TELRI believes that C&IT tools that provide opportunities for learners to give meaning and value to information and concepts are particularly useful to developing higher order learning, whilst the ability to reflect critically on working processes is also vital. Such tools are most effective when they offer immediate feedback to the learner.
The TELRI approach is in no way recommending one technology over another. Teaching staff and course developers should use the tools that best fit their purposes and are commonly available at their institution. Appropriate forms of C&IT are those that support document sharing and discussion, such as virtual learning environments and conferencing software.
The increased visibility of student work offered by web publishing and discussion makes the educational process of good study practices more explicit to both students and tutors. The advantage to particular learning styles or international students is obvious. Furthermore, where such activities are the main focus of the course (especially where contributions during the process are linked to assessment), the approach can ensure active participation by all students. Using the web, the students can:
- View the work of others
- Submit and edit their own work
- Comment on the contributions
- Work individually or in groups
Using web publishing tools, staff have been able to implement the course design approaches far more quickly than would have been possible with large, complex packages should they be available. Nevertheless, such approaches might also be supported by conferencing software, such as WebBoard and FirstClass, or virtual learning environments, such as WebCT, Learning Space and COSE. For an overview, reviews and case studies of various technological approaches and tools, see the Reviews of Tools section.