UniServe Science News Volume 10 July 1998


UniServe Science Workshop: University Science Teaching and the Web

Anne Fernandez
Educational Technologist, UniServe Science

UniServe Science held its 3rd annual national workshop on April 17-18, 1998, in Sydney. The theme was University Science Teaching and the Web. The workshop was attended by 85 tertiary science educators from around the country.

Prior to 1997 it would seem that most of the web usage in tertiary science education was carried out by the 5-10% of academics who were keen to try out new things and take risks. 1997 saw many more projects, involving the use of web-based teaching materials, being implemented. Sixteen of these were showcased at the workshop.

The two keynote speakers were deliberately chosen to complement each other. Shirley Alexander, UTS, covered the theoretical and pedagogical issues associated with Internet-based teaching and learning, while Peter Lee, Murdoch University, described the experiences gained through developing and implementing their entire Engineering curriculum for web-based delivery.

The programme was a combination of presentations, posters and informal laboratory sessions. Presentations and posters covered: web-based assessment; the use of the web as a delivery mechanism to students within specific courses; ways in which the web may be used to fill part of the role of staff, such as, web-based delivery of practicals; web-based communication between staff and students; web-based teaching resources; the migration of traditional computer-based tutorials towards web-based delivery; and the use of student-created hypertext to increase understanding. The informal laboratory sessions were for attendees to pursue, with the presenter(s), any paper(s) of particular interest. These proved to be very useful as they allowed the presenters time to demonstrate their websites and/or web-based material.

As with most workshops the information and knowledge gained from the formal sessions were only a part of the valuable experience. This was a great opportunity to meet others and discuss, in an informal atmosphere, experiences with using the web in tertiary science teaching.

The proceedings of the workshop will be available from the UniServe Science web page

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UniServe Science News Volume 10 July 1998

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