Friday 11 March 2016 10:41am
Otago’s Distance Learning students, many of whom are postgraduates, hail from a range of places an backgrounds, and study for their degrees in an even wider range of places.
This year, the Distance Learning team is conducting its own research into making study more mobile, using resources able to be accessed on mobile devices.
Q. Why are you doing this?
A. Dr Bill Anderson, Director of Distance Learning: We know our distance students take their study materials with them to learn in a range of places – at their children’s soccer practice, or during lunch-breaks for example. We also know that many of those places don’t have internet connectivity. But we figured a lot of them would have their smartphone or tablet with them. So we thought it would be really good to put their resources into a format that they could download when they are online, but could use elsewhere.
Q. So what have you created so far?
A. Dr Anderson: We’ve worked on creating media rich materials – using the abilities of the mobile device to the full. So we have images, text, videos, and links to other background material which they could choose to pursue at a later date online. Plus, of course, the readings that are the basis of their course.
Q. How are you working this out?
A. Dr Anderson: We’ve started this with Te Tumu, and particularly with Dean of Te Tumu, Professor Michael Reilly’s Pacific History papers. We’ve created one e.pub format file every week for his course. They include a video of Michael introducing the readings for the week, as well as supplementary information: images and background of authors, for example.
Q. What next?
A. Dr Anderson: The work we’ve done so far is to prove the concept, and we are also working on simplifying the process of creating the files, so a lecturer can just compile the information and someone else will aggregrate it into the right format.
For more information visit: Distance Learning