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Editorial


Mary Peat
mary.peat@bio.usyd.edu.au
UniServe Science, Australia

As the knowledge explosion continues there is an increasing need to encourage our students to develop life long learning skills and our teachers to re-invigorate curriculum to focus more on these requirements. It is heartening to see the cooperative developments that are occurring within the European Union where the large student population will benefit from such outcomes. Within another dimension it is of interest to see the great emphasis on changing the teaching and learning paradigm within the People's Republic of China through staff development programs. Universities in the USA and UK are involved in these programs as is The University of Sydney.

From Sweden we have a paper outlining the development of computer aided education and training packages by a large consortium of medical physicists (from hospitals and universities across Europe). These training packages are being used in more than 60 countries throughout Europe within the requirements of each country. They also provide a consistency in training so that qualified physicists can then work anywhere within the region.

From the UK we have an interesting discussion on the development of an electronic student portfolio that can be used from within Blackboard. Again this is a multi-university collaboration. The driver for this development was a requirement (from the Quality Assurance Agency) for the implementation of personal development planning. Another large multi-university development from the UK discusses the development of multi-media resource for psychology teaching. This project was built on software previously developed by The Open University and the British Broadcasting Corporation.

In addition from the UK is a paper on the development of a web-based image library that is used in visual perception (Psychology) and a short report on the development of interactive electronic lectures on genes and chromosomes.

From Australia is a discussion on the use of virtual learning experiences, adding to the debate on the use, and student perceptions of usefulness, of real versus virtual experiences, a debate which is continuing around the western world.

Lastly, as with our previous issue, we have chosen for inclusion in this edition of CAL-laborate, a paper from The China Papers, http://science.uniserve.edu.au/pubs/china/, to showcase our colleagues in the People's Republic of China. The paper chosen looks at the way in which the teaching of a botany course will be moved from a teacher-centred focus to a more student-centred focus. It is very gratifying to be involved in the Chinese 211 Program which aims to see Chinese science and technology gaining premier world status during the 21st century.


Mary Peat.


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CAL-laborate Volume 13 June 2005

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