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Friday, June 29, 2007

Technology articles by Linda L Briggs


Web-Based Learning at Dalhousie U Connects Canadian Students
Software tools that allow colleges and universities to deliver classes over the Internet, either standalone or as a component of a traditional face to face class, are nothing new. But personalizing the online experience beyond slides can be a challenge.
At a leading institution in Canada, Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, students can attend interactive classes online that are complete with slides, voice, white board capabilities, polling, chatting, application sharing, and, soon, live video as well.
Live Classroom, from Wimba, formerly Horizon Wimba, is a Web-based learning environment that enables students and faculty in online courses to participate in highly interactive online sessions. Dalhousie University, with 15,500 students, has been using Live Classroom since 2002. Live Classroom is tightly integrated with WebCT, so students and faculty can log onto the Wimba product without any special password or access codes. (The product can integrate with content management systems from Angel, Blackboard, and Moodle.)

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Open Source Connects Courseware at Rice University
As the Internet rapidly reshapes how scholarly information is disseminated at colleges and universities, an open-source, open-community initiative at Rice University in Houston may portend the future.
Called Connexions, it's an online environment that encourages the creation and sharing of content on virtually any topic in higher education, organized into modules that can easily be incorporated into a course or used for research or study on a particular topic.
The eclectic mix of participating instructors from universities around the world includes universities within the United States, as well as China, Norway, Italy, and Vietnam.
A non-profit project, Connexions' goals include making high-quality educational content available online to all at no cost through the Internet. The project invites authors and educators worldwide to help create textbooks, courses, and learning materials from its global open-access repository.
Connexions was created in 1999 by Rice University Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Richard Baraniuk, who said he always imagined the program eventually reaching across universities, cultures, and languages around the world.


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