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Using Lotus Domino and Notes to provide an electronic communication intranet environment for tertiary science students and staff



Department of Geology & Geophysics

University of Adelaide


Ray Peterson

Advisory Centre for University Education

University of Adelaide



Science Communication Centre, Faculty of Science

University of Adelaide


Ian Clark

Research Centre for Environmental and Recreation Management, University of South Australia




The Adelaide Science Online (ASO) project is a Faculty-wide program to develop and deliver online teaching, learning, communication and administration in the area of University science. Lotus Notes/Domino is being used as the software environment to initially develop and trial a pilot version of ASO. Pilot ASO databases so far include one geology subject, an image and software database and communication of administration documents. The geology pilot has produced and delivered nearly 500 web pages online to advanced science students. Preliminary evaluations of this teaching and learning pilot indicate its overall acceptance and improvement in course delivery to students due to increased flexibility, but there is a continued need for refinement to provide students with greater support for their changing role as learners in an IT dominant education environment.


The Science Faculty at Adelaide University has embarked on a new project designed to move electronic delivery and communication to a worldwide web-based system. The project was developed following a review of the application of information and learning technologies to the traditional range of teaching methodologies, learning styles, curriculum development, course administration and hardware and software issues currently facing the Faculty. This review has been developing a vision for the role of IT, in the context of sound educational principles, across the range of Faculty activities encompassing the use of database-driven distributed information systems that will ease many of the tasks confronting students and staff.

The Faculty is trialing industry-leading Domino WWW serving software to provide efficient management and secure distribution of on-line resources and has adopted Lotus Notes groupware technology for a range of pilot projects. Lotus Domino is an interactive web server which is being used to develop secure full INTRANET capabilities into the learning and teaching environment. The Domino environment allows rapid building, deployment and management of applications, helps staff and students collaborate and coordinate critical activities on-line, and is being used not only as an information delivery mechanism but also as a management tool, an email messaging system and an electronic discussion coordinator.

In one trial course, students of advanced geology have access to a range of databases which comprise the course content. These include course information guides, curriculum materials, assessment modules, research activities, field handbooks, practical notes, and text references. All are housed in the Domino database, all are accessible via Lotus Notes client software enabled terminals or via standard web browsers. Electronic material developed and delivered in many different applications is able to be integrated and delivered in one uniform environment. The students use the electronic environment to interrogate the course materials, and to download and carry out assigned tasks.

Future enhancements will allow students to electronically submit answer sheets and research assignments, and interact with the staff and tutors through the online discussion and email facilities. Overall, the Domino/Notes-based electronic communication environment, provisionally entitled Adelaide Science Online (ASO), is delivering to staff and students in the Faculty INTRANET facilities ranging from the easily accessible course materials to the secure and efficient administration of committee papers, timetables and other strategic documentation.

The Lotus Notes "Adelaide Science Online" (ASO) Learning Environment

The Vision

The Adelaide University Science Faculty is developing a vision for the coordinated implementation of learning technology in the Faculty. New information and learning technology is becoming a ubiquitous and unobtrusive part of the working environment, and it is beginning to have a more radical impact on education. Information technology has the capacity to provide new and valuable learning opportunities that are simply not available with traditional methods with advantages of improved communication and interaction among staff and students, and more flexible access to teaching and learning (Blake et al, 1997).

The vision for the application of information technology is also one in which close attention is being given to matters of curriculum, of the processes of learning, and for the support of staff and students in the provision of high quality learning opportunities. Information technology offers new opportunities for the presentation of subjects as a means of providing particular learning experiences, as a means of delivering subject resources, as an aspect of curriculum, by enabling effective communication between students and between staff and students, and as a medium for assessment. In all of these aspects, a standard, flexible and simple electronic communication environment is being developed. The core of the vision is the development of such an environment with the title Adelaide Science Online (ASO) (Blake et al, 1997).

ASO is being developed with the following attributes:

ASO is currently using the Lotus Notes/Domino software as a database engine capable of managing the coordination of these diverse computer aided teaching and learning resources and communications. It comprises a database engine, a range of subject templates, a Web server and student workstations in well furbished computer teaching suites. The student workstations access the ASO resources through a Web browser and ASO also coordinates local applications, such as a word processor, spread sheet, and movie player etc.

