Papers at the AUC Conference covered a range of topics from technical explanations through to theories of online interaction, with many stages between. It has been refreshing to hear and see what other Universities around Australia and beyond are doing, the challenges they face and how they cope.
Quite a few departments are developing solutions (a cynic might say reinventing wheels) to address their particular challenges, some have taken technologies and applied them to solve their problems in new and innovative ways to give them good returns from limited investments.
Notable presentations included:
- Joe Luca from Edith Cowan University and Daniel Saffioti from the University of Wollongong both demonstrated their own courseware management systems developed to overcome the shortcomings they have encountered with commercial systems like WebCT.
- Michael Fardon from UWA gave an update on the streaming lecture solution they have been developing for a number of years now. The UC lecture recording system has done some things better than UWA, and at the same time can learn something from what UWA has done.
- David Cameron from Charles Sturt University gave a presentation on how CSU has used streaming video to give its journalism students a taste of live television production. Our own facility at UC is waiting for us to have the time to install the last bits of the technology we need to do this, and to learn the techniques required to make it happen in practice (and to be able to use the television studio to produce quality presentations for streaming over the Internet).
- Joe Jackson from Carnegie Mellon University explained how MacOSXlabs.org provides a wide range of resources for IT staff around the world to help them set up and run Macintosh computer labs in Universities that integrate with wider network resources like directory services and other platform resources.