22 December 2009

Virtual enquiry service

Time for pupils to take screen tests, says watchdog - http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/education/article6959746.ece

It is logical to assume that on-screen tests will not be the end of the story. Why not to offer on-screen GCSE and A-Level programmes - as other highel level degrees were offered as distance courses?

This poses a question for libraries: what is the place for information professionals and learning resources services in such a world? An online enquiry service comes to my mind immediately - a chat room staffed with library staff for helping and guiding learners.

It's not exactly a new idea both for education and business (when I was buying my last computer online, a member of the Apple Store team from somewhere far away guided me through the process on a virtual chat - on deciding on configuration, warranty options, cables etc. - until my payment went through; it was the best online shopping experience I've had), but it has never been - as far as I know - tested in Further Education... while the majority of our learners are already on distance courses!

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