Lotus Domino/Notes

Central to its vision of the future applications of IT to its various research, teaching and administrative ideas, Adelaide Science Faculty has determined that WWW-server technology built on a database engine provides the management tools to store, retrieve and deliver resources.

Lotus Notes/Domino has been chosen for the current pilot scheme as the Notes database technology is relatively mature technology providing effective access control systems. The advent of Domino technology provides an automatic WWW interface for databases with reasonable controls of appearance (within the limitations of current browsers) allowing end-users to access on-line resources using a familiar and cheap (often free) application. Extensive training is thereby avoided. Crucially, the Lotus Notes/Domino software combines the task of filing resources with publishing although constraints must be accepted.

Lotus Notes/Domino has allowed the WWW delivery of the Structural Geology course to be planned in several stages. Initially, the course content has been prepared. Basic navigation facilities are provided based on the course structure, full text searching and other indexes.

No access controls were applied for the inaugural class and anonymous access provided for students. A set of forms have been created to allow the content author to create course elements that will appear as HTML pages to students. Categorising and indexing of the course is performed automatically by the Domino server which also converts views and documents to HTML on the fly. The ability to provide multiple indexes to the content is highly valued.

Much of the material has been transferred form existing presentation applications-predominantly Microsoft Powerpoint. Lotus Notes/Domino has demonstrated a remarkable ability to accept a wide range of data formats and deliver them appropriately to a browser. For management purposes and also to reduce network traffic, a Notes database has been developed to contain the Lecturer's extensive image library incorporating automatically generated URLs for browser access. Other image formats have been imported using the clipboard. A systematic approach to access control is being developed to efficiently import class lists from the University's Student Information System. Once implemented, students will be obliged to provide a user ID and password before gaining access. The user ID will be used to identify the students as the author of contributions to discussion groups and project work.

The "Adelaide Science Online" Structural Geology Lotus Notes Pilot


Over the last few years, our research efforts in the development of new learning environments have described the transition to the delivery of innovative and largely electronic teaching and learning modes. Initial programmes pioneered the direct digital presentation of lectures using Powerpoint (James & Clark 1991, see also Burton & Wynn 1994), which with the addition of colour, video, digitised field slides, pseudoanimations and simulations, became full multimedia productions (James & Clark 1993, 1996). Curriculum design and pedagogic additions such as electronic "concept maps" (Clark & James 1993) followed, with also the use of worldwide web gathered material in presentations (James 1994). Inclusion of commercial interactive multimedia (IMM) and computer aided learning (CAL) packages and simulations was added later (James et al. 1995)

More recently, attempts were made to change to a more flexible, but still largely electronically delivered content (James et al, 1996). In this project traditional lecture, laboratory and written assignment teaching methods were abandoned for a radical self-paced, flexible course delivery. The electronic storage of all course components and the initial trial in 1996 (reviewed in brief in the following section), appeared to make it an ideal pilot for the Lotus Notes ASO project

The 1996 - electronic and flexible course

In this project, James et al (1996) described the trial of an advanced level (III) structural geology subject, where the students did not attend lectures, but rather reviewed the course material in their own time as multimedia (Powerpoint) presentations in a computer laboratory. They used MS Word study guides/questionaires to help them to study the course content and then used an interactive multimedia authoring package (Hyperstudio) to make their own IMM module recreations of individual content topics from the Powerpoint material.

Students also carried out a sophisticated research assignment which they presented in the form of an interactive multimedia (IMM) module. Traditionally these would have been presented as a written essay on the subject. The IMM module on their research topic included text, images, animations, sound, relevant web resourced material and evidence of email contact and questioning of a professional geological researcher who had published on the topic.

The fieldwork component of the course was included in the new format by using a digital camera and getting students to take their own digital photographs, which were then compiled into an image database, which was made available to the students on the computer network. Also, email was made the main method of communication in the course, with the instructor emailing study guide/questionaires, information, etc to the students, and the students submitting assignments, questions, comments etc to each other, and to the lecturer, electronically.

