7.0022 Computing Conference (1/1200

Fri, 21 May 1993 11:29:55 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 7, No. 0022. Friday, 21 May 1993.

Date: 19 May 1993 12:17:21 +0100
From: "S.A.Rae (Simon Rae)" <S.A.Rae@open.ac.uk>
Subject: FW: Notice of conference

I have been asked to pass these conference details on ... please excuse the
cross posting and accept my apologies if you get more than 1 copy.
Simon Rae - The Open University, UK


Subj: Conference details...



6 and 7 July 1993
St Catherine's College, Oxford

A conference organised by Birkbeck College, University of London
and the Employment Department.

Higher education is experiencing great change and challenge to
its established practices. One area of considerable change
concerns the use of new technologies. In particular, computer
developments are beginning to offer viable and cost-effective
alternatives to traditional teaching. Computer conferencing is at
the forefront of developments in teaching and learning which
allow learners to become self-paced. It can achieve a number of
educational goals through allowing a group of people,
geographically dispersed and communicating at different times, to
interact along the lines of a traditional face-to-face tutor group.

Considerable knowledge has already been gained about the uses
of conferencing in teaching within higher and further education,
though much development and evaluation research still remains to
be undertaken. This conference will take stock of what we
understand about the technical and educational aspects of using
computer conferencing in higher education and will take a critical
perspective on the advantages and disadvantages of using this
medium. This, it is hoped, will not only promote productive
discussion amongst current practitioners, but will also prove
beneficial to others considering using computer conferencing as
a teaching medium.

Conference objectives:
The objectives of the conference are twofold:

- to serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas amongst the
leading experts in the field of computer conferencing; this with
a view to advancing our understanding of the dynamics of
conferencing in order that it might better serve its intended
purpose, i.e. as an effective teaching medium. Papers will be
presented by invited speakers; in addition sessions will be run
in parallel with the workshops, where a stream of refereed papers
will be presented. It is the organisers' intention that both
invited and refereed papers will subsequently be published as a
collected volume.

- to broaden the appeal of computer conferencing within
institutions of higher and further education by bringing together
leading practitioners and potential users (academic, computing and
administrative staff). The latter will therefore have ample
opportunities to discover more about a medium which is still little
understood beyond a small user community.

The conference is directed both at those educational institutions
which are considering or already planning the use of computer
conferencing (both for distance and attending students) and also
at those who have engaged in development work and research
into computer conferencing.

The conference is planned for around 100 participants.

Conference structure:
The conference takes place over two days, starting at 10am on 6
July and continuing until 4pm on 7 July. There are invited
speakers from the USA, Canada, the Netherlands and the UK.
Developments in several countries will be reviewed and assessed.

In addition, there will be parallel sessions where open and invited
speakers will be contributing. There are four themes:

1) Technical developments in computer conferencing.
This workshop session is intended to examine issues surrounding
the use of conferencing systems, plus developments - actual or
proposed - which will facilitate that use by a wider audience.
Contributors will critically assess the systems they are using in
the light of users' experiences.

2) Getting off the ground: the management of computer conferencing.
Institutions need to consider electronic innovations from the
perspective of performance and resource criteria. Papers will
consider the financial, staffing and other resource implications
against expected gains for the institution.

3) Teaching and learning using computer conferencing.
These papers will address issues of the evaluation of computer
conferencing as a medium for teaching and learning and would
explore the impact of the use of conferencing on different
courses, with varied learning objectives and learning styles.

4) Practical sessions
These will demonstrate systems in use in various educational
establishments and will enable participants to raise practical
questions about using conferencing.

Cost: #115.00 per delegate to cover all proceedings, including
meals. Accommodation at the College is available at a
cost of #35.00, including breakfast.

Contact: Allan Tagg Tel: +44 (0)71-631 6286,
E-mail: ubjv674@ccs.bbk.ac.uk

for more details on the conference content

Catherine Hewett Tel: +44 (0)222 553829
for details of the conference organisation.