Web Campus Toolkit

Call it ‘education as conversation’, if you will. But at the heart of how we do things in this programme is the belief that learning is a socially-mediated process and that we develop understanding through interactions with others (what academics call ‘constructivism’).

We also believe that network technology’s ability to help us reach across time and space can be a great help. But, like any worker will tell you, success – and satisfaction – has a lot to do with using the right tool for the right job.

Here, then, are some of the conversation tools in our Web Campus Toolkit.

1. Website
Lancashire Business School
Department of Journalism
Think of these websites as the virtual equivalent to the broader campus with a core building for the business school (Greenbank) and specific spaces for the department. For the most part these spaces are open to the public.

2. Virtual Learning Environments
WebCT logoE-Learn WebCT is the core of our web campus, or virtual learning environment (VLE). Think of this as the classrooms. Entrance to physical and virtual classrooms are reserved to who have registered and enrolled for particular units or modules. Here you’ll find a variety of tools – discussion boards, e-mail, chat rooms as well course materials and the like.

3. Online conferences
Macromedia Breeze logoMacromedia Breeze is a rich web communication system that lets us engage in weekly online videoconference sessions and also to Webcast special sessions, such as the Journalism Leaders Forums. To make the most of the sessions, all participants are given webcam and microphones at the start of the course. You can experiment with Breeze by visiting the open forum and logging in as a guest.

4. Campus E-mail
With your corporate card comes a university e-mail address on the GroupWise system. You’ll be able to follow use it access mail on and off campus through the Remote Access

5. Library Online
Library Online provide a treasure trove on resources, including access to e-books, online journals and other publications.

6. Programme Blogs
We run two blogs to share information and stimulate discussion about -
the programme in general and
about the Journalism Leaders Forum in particular.

7. Instant Messaging
Msn Messenger logoWell, if WebCT is our virtual campus and Macromedia Breeze is the meeting rooms, then the free, widely-used Instant Messaging services MSN Messenger as our virtual hallway or Buddy Zone.

And, just like on a physical campus, you can roam the hallways at will and pause to chat. Or you can put out a ‘busy’ sign or you can hide. If you don’t have MSN Messenger on your system, you can download it or If you’re unable to download MSN onto your system, you can access the Web version. You’ll need a Hotmail account or a Net Passport, which are simple to set up. Just follow the links.

8. Internet Telephony

Skype logoAnother tool we use to maintain links with a worldwide network of participants and discussion leaders is internet telephony or, to use the proper term, voice over internet protocol (VOIP) application Skype.

While Skype and MSN share many of the same features, Skype has some (paid-for) functions, such the ability to make computer to landline or mobile phone calls, that are very useful. You can download the free software

on campus residentials