Thus in summary, all of the components of the course at the end of 1996 were in electronic format and included the equivalent of 12 Powerpoint lectures (1000+ slides), 12 individual study guides (in MS Word), 12 practical exercises (MS Word), 1 Hyperstudio tutorial (in MS Word, Powerpoint and Hyperstudio), ~50 student developed Hyperstudio modules and assignments and a comprehensive collection of digital resources (500 slides in Adobe Photoshop format), Earth'nware simulations (De Poar, 1996), geoscience CAL packages (Authorware, Byron & Sowerbutts 1996), plus email and student class lists.

Construction of the Lotus Notes template/databases

In June 1997, with the decision to trial Lotus Notes/Domino as a fully integrated online database, document delivery and communications system, a Notes server was purchased, and Notes/Domino server software installed. For the structural geology pilot, the Notes client software was loaded onto a desktop PC (PowerMac 7100/80 with 700Mb HD and 50Mb RAM) and a Powerbook 3400 (50Mb RAM, 2 GB HD) portable computer. Access was then established through the network to the central Faculty Domino server which hosted and administered the databases.

For the geology pilot all digital documents were transferred to a single Notes database, which was authored using the Notes client either directly on the Domino server, or locally/remotely from home/office (with replication). This database was then accessed by the students enrolled in the course via a web browser (Netscape Navigator), with the format and presentation of the 1997 course similar to that carried out during the previous years running of the same course (James et al 1996).

As well as the course material database, a second database was planned and produced, which involved the inclusion of an image bank of scanned 35mm slides. These were principally field photographs, formerly used in traditional lectures to supplement the text and diagrams presented in Powerpoint. For a number years before, it had been intended to include these images (about 400) in the Powerpoint lectures, but for a number of reasons (eg time consuming task of scanning, lack of access to a digital slide scanner, large image file size (each image is 1Mb @72dpi), PC versions of Powerpoint unable to display jpeg compressed images etc.), this was not carried out. Thus in 1996, when for the first time the lectures were not presented as part of the electronic course, none of these images were viewed by the students in the course (though the students did have access to field photographs taken by a digital camera). In 1997 therefore the field slides were made accessible to students using the Notes database. It is important to mention here that such large slide/image sets were thus for the first time available to the students (on call), where previously they would have only been able to see them once (fleetingly) during a lecture. Students in 1997 also captured, stored and used digital images from their own recent geological excursion to central Australia, which was incorporated in the Lotus Notes image database (Fig. 1).

For the development of the geology course database, a Lotus Notes development consultant was employed to create a template for the database. This was developed hierarchically, with the course being subdivided into a number of levels with titles and different types of content allowed at each level. Fig. 2 shows the course/database hierarchy.

Fig 2 - Database hierarchy for the pilot geology project

Fig. 1 - Students scanning images for their IMM research assignments in an computer/image laboratory adjacent to the computer suite.

The outline of the course was subdivided into 5 hierarchical levels, with descriptive content able to be included in a standard template at each level. The 5 levels were labelled from the highest to lowest levels as subject, block, session, topic and section (Fig. 2). The Subject level was the top level and was the level given for the overall database. For this pilot subject it was given the subject name (Earth's Structure, Geophysics and Geostatistics, ESGG 3) and unique subject identifier (# - 9661). No content was placed in this template, though it was designed so that it could contain information normally found in subject guides, and thus had database fields labelled - subject name, identifier, coordinator (staff), lecturers and level. This particular subject (ESGG3) is a whole year (2 semester) subject of (~6 points value or about 25% full time load) comprising approximately the equivalent of 48 lectures, and 48 practicals plus fieldwork (20%).

The second level in the database termed Block, relates to the various components taken by different lecturing staff including the online pilot in Structural Geology (25%). The block template comprises a series of fields including block title, code, location, schedule, components, description, assessment, bibliography and other. For the structural geology block, details from the handbook for the subject previously prepared as MS Word documents, were cut and pasted into the appropriate Notes database fields and were thus accessible by the students via the web browser.

