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End-user courses in information access through communication technology

Objective

The EDUCATE project aims to produce a new type of model self-paced user education course in the selection and use of information tools. EDUCATE courses will be based on the use of modern information technology, and distributed by means of the academic communication networks. They will be short - ten hours - and multilingual. They will be designed to be transferable within European environments. They will cover two subject areas: physics and electrical and electronic engineering. The goal is to develop a cost-effective education product that can be applied in libraries which have not previously had any kind of training programme. It provides an example of the possibility to "leapfrog" course development with the aid of new technologies.
Impact and expected results:

End-users, e.g. scientists, engineers and students throughout Europe, will benefit from knowing how to select and obtain required information from the current plethora of sources. By providing education courses, libraries enable 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 will extend their services portfolio both directly and by providing the basis for similar courses in other subject disciplines.

Deliverables

The main deliverable will be 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.

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:

Newsletters;
Course material in French, Span-ish and English;
A report on the training prog-ramme for library personnel;
Final report.
Technical approach :

The project has 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 are:

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 transmittinng courses to areas with poor terrestrial communications.

Documentation is obtainable from the contact below and from http://educate.lib.chalmers.se/eduweb.html.

Call for proposal

Data not available

Funding Scheme

Data not available

Coordinator

University of Limerick
Address

Limerick
Ireland
 

Participants (5)

Biblioteca de la Universitat de Barcelona
Spain
 
Chalmers University of Technology Library
Sweden
 
ECOLE NATIONALE DES PONTS ET CHAUSSEES
France
Address
6, Avenue Blaise Pascal
 
IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE
United Kingdom
Address
Exhibition Road
SW7 2AZ London
 
University of Plymouth
United Kingdom
Address
Drake Circus
PL4 8AA Plymouth