Session D: Supporting Change in Learning and Teaching
Greenberg : A Hybrid System for Delivering Web Based Distance Learning and Teaching Material

3. Applying the Technology

3.1 Applications in Science

S103 Discovering Scienceis a wide-ranging course that introduces important scientific concepts and develops the skills needed to study science successfully. It introduces the disciplines of biology, chemistry, Earth science and physics and shows the links between them. The course is designed both as a broad foundation for students who intend to study for a science degree, and as a stand-alone course for those who want to discover more about the science of the world around them. As well as full colour books, students receive interactive CD-ROMs, videocassettes, TV programmes, and a practical kit complete with rock specimens and fossil casts. In addition, students are allocated to regional tutors, and they can participate in computer conferences and attend a residential school. All of these activities and materials form an integrated teaching package where each component is used for the purpose to which it is most suited. The course offers such a wide range of media and delivery systems, that it is ideal for piloting the Connected DVD concept with real Open University learning and teaching material. The course in its current presentation format includes:

3.1.1 Books, Study Files and Study Guides

Students receive eleven printed texts which are the main component of the teaching materials and are specifically written by academic authors at the University. Each text is accompanied by a loose-leafy Study File containing notes and activities to help the student track their progress through the learning materials. A Study Guide cardis provided for each text to help students plan and co-ordinate their work.

3.1.2 Interactive Media

Students receive 25 interactive multimedia tutorials on CD-ROM to teach topics which are difficult to present in printed texts. They also receive software to assess and give practice in mathematics skills and self-assessment questions which help identify areas where students require more work to improve their understanding or skills.

3.1.3 TV and Video

There are ten 30 minute television programmes broadcast by the BBC and 5 hours of videocassette material which contains 20 video activities.

3.1.4 Practical Work

There are eight practical activities carried out at home by students.

S216 Environmental Science is planning to send students a number of interactive multimedia applications and all of the course video material on DVD-ROM in its first year of presentation (2002). The course team believes that students will benefit from a reduction in the number of delivery platforms used in the course.

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