Blocks were then subdivided into Sessions, with each session being approximatley equivalent to the amount of learning content normally covered in a one hour lecture. The session template contained fields for the session title (equivalent to lecture title) and also a field to describe practical exercises associated with the session (which as will be seen later were, however, not used).

The sessions were then again subdivided using another template into a number of Topics. These varied in number from 5-10 for a typical session (lecture), and the topic template included fields for Topic description, worksheet details and references. Other than to name and order the topics, these fields were not used to hold course content.

The final (and most important) Notes database template was at the lowest heirarchical level and contained almost all of the content for the subject. These templates were termed Sections (ie as part of a topic) and were rigidly fixed in terms of their database field layout. The first field was a heading (or title) field and produced a larger (14pt) font with colour. Following the heading, a field was developed which allowed the remote import of an image from the image database associated with the subject. Using a number of keyword categories, an image and image description could be remotely linked to a page. Directly below the image, a caption field allowed a centred caption describing the image to be placed. This field was actually one of the most useful as it also allowed the pasting of text and graphics from Powerpoint files, and this was therefore the most used field.

One further field entitled "bullets" allowed bulleted text to be placed in a column beside an image (with larger, bold and coloured text). Thus this field was used occasionally when a few major points relating to an image were used. Most content pages were therefore composed of an image, a description of the image, a diagram (or two) and some explanatory text. Figure XX shows a typical page from the course, which can be found at <>

Importing the content into the databases

All preparation of the course database was carried out by PRJ in July and August (due to the lateness of development of the template), though the Notes environment should allow multiple authors to work on a course. As the majority of the content was either already in existence as presentation format in Powerpoint or document format in MS Word, the database was developed by cutting and pasting from these progammes into Notes. As the pasted content was subsequently saved to the Notes/Domino database, it was immediately published on the worldwide web. Thus at any one time the development computer had Powerpoint or Word, Notes and Netscape active - this proved to be about on the limit of the 50Mb of RAM available.

Powerpoint slides from the "lecture" presentations were transferred to Notes with little modification. Due to the image size differences, Powerpoint images were reduced to about 1/4 size and then copied and pasted into caption or bullet fields in Notes. Some text was also transferred in this way, but for a number of reasons, most text was keyed into the Notes program. Firstly, the copying and pasting of text meant that the text format had to be changed (size, colour and font) - which was cumbersome and time consuming. Secondly it was realised that the Powerpoint text was very much abbreviated to fit in with the dialogue of a lecture presentation, whereas more descriptive text was needed for the web delivery (where there was to be no accompanying dialogue). Most text was retyped in Notes (with minimal format variation - black, Helvetica, 12 pt), however, most diagrams including line styles, fills, colours etc, transferred very easily and quickly from Powerpoint to Notes and generally looked very acceptable in the Notes documents. As soon as they were saved in Notes, they were also viewed in the open web browser, which allowed minor adjustments and modifications to be made very quickly.

Another significant component of the content of the web course were the scanned digital images (Fig. 3). These were imported directly from the Notes Image database as linked web addresses. Although the images looked reasonable, there were some minor problems. When an image was imported into the Notes course database, it was not visible (except in the browser) thus checking what the image file was, whether it was in the correct sequence or in the right place was difficult. Also the template allowed only one image to be imported into one web page, which was restrictive, and that image had to appear at the top of the page directly beneath the title. In fact, when it was discovered that images could otherwise be pasted directly into the web documents, this was done on a number of occasions, where it was felt that more than one image would be required. This however defeated the purpose of the remote but linked image database.

Fig. 3 - An array of course content in mixed traditional and digital format on the principal author's "desktop". Clockwise from left, three field notebooks contain descriptions of field geology examples. Top centre, two racks of CD ROMS comprising images, simulation packages, and the Hyperstudio Application and resources discs. Next a botray/box of 150-200 35mm field slides (far right the slide viewing table). Finally at bottom is the stack of paper which was formerly distributed as notes, instructions, course material, practical notes, etc) In fact they are all not sitting on the desktop, but on filing cabinets which are used to store the paper and slide sets.

