A newly-published 252-page book details the first results to emerge from United Kingdom universities participating in a Pounds 75 million educational technology programme.
The Teaching and Learning Technology Programme, which was launched by the four higher education funding bodies in 1992, aims to improve the effectiveness of teaching and maintain its quality in the face of increased student numbers and greater pressures on staff.
The funding bodies are spending Pounds 33 million on TLTP, with participating institutions contributing a further Pounds 42 million.
The teaching materials in the first TLTP catalogue are available at cost price to the higher education sector. Many are ready now, while the rest should become available by the end of the year.
The subjects covered include humanities, social sciences, economics, engineering and medicine, though the largest section of the catalogue is that devoted to science, mathematics and computing.
The vast majority of the materials are intended for DOS/Windows PCs. There is only a sprinkling of Macintosh and Unix software.
By no means all are multimedia productions. Any product which includes significant amounts of sound and images will require a capacious distribution medium such as CD-Rom, but many TLTP titles are distributed on humble floppy disks.
The Internet shows its influence. Many institutions distribute their TLTP materials by ftp, the Internet file transfer protocol.
Cambridge University's engineering department has developed a set of simulations which students can run while actually logged in to the Internet. The simulations themselves require a Unix machine, but students can control them from any computer for which a World-Wide Web browser exists.
TLTP Catalogue Phase 1, Pounds 5 from: TLTP Support Unit, Northavon House, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QD. Tel: 0117 931 7454, email firstname.lastname@example.org