Virtuality and Education: A Reader

Virtuality and Education: A Reader

Virtuality and Education: A Reader

Virtuality and Education: A Reader


"This book is aimed at researchers of topics such as technology-driven education, philosophy, innovation and cultural studies. It is also meant to appeal to anyone with an interest in the 'virtual' world of education."


Following the success of the first ‘Virtual Learning and Higher Education’ conference held at Mansfield College Oxford in 2002 and the subsequent edited volume, it was felt that the specific theme of Virtuality and Education was of such import that there was need for a conference focussing singularly on it. As a result a conference was held the following year at the same venue. A highly intellectual debate around the presented papers ensued at the Conference supplemented afterwards by an on-going debate amongst delegates. Indeed these communications continued late into 2004. I believe this edited book gives the reader an accurate summary both of the 2003 conference and the subsequent communications which resulted in refinements of the papers. Perhaps my abiding memory will be how delegates from so many different backgrounds and institutions clearly had very similar experiences of Virtuality and Education. In particular it was universal that whilst virtuality was already a significant factor in our institutions there was a surprisingly lack of thought going into what these systems look like or rather what type of education virtual systems most suits and how to gain a well integrated and efficacious structures. This consistency is reflected across the chapters of this book.

In Chapter One of this volume, our keynote speaker Mark Stiles examines the issues of ‘embedding’ E-learning in a UK University. He considers E-learning to be embedded into an institution when all policies, procedures, roles and responsibilities pertaining to its use are fully integrated within it. Dr Stiles argues that E-learning is part of the culture of the institution and both management and administrative practice needs to be aligned to its use.

In Chapter Two Adrian Bromage analyses data from a UK University to explore the relationship between how they use a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and the perceived benefits. Dr Bromage considers his data from deep, strategic and surface forms of learning and produces some very persuasive conclusions.

In Chapter Three Simon Bates and Judy Hardy provide a general evaluation of a particular E-learning strategy. It utilises data from Elearning courseware from a UK University. The chapter uses the concept of a learner profile based on students' previous usage of the online resources together with a range of other data.

In Chapter Four Justin Macklin and Audrey Blenkharn examine a distance learning programme based in a UK University. The chapter provides insights into the educational, professional and technical issues arising as a result of developing distance learning development and implementation. They explore the background issues surrounding intensive care nursing education: the difficulties in delivering a hands-on clinical . . .

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