There were a number of problems with the Notes template environment which are currently being reviewed for future development. These include the following:

In spite of these and other problems, a functioning database template was produced and used to effectively deliver the course materials online. For the 12 session structural geology course, approximately 480 web pages were produced (ie about 40 pages per session). An estimate of the time required to produce this content was about 120-150 hours. Thus an average of about 10-15 hours per one hour session is probably a reasonable working estimate of time needed to produce the online course.

Flexible online delivery of the structural geology pilot course

Fig 4 - Overview of the Mawson Computer suite. 18 PC's in three rows in foreground, 10 Macs in small room at rear. 28 Machines for a class of 36 meant doubling up on some computers

The geology pilot course ran from July 28 to Sept. 1st 1997, with students timetabled to attend classes on each of 6 Mondays from 9.00am to 5.00pm. All classes were carried out in the Mawson Computer suite, in the Geology Department at Adelaide University. The suite comprised 18 PC and 10 Mac computers (Figs. 4 & 5).

Unlike 1996, when only 14 students were enrolled, the class size was 36. This created immediate problems, with only 28 computers at most available (often some were broken), causing some students to have to work in pairs. However, due to some of the students having the usual timetable clashes with other courses and subjects throughout the day, students absent for work and illness etc, the pressure for students to work in pairs was not significant, and some students conversly chose and preferred to work this way. One advantage of the high class number was that the suite could be booked out, and thus no students from other courses, levels etc. were allowed into the teaching lab which had caused some problems in the previous years running of the course.

During the course, as in 1996, there was only one formal "lecture" session. This took place on the first morning of the first day, and was the introduction to the rationale and mode of presentation of the course (Fig. 6). Students were informed of the intended flexible means of delivery, the self-paced nature of the learning, the expectations in terms of assignments and assessments, and the potential limitations of the technology.

Fig. 5 - The Macintosh section of the Mawson Computer suite.

Fig. 6 - The Macintosh section of the Mawson Computer suite, on the first day of the course during one of the few "synchronous" presentation sessions, to describe the format of the course. About 16 of the 35 students are visible (some lying on the floor under the central table. Others are to the side of and behind the camera.

As the pilot had only been developed very late in the year, in fact, the web content did not work the first week - and the students were forced to use Powerpoint and Word to view the first week's material. From then on the content was developed in the week between the sessions, and was usually "published" on the web late on the Friday before the subsequent Monday class. In some ways this controlled the pace of the students learning, as they were only able to view material as it was prepared and presented.

However, during each session, usually at 9.00am and 2.00pm (immediately after lunch) the group was brought together and a summary discussion took place. This included, discussion of the tasks and content to come, discussion of FAQ's, problems etc. of the previous session, introduction to the practical exercises and administrative details.

Outcomes of the course

In general, the course ran more smoothly than the previous year (see later evaluation) and in spite of the continued difficulties (poor lecture facilities, some problems with the Web/Notes database navigation, overcrowding), most students accepted the trial willingly and without dissent. They also appeared to work very hard throughout the course. Between two and three class demonstrators were always in attendance and were always very busy (it proved invaluable to have both a Mac and a Win/PC expert always in attendance for the frequent technical difficulties (Fig. 7).

Fairly quickly individual students began to develop their own (individual) learning styles. Two students preferred the Powerpoint presentations to the web format, because of the navigation problems, and used these throughout the course. An unexpected observation was that almost all students studiously hand wrote copious notes from the web browser onto paper including all text and even complex figures (see Fig. 8). In spite of the fact that this was available without time or location restrictions on the browser.

Some students began accessing the content at other times and places, however, the majority attended all scheduled times and worked through the content in the sequence in which it was developed and delivered. Another surprising feature was that after about 3-4 weeks almost all of the students got into an individual rhythm of learning at their own pace. Thus at any one time, almost all students were occupied on a different part of the course, ie they chose what they wanted to do and when they wanted to do it. Thus a majority might be working on the same session material, but all would be at a different place within the content. Some students would be doing a practical task, some would be looking at slides, some would be working on their project. This led to some difficulty in monitoring and "controlling" the class - especially to stop them to talk to them in a group discussion. However there was a degree of organised chaos which was manageable and in a way, as an academic, more fulfilling - to watch over and help out when required, rather than to control and discipline and regiment their learning.

