The growing popularity of e-learning may pose one of the greatest challenges currently facing traditional educational institutions. The questions often asked are how, rather than whether, to embrace this new form of instructional delivery and how to create an appropriate learning environment for the learners. Educational institutions in Hong Kong have the option of adopting programmes or learning materials developed in other parts of the world for local learners, or not. Such an approach of acquiring learning materials is not without risks in terms of the suitability of materials embedded with cultural contents ‘foreign’ to local learners, or in terms of the suitability of assumptions in the communication context.
By Elaine Peterson
Despite success in teaching the class ‘Organization of Information in a School Library Media Center’ (EDCI 545) online, one component continued to be a problem for students, the Dewey Decimal Classification System. To supplement the instruction, a set of simple screencasts was developed to assist distance education students. Benchmarks were established and a beta test conducted. It is expected that the next online class of students will have increased success because of the addition of screencasts. It is suggested that screencasts be considered as an additional tool for online learners across other disciplines, particularly when using databases that have layered sets of information, requiring multiple mouse clicks.