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Telematics for Libraries - Project

EDUCATE

Updated: 07 SEP 98
Project Number and Title
2003 - End-user courses in information access through communication technology
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
III Theme 15 February 1994 May 1997 39
Keywords
distance learning; end-user courses; online sources; information retrieval; network navigation tools


blue bullet Additional information is available on the EDUCATE web site .


See also the FP4 project DEDICATE (/libraries/en/projects/dedicate.html).


Theme
New information products in libraries (e.g. optical disc, local information files, etc.). (Theme:15)
Project description
The EDUCATE project aimed to produce a new type of model self-paced user education course in the selection and use of information tools. EDUCATE courses were based on the use of modern information technology, and distributed by means of the academic communication networks. They were short - ten hours - and multilingual. They were designed to be transferable within European environments. They covered two subject areas: physics and electrical and electronic engineering. The goal has been to develop a cost-effective education product that can be applied in libraries which have not previously had any kind of training programme. It provided an example of the possibility to "leapfrog" course development with the aid of new technologies.
Technical approach
The project had nine workpackages:
  • Course design including a statement of educational goals, list of topics, selection of methods and evaluation techniques;
  • Textual components i.e. information retrieval and subject sources for Physics and for Electronic/ Electrical Engineering;
  • Demonstrations and exercises for on-line information retrieval, OPACs and other sources;
  • Electronic tools and menus for a user-friendly front-end for the total EDUCATE package;
  • Trial and evaluation leading to the final course versions;
  • French and Spanish versions;
  • Satellite feasibility study primarily for sites with poor terrestrial telecommunications;
  • Training programme for library personnel;
  • Site implementation and evaluation at all six partner sites.
Key issues
The main technical issues were:
  • training in the use of academic networks for accessing information sources by means of navigational tools like Gopher, WAIS, ALEX and HYTELNET;
  • use of academic networks for the dissemination of courseware;
  • testing the feasibility of satellite transmission, e.g. for transmitting courses to areas with poor terrestrial communications.
Impact and results
End-users, e.g. scientists, engineers and students throughout Europe, benefited from knowing how to select and obtain required information from the current plethora of sources. By providing education courses, libraries have enabled their patrons to make use of the networks and tools for information retrieval.
The availability of EDUCATE courses, made available freely, for all European libraries have extended their services portfolio both directly and by providing the basis for similar courses in other subject disciplines.
Deliverables
The main deliverable was the course software and associated materials, in English, French and Spanish.
Certain reports, including those on the electronic conference, trial results, satellite feasibility, site implementation and evaluation, are or will be restricted issue.
Currently available in the public sector are:
  • Course design module;
  • Information retrieval introduction;
  • Subject information sources - electronic/electrical engineering and physics;
  • Electronic tools and menus study;
  • as well as newsletters in French, Spanish and English.
On-line information and retrieval software (in general, in subject categories and for OPACs) can also be demonstrated and the associated exercises are prepared. Publicly available will be:
  • Course material in French, Spanish and English;
  • A report on the training programme for library personnel;
  • Final report.
Documentation is obtainable from the contact below and from http://educate.lib.chalmers.se/ .

Coordinator

Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
University of Limerick IE - LIMERICK IRL
Title, First Name, Name Mr. Patrick KELLY
Director and Librarian
Address: Information Systems and Services Division
E-mail 1: (email removed) E-mail 2:

Other Contact

Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
Chalmers University of Technology S - 41296 GÖTEBORG SE
Title, First Name, Name Dr. Nancy FÄJLLBRANT Address: Information Technology Centre
Tel: Fax:
E-mail 1: (email removed) E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
Chalmers University of Technology Library SE P
Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées FR P
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine UK P
University of Plymouth Library UK P
Biblioteca de la Universitat de Barcelona ES P
A
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