Overall the students seemed to be more motivated as they were controlling the pace of their learning. Of course there were one or two slackers, who had to be reminded of the pace and amount tasks required.


As with the previous years trial at flexible (but not online) delivery, there were a number of difficulties throughout the course. Student accounts and a mailing list were not prepared. Thus there was no email communication or Notes bulletin board/chat session available. A FAQ sheet was used during the course, but in fact this was a whiteboard in the computer suite, where students wrote up problems and questions, which were then responded to during the discussion sessions. Obviously there were not enough computers, there were continued cross platform problems and machine crashes and bugs. More importantly, the lack of adequate desk space to write notes or do handwritten problems, caused considerable concern to both staff and students.

As with the 1996 trial, however, the online flexible delivery of the subject was overall a success. The full course was delivered in this mode, the students attended all sessions and they willingly engaged in before, during and after course comprehensive evaluations.


An ongoing evaluation, using interviews (individual and small group), pre and post questionnaires, and observational data, was used to collect information from students on this teaching and learning approach. Students appeared to take 2-3 weeks adjusting to a more flexible approach to course delivery. Initially, approximately 65% of the class group focussed entirely on completing the Internet lecture material, and then moving onto the practical activities, quiz sheets or assignment activities. By week 5 a greater proportion of students were making decisions about how their work would be managed, and at any one time there were students completing lecture material, working on quiz sheets, investigating aspects on the WWW, emailing, or working on their multimedia assignment, taking breaks and discussing ideas as necessary.

Fig. 7 - Post graduate class demonstrator (teaching assistant) providing help to students attempting to answer quiz questions which are part of each On line session. Quiz question sheets were printed out from the web course material to overcome the problem of switching between pages to view both the content and the questions. Note that the students are working two to a computer.

There was one significant problem with the use of Lotus Notes, which may appear trivial, but became irritating to students as they worked through the web pages. At the completion of each web page students were required to return to the main menu before selecting the next web page of information. Most students would have preferred a scroll down arrangement, or another linking way of linking one page to the next page. For this reason, four students preferred to use PowerPoint as this software allowed for quicker scrolling between frames.

Students used a variety of approaches when completing the work in class. These included:

Fig. 8 - The PC student desktop, with no space to work, and the student answering the quiz on his knee

Time to complete the lecture material more flexibly was a major issue, and highlights the need to consider the way material is presented and how students will work on material. When students worked on web material for 2-3 hours they commented that eventually they were just copying down information without thinking about it. The time devoted to this aspect also meant students were under more pressure when completing the practical work. To overcome this latter problem, some students advocated that practical work should be done by the class group at a specified time.

Students' past and successful experience in a lecture environment meant that proximately 50% of respondents to the final questionnaire still wanted some form of lecture, discussion or seminar each week, as this would assist in the explanation of ideas and reassure them that they were still on the right track. One interesting student comment was that all information given on the computer becomes equally important, whereas a lecturer can differentiate between the information by indicating whether it is important or not to know this for an exam, or if it is an example, etc. Three students reported in the post course questionnaire that they were opposed to the concept of flexible delivery and recommended that the subject not be taught in this way.

A variety of issues were raised by students in both the small group and individual interviews regarding the classroom environment. These included the lack of bench space, poor lighting and ventilation and the need for more ergonomically designed work stations to cater for the individual requirements of students.

Table 1. Ability to use computer applications, anxiety and confidence


Pre Course

Post Course






Ability in using application




















Science Online





Confidence in using computers





Anxiety in using computers





Note 1: Based on a scale of Strongly Agree =7, Undecided = 4, and Strongly Disagree = 1

Students' perceptions of their ability to use computer applications improved during this study as described in Table 1. Students who had received a reply via email regarding their assignment responded favourably to this aspect: "He explained a couple of points we didn't understand. This project itself forced me to better learn about the topic". Student confidence to use computers improved marginally, but there was very little change in their overall anxiety levels. The slight change in anxiety may be attributed to the timing of the post-questionnaire on a day when students were under some stress completing the final parts of this multi-media assignment, and having to resolve technical problems. This alone caused considerable anxiety for students.

Table 2 summarises the students' mostly favourable responses to a series of post-course Likert items. Overall, Science Online required students to take more control of their learning (items 5 & 6), and this allowed them to pace their learning (item 7). Students believed they were able to understand the subject material (items 1 & 9), and found "Adelaide Science Online" a more challenging learning environment (item 14). Time management and the impact of this on learning in a flexible approach (items 4, 11 & 12) appeared to be an issue, and the high workload may have influenced student interest in the work (item 13), and their perceptions of the overall suitability of the approach to learning (item 8).


The Adelaide Science Online (ASO) pilots, and in particular the online course delivery project are the beginning of an enterprise-wide attempt at sensibly incorporating technology into the higher education environment. Future develoments are planned to take advantage of the pilots run so far. They must include taking account of resource and management issues (printing and download time problems). They must link seamlessly with the range of applications currently resident in the academic environment. Most importantly they need to include more interactivity and better communication models. We are working towards these with enthusiasm.


Blake, A., James, PR. & Thomas, C. (1997) Information technology in the Faculty of Science. Faculty of Science, University of Adelaide, unpublished report - Sept, 1997, 9pp -

Burton, A & Wynn, S., (1994) Making the most of electronic media for teaching and learning, in Steele and Hedberg (eds) Proc. LETA conference, Adelaide, Sept 1994, p27-32.

Byron, D & Sowerbutts, W., (1996) Courseware: rock deformation and geological structures. In De Paor (ed) Structural geology and personal computers, Pergamon, p39-42.

Clark, I. & James.P.R., (1993) The Use of Concept Maps in the Teaching of Structural Geology. In Promoting Teaching in Higher Education (Reports from the National Teaching Workshop), Eds. Bain, Lietzow & Ross, Griffiths University Press, p291-304.

Table 2. Post course responses to Likert Items relating to the Science Online project






I was able to understand the subject material delivered via 'Science Online'.




The handout materials (quiz sheets,..) were helpful for my understanding of the subject.




My ability to use computer applications has improved




I was able to manage my time when working on the material presented in this subject.




I preferred having control over the way I managed my time when doing the work in this subject.




I was required to take more responsibility for my learning in this class.




I liked being able to pace my own learning.




'Science online' enabled me to learn the material in a way that suited me .




I developed an understanding of my topic through the Hyperstudio activity.




I had adequate access to computers for this subject




I had more time in class to develop an understanding of the geological ideas presented on 'Science Online'




I did further research on the topics in my own time.




A more flexible approach to teaching helped maintain my interest in the work.




'Science online' provided more challenges in learning the material compared to a traditional lecture approach.



Note 1: Based on a scale of Strongly Agree =7, Undecided = 4, and Strongly Disagree = 1

De Paor, D (1996) Structural geology and personal computers, Pergamon, 527p.

James.P.R. (1994) Media Integration in Teaching & Learning: Best Practice in the Electronic Classroom. Steele JR & Hedberg JG (eds), Learning Environment Technology Australia AJET publications, Canberra, p120-127.

James.P.R., & Clark, I. (1991). Computer animation and multimedia presentation software as an aid to tertiary geological education in the Earth Sciences. Proc. 8th ASCILITE Conference, Launceston, p339-348.

James.P.R., & Clark, I. (1993) Grid sketching to aid teaching geological mapping in an area of complex polydeformation. Journal of Geological Education. vol 41/5, pp. 433-437

James.P.R., Clark, I., Hillis, R. & Peterson, R. (1995) Evaluation of Interactive Multimedia in Tertiary Geoscience. In "Learning with Technology, ASCILITE Proceedings, Melbourne, 272-280.

James.P.R., Clark, I. & Peterson, R. (1996) Students Question the World!: Learning with "Multiple" Media. . In "Making New Connections", ASCILITE Proceedings, Adelaide, 309-323.

James.P.R., & Clark, I. (1996) GeologiCAL Structure - multimedia presentation and modelling software. In De Paor (ed) Structural geology and personal computers, Pergamon, p13-38.


(c) P.R.James, Ray Peterson, I.Roberts, Ian Clark


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