Using the internet to support education: Implications for life – long learning and self assessments

Don Sheridan and Felix B. Tan
Vol 17, Number 1, p.20
Included in the New Zealand Government's green paper 'A Future Tertiary Education Policy for New Zealand' is the intention to put in place common quality standards, standard methods for reporting programmes of study, and a national system to record all students registered in any paper at any tertiary institution. Through the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) the government asserts the right to ensure there is one coordinated qualifications system that is easy for the consumer to understand and use. Since this plan is being phased in over a four to five year period there remains much to be done. Independently of the NQF, many tertiary institutions have initiated their own quality assurance processes as well as projects to assist students in evaluating study options and accessing learning resources via the internet. One such project is an internet, browser-based, computer-supported learning (CSL) system designed and built by The University of Auckland's MSIS Department to serve primarily business students. Now completing its second year of operation it has moved to a more powerful computer platform and been completely redesigned to become a university resource. Several thousand students use CSL daily. This paper will outline the development of CSL and, in particular, discuss our work in connecting a taxonomy of knowledge with the multimedia assets needed for learning and assessment. The implications for self-directed study and our university's goal to provide life-long learning will be presented. In the process we believe CSL also complements NQF objectives.