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Virtual Learning and Higher Education

It is clear that the Internet and other global information infrastructures provide a major challenge to Higher Education. Questions such as: the extent to which education should become `virtual', the actual cost and value of such innovation and to what degree such education suits its stakeholders (e.g. students) are now discussed the world over. These issues formed the focus for a conference held at Mansfield College, Oxford in September 2002 and this book contains the most rounded and challenging papers from that event. The book is divided into three main parts which consist of the following themes within Higher Education: current practical and planned uses for Virtual Learning; the future `Virtual' vision; and the large questions that remain unanswered behind `Virtual Education'. The contributors range from the nerdy end of experimenters of futuristic innovative technologies via the practitioner middle of well-known organizers of existing virtual systems to the other extreme of the critical engagement of philosophers. This stimulating and important book is aimed at researchers of topics such as technology-driven Education, Philosophy, Innovation and Cultural Studies. It is also meant to appeal to anyone with interest in the impact that the technological virtual will have upon Higher Education in future.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface PART I Frontierland: Exploring the Uses of Virtual Leaning Environments Mike WARING and Kate BOARDMAN: Learning to Teach, Teaching to Learn: A Developmental Framework for Teacher Training Melissa Lee PRICE and Andy LAPHAM: The Virtual Seminar Lynda R. ROSS and Alan DAVIS: Going from Distance to Digital: Athabasca University's E-Learning Plan Brent MUIRHEAD: Online Resource Page: Using Technology to Enhance Online Interactivity PART II Into the Unknown: Charting the Future of Virtual Learning Environments in Higher Education Craig THOMSON: Working and Learning Together: ICT-Supported Learning in Small Business Mark STILES: Strategic and Pedagogic Requirements for Virtual Learning in the Context of Widening Participation Mike FULLER: Assessment for Real in Virtual Learning Environments - How Far Can We Go? PART III Looking Before Leaping: Issues In Virtual Higher Education James WOOD: C.P. Snow Revisited: The Two Cultures of Faculty and Administration Adrian BROMAGE: Atatvistic Avatars: Ontology, Education and `Virtual Worlds' David Seth PRESTON: Virtual Values: The University in E-Crisis Notes on Contributors

About the Author

David Seth Preston has degrees from the universities of London, Loughborough and Sheffield. His background is in applied Information Systems especially within engineering firms. He is author of over a hundred refereed papers and four books. His interests are in the ethical issues raised by technology. He is married with three children and his main wish for the future is the continued well being of his family. His subsidiary hopes include the development of English universities that are not rife with corruption.


"The ten papers in this volume are divided into three sections. These sections called Frontierland, Into the Unknown, and Looking before Leaping provide an array of practical examples and philosophic insights of value to newcomers wanting a grasp of important issues in virtual learning or the experienced wishing to see what others are doing in the field. [...] This volume has many hidden highlights that would be of value to many in the distance education area. It gives practical insights mostly from a British perspective, references to many articles and books, and up-to-date web sites for current research. Most of all it shows the education community that there are groups exploring distance education topics, moving ahead as best they can, and grappling with obstacles successfully. This is a good read because it offers many hours of reflection afterwards." in: Journal of Educational Techonology and Society, Vol. 7, Issue 4, 2004

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