Hugh Denard, School of Theatre Studies
There has been a lot of investment in time, effort and money into projects situated under the e-learning ‘umbrella’ – yet in this paper the author argues that there are still unanswered questions about the underlying educational need that they are addressing. Students learn best in an environment where they are actively involved, yet many online resources are focused on transmitting information – with students as the passive recipients. Creating interaction and activity online is a real challenge. As the author notes, many cues normally used to track discussions (such as facial expressions, tone of voice etc) are absent hence it can be more difficult to judge progress.
This article describes the ARCHES project (the second paper in this chapter to focus on this project), which strived to address some of these concerns. The project involved a range of subject disciplines across several institutions generating interactive online resources on Ancient Greece and Rome. These materials would be integrated into various modules to explore how students can use, interact and reflect on online resources. At the time of writing, this project was very much ‘in progress’ but the early findings indicated a need to re-conceptualise what the role of the ‘e-tutor’ should be. What is interesting about this paper is the potential of technology to ‘bring to life’ materials students are using in a new and interactive way.
First appeared in Interactions Issue 20 Summer 2003