National Priority (Reserve) Fund 1992 Part A Grants Program:
Quality of Teaching and Learning

Final Report for Module B: Computer
tools in teaching and learning

Geoff Rehn
Lecturer, Computer Assisted Learning
Academic Services Unit, Murdoch University

Roger Atkinson (Module B Project Supervisor)
Senior Lecturer in Educational Technology
Academic Services Unit, Murdoch University
Murdoch WA 6150 Ph 09 360 6840 Fax 09 310 4929


Module B of Murdoch University's grant from the National Priority (Reserve) Fund 1992, Part A: National Priority Grants Program: Quality of Teaching and Learning, commenced in November 1992. An interim Progress Report (Rehn and Atkinson, 1993; copy attached) has been submitted on activities until June 1993, and this Final Report describes developments and achievements during the period June 1993 to May 1994.

This report describes some current institutional activities that are direct outcomes from the work done in Module B. Further work is focussing on networked multimedia resources, the use of network information retrieval tools for teaching and learning, dialup access to the network, how to present networked information, and electronic publishing. Although Module B's funding from the NPRF grant was exhausted in November 1993 the project continued with extensions into these topics until May 1994, using University funds derived from salary savings.

Reference is made to resources that are available nationally via AARNet (Australian Academic Research Network) and internationally via Internet. New developments at Murdoch University in electronic publication and the provision of networked teaching and learning materials, using World Wide Web, gopher and ftp servers, can only be fully appreciated by accessing the material in this way, using WWW clients such as Mosaic for the Macintosh, Mosaic for Windows and XMosaic or Lynx for Unix, gopher clients or ftp clients.

Digital Images

A demonstration library of still digital images was developed for Veterinary Science, Geology and the Biological and Environmental Sciences, with the participation by senior academic staff from these disciplines. A digital imagebase concerned with Murdoch personnel and scenes was prepared, using photographs provided by Brian Richards, photographer, Educational Services and Teaching Resources Unit (ESTR).

These images with textual annotations are available by anonymous ftp (file transfer protocol) to the Unit's Unix host, (IP number:, in the directory /pub/digital_images. Images were obtained from original Kodak PhotoCD digital image sources, taken from 35 mm colour slides and undeveloped photographic film supplied by a number of academic and general staff. Storage on the host cleo is in a variety of file formats and sizes, chosen for multi-platform viewing (DOS /Windows, Macintosh and Unix platforms). Images are accessible from Murdoch University's network, and from anywhere in the world via AARNet and the Internet.

The digital image collection has enabled demonstrations of a number of techniques:

  1. Digital images for computer-based slide shows and video projection in lecture theatres, using a computer (PC and Macintosh) as a presentation platform.

  2. Incorporation into prototype HyperCard stacks, which provides an easy method for academic staff to provide textual annotations for each image. As well, these HyperCard stacks provide a model for further work in computer assisted learning.

  3. Including annotations in the digital image so that viewing of the image and reading of the associated text can occur simultaneously, using network access.

  4. Providing images which are retrievable via the University's gopher server, and with prototype instructional material included, via a small scale World Wide Web server.
To access the image collection and supplementary compressed digitised video via gopher, point gopher to, directory /FTP Archive Servers/Murdoch cleo "digital images" Archive Server.

The World Wide Web

To access the image collection by World Wide Web (WWW), point a WWW browser such as Mosaic to the experimental WWW server located on the Macintosh IIvx computer (purchased with Module B funds). To do this, open the URL (Uniform resource Locator): This home page points to the following URLs which will demonstrate the work done in providing electronic publishing services and networked teaching-learning resources, with the participation and collaboration of a number of the University's academic staff. The "IIMS 94 networking" paper demonstrated the first use in Western Australia of the WWW as a means of multimedia electronic publication, and was available for network access at the time of the paper's formal presentation at the Second International Interactive Multimedia Symposium, held in Perth (Rehn, 1994). Murdoch University was the first Western Australian institution to be added to the list of Australian World Wide Web servers maintained by Australian National University's Library.

Dialup access to AARNet and the Internet

We have experienced a rapidly increasing demand for dialup access from University students, staff, and community users of cleo. The "community" group includes a wide range of contact persons concerned with information technology in Western Australian State Government departments, State and private schools, libraries, law firms, some small businesses and some coordinators at remote and rural telecentres. To meet their needs considerable effort was spent in developing dialup access tools, to facilitate access to the University's network for services such as electronic mail, newsreading and file transfer.

A variety of dialup tools and network access methods have been located and adapted for Murdoch University's network, for both Macintosh and DOS/Windows platforms. These dialup solutions are being used by students, academic and general staff