The Wool CRC Education Program, which so successfully pioneered video–lecturing as a medium for nationwide undergraduate teaching, has once again taken the lead in developing high–tech education methods. This time the group is developing an Internet-based interactive database of information for wool educators at all levels.
“We were very conscious that there was an urgent need to ensure that the excellent material developed by the experts for the undergraduate program was not lost when the Wool CRC finished in mid 2000”
“We were very conscious that there was an urgent need to ensure that the excellent material developed by the experts for the undergraduate program was not lost when the Wool CRC finished in mid 2000,” said Professor Phil Hynd, the Education Program Manager. The group, comprising Dr Brad Crook from The University of New England, Dr Peter Auer and Mrs Lorraine Osborne from the University of NSW, Dr Janelle Hocking Edwards from the University of WA, and Ms Helen Daily from The University of Adelaide, are capturing the Powerpoint slides used by most lecturers, with accompanying explanatory notes and references. Wool educators in schools, TAFE institutions, universities, and private industry, using keyword searches, will then access the database of Powerpoint slides. This ensures that they will be delivering material that is not only comprehensive, but also ‘up to date’, because the intention is to add continually to the database as new information becomes available.
The Education team was invited to showcase the educational product at the CRC Association Annual Conference in Melbourne in April 1999. To assist with this task we commissioned a professional multimedia firm (MindVision Interactive) to develop a multimedia CD-ROM and video of the working database. The AWTA Ltd Wool Education Trust, which was established with a capital grant of $3 million by Australian Wool Testing Authority Ltd, is funding this development. Mr David Ward, the Secretary of Trustees, believes it is vital that the wool industry continues to be supplied with high–quality graduates at all levels of the education spectrum. “We have committed these funds to ensure the long–term sustainability of the innovative wool science program, which has already been developed,” he said.
In addition to showcasing the database at the Conference, the CD-ROM and video will be used to promote the educational product and to get feedback on possible improvements and modifications for specific clients.
For the first time all people involved in wool education in Australia will have access to comprehensive, high-quality and ‘up-to-date’ material at their fingertips!
In this issue of The Wool Press: