WEB Ideas and Issues

The Library's Role in Distance Education

A query to the Distance Learning in Developing Countries forum (dldc) about the role of libraries in distance learning elicited a response from the Association of College and Research Libraries.  The Association has developed guidelines which are posted at http://caspian.switchinc.org/~distlearn/guidelines/.


The original query ventured the opinion that

there is a serious lack of co-ordination between the course providers and the information providers ... libraries are left out by the course providers when their courses are designed. This can lead to a drop in the usage for the library resources that are provided.
and raised  the following matters:
  • What are the hot topics or research areas with regards to the library's role in Distance learning?
  • What are the current problem areas faced by the academic libraries in relation to Distance learning?
  • Is there any university library that is co-ordinating well with the course providers and to what extent?
  • How would one judge, whether the co-ordination is good?
  • This is an iomportant set of questions for WAOE members to ask of themselves, their working environments and collegial relationships.  How, indeed, should librarians and teachers collaborate in the delivery of online education?  What positive - and not so positive - experience can WAOE members rccont in this area?  How are these things handled in yoiur own educational institution or organisation?  What is the role of the library in the planning, delivery and evaluation of online education?

    Do the Association of College and Research Libraries guidelines provide appropriate answers to such questions?

    Use Your Say to state your views.  It would be great to hear from the librarians among us, especially!


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    When is a school not a school?

    For those of you interested in the court case reported in the last issue of WEB, considering whether a school in Australia is required to have physical classrooms, a recent Online Australia newsletter carried the following update:

    Internet School Moves Closer To Registration

    Net Grammar encountered a few bumps along the road to becoming a registered school teaching the New South Wales higher school certificate to students at home and overseas.

    At first the New South Wales Board of Studies decided that because Net Grammar doesn't have physical buildings and class rooms it was not considered a school and so rejected its application to teach the secondary school qualification.

    Net Grammar, http://www.ngs.com.au/ , aims to teach the courses to students at home. It employs qualified teachers to guide the students and set work.

    Last week Net Grammar won an appeal against the decision and the education board has been told to reconsider the company's proposal to provide education online.

    Use the Your Say section of WEB to ... well, have your say! on any items in this or any other section of WEB.


    The Library's Role in Distance Education | About This Section | Top


    About WEB Ideas and Issues

    The issues and other matters raised in this section of WEB are intended to derive from membersā concerns and suggestions.

    Input to WAOE-Views during the recent Annual General Meeting showed us that members are looking for opportunities to engage with important issues and ideas affecting the Web-based delivery of teaching and learning, but also that we need to do more to spell out to our members details of the organisational procedures through which they will get to know more frequently and reliably what goals the Association is pursuing, what action is being taken to realise these goals, and - most importantly - how members may make the most effective contributions to WAOE.

    As a result, a new column, WAOE Policies and Procedures, has been split off from WEB Ideas and Issues.  This will free the WEB Ideas and Issues column to be taken up more and more by topics of interest arising from the thinking of the members at large about their own professional practice in online education, and the role that WAOE as a whole and the sub-groups in which members are most actively engaged might play in lifting the standards and quality of Web-based teaching and learning.

    If you have a concern to express, an idea to suggest, a question to raise, a point to make about online education in general and about WAOE's work in relation to online education in particular, write a short item for the WEB Ideas and Issues column and send it to the WEB Editor.   On a smaller, less formal scale, you might prefer to air your views first of all in the Your Say section of WEB.  Depending on the nature and volume of early responses to the Your Say item, matters raised may spark an article in the Web Ideas and Issues section of WEB, a free-ranging discussion on WAOE-Views, or a structured debate or online chat via the WAOE WebBoard.