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Volume 1 / Issue 11

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-001-11-0719


Digital Libraries as Learning and Teaching Support

Hermann Maurer (Graz University of Technology, Graz/Austria and The University of Auckland, New Zealand)

Jennifer Lennon (The University of Auckland, New Zealand)

Abstract: For 30 years repeated attempts have been made to use computers to support the teaching and learning process, albeit with only moderate success. Whenever major attempts failed, some seemingly convincing reasons were presented the for less than satisfactory results. In the early days cost or even lack of suitable equipment was blamed, after colour graphics computers started to be widespread, production costs of interactive and graphically appealing material were considered the main culprits, when modern multimedia authoring techniques did not change the situation either, the lack of personalized feed-back, of network support and the difficulty of producing high quality simulations were seen as main obstacles. With networks now offering excellent multimedia presentation and communication facilities the final breakthrough of computers as ultimate teaching and learning tool is (once more) predicted. And once more results will be disappointing if one crucial component is again overlooked: good courseware must give both guidance to students but also provide a rich variety of background material whenever such is needed. It is the main claim of this paper that the advent of sizeable digital libraries provides one of the most significant chances for computer based training ever. We will argue that such libraries not only allow the efficient production of courseware but also provide the extensive background reservoir of material needed in many situations.

Keywords: CAI, CBT, Digital libraries, electronic libraries, instructional technology, learning support, teaching support

Categories: H.3, H.4, H.5, K.3