The completed EDUCATE project clearly showed that scientific, technical and medical users have a need for access to information resources and assistance in how to handle them. Such assistance has become more necessary than ever owning to the complexity of widely varying IT options. As a result the DEDICATE project sets out to develop cost-effective distance education courses in information literacy. These will be based on programs developed under the EDUCATE project and programs for networked learner support allowing both asynchronous and synchronous communication modes. Support will also be provided in the form of document supply .
The distance education courses will be demonstrated and tested at four library sites in technological universities in Estonia, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania and at the International Center for Information Management, Systems, Services, in Torun, Poland. The distance education programs will be directed initially to training library staff in the access and use of information resources in a networked environment. This will form part of a programme for Training the trainers - with extension to scientists and engineers. The first group of application sites will be in the area of science and engineering.
These demonstrator sites should act as catalysts for the development of user-education programmes within their respective countries. The DEDICATE courses will thus encourage co-operation in the field between libraries in western and eastern Europe.
The aim of the DEDICATE project is to bring the benefits of the EDUCATE project and its subsequent products to a number of test sites in Eastern and Central Europe, thereby enabling them to take advantage of technical innovations in training in information literacy. Network-based distance learning courses will be provided. Learner support will be given particular attention.
Full use will be made of Web facilities for training in information literacy as well as in promoting easy access to courses. Care will be taken to adapt provision of resources to the networking possibilities of the sites and countries in question.
The overall aim of the DEDICATE project is to develop cost-effective distance education courses in information literacy. Key issues include:
designing distance learning programs on Information Sources in physics, energy or chemistry.based on EDUCATE (Into Info) programs;
developing and testing networked learner support systems for the individual course participants and their teachers;
implementation and evaluation of the courses at the new sites.
Impact and expected results
The overall benefit will be that universities in Central and Eastern Europe will become familiar with the results of the EDUCATE project and will gain experience in providing training for librarians and end users by means of distance education courses and adequate experience in information literacy.