Virtual Seminars and their impact on the role of the teaching staff

Jelfs, Anne and Colbourn, Chris (2001). Virtual Seminars and their impact on the role of the teaching staff. Computers and Education, 38(1-3) pp. 127–136.



Teaching staff and academic researchers tend to cite the reasons for introducing computer supported collaborative learning in pedagogic terms, plus the need to provide transferable skills. The focus of this paper is the current demands on teaching staff in UK Higher Education and the impact these demands have when teaching through electronic resources. The reported research into the changing rôle of the tutor was initiated through work on the ASTER Project (Assisting Small-group Teaching through Electronic Resources) The ASTER Project, funded through the UK Teaching and Learning Technology Programme (TLTP) phase 3, aimed to explore how Communication and Information Technology (C&IT) can assist students and lecturers in making the most of small group-based learning and to promote and support effective change in educational practice. Our conclusions and findings, based on the use of Virtual Seminars within a Higher Education Psychology department, suggest the need for increased financial support for additional staff development and training in the use of C&IT. It was also established that there is a need for tutors to maintain full support for students in the move to an increased use of technology in their learning.

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