires a type of interaction described as performative triangulation, which naturally occurs in traditional art history face-to-face lecture courses. The authors contend that this type of performative triangle model, which consists of interaction between the audience, speaker, and image, is possible in an online art history course if animated interactive activities are provided to engage students in linking texts and images. This paper presents data from two studies conducted on interactive animations in an online art appreciation course. The first study compares student learning of identical content in a face-to-face lecture without an interactive component, a face-to-face lecture augmented by an animated interactions, and an html content module also augmented by an animated interactive. The data from this study suggests that learning occurred just as well, if not better, among students provided with the animated interactives as among students offered only the face-to-face lecture. The second study considers student perceptions of the animated interactions and assesses whether students believe that they learn from these tools. This data suggests that students view the animated interactions as assets to the learning experience.

Article originally appeared in: “Interactive Multimedia Electronic Journal of Computer Enhanced Learning”, V. 7, n. 1, 2005. Republished with permission.

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