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University hosts international e-learning webinar

17 March 2006

Canterbury University hosts international webinar on e-learning

The University of Canterbury is one of 30 universities from around the world taking part in a live webinar next week.

It is the first time the University has participated in a webinar and Tuesday’s event is tipped to be the largest of its kind ever held.

A webinar is a live, interactive, synchronous event whereby groups of people all over the world can interact through voice, text, and a shared whiteboard.

The webinar on 21 March will be a two hour live, interactive event in a web-based virtual classroom located at the University of Adelaide. Appropriately, the topic of the webinar is “Harnessing the power of e-learning in higher education”.

The event is being hosted at Canterbury by the University Centre for Teaching and Learning (UCTL).

UCTL lecturer Dr Billy O'Steen said the webinar was a “unique and important” event.

“Firstly, we are providing the opportunity for staff at UC to interact with staff from 30 universities around the world. Secondly, it signals a commitment by UCTL and UC to further explore our knowledge and understanding of e-learning,” said Dr O’Steen.

The webinar is being facilitated by Dr Diana Laurillard, Chair of Learning with Digital Technologies at the Institute of Education, University of London.

“For the educational innovator, who seriously wishes to improve the quality of education and the learning experience, it is imperative that we create an education system that is clear about its values and sets its aims and ambitions high, and that is capable of rapid adaptation to its technological, as well as its social, cultural and political environment,” said Dr Laurillard.

“The argument that will be developed in this webinar suggests that we can do this if we exert some influence over the way in which e-learning is used in universities, and direct its power overtly towards the needs of learners.”

The first hour of the webinar will be a presentation from Dr Laurillard. In the second hour, each university will “break out” and discuss the local implications of what was presented. Moderators from each university will then report back a summary of the discussion via the virtual classroom. Dr Laurillard will produce podcasts after the event to address questions raised.


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