Models and Metaphors in Internet-Based Learning


Although learning on the Internet is becoming more and more usual, it would

seem that most of it takes the form of "Virtual Lectures". That is to say,

lecturers take their paper-based notes and convert them into text files. They

also re-work their transparencies to web-pages, or simply make the powerpoint

slides downloadable. Some lecturers add interactivity by running bulletin

boards, or listservers. The problem with much of this is that it lacks any

creativity. The same boring stuff that was produced as lectures, are now

boring web-pages. This paper investigates ways in which other instructional

techniques, such as debating, case studies, workshops and "buzz groups" can be

delivered via the Internet in order to create a more interactive and

intersting learning experience. Aspects covered include Student participation

by creating own web-sites. Virtual debating. Cyber wars - conflict in a

virtual classroom. Virtual parties and college rags. The paper concludes with

a list of "Lessons learnt" from four years of functioning as a lecturer in a

web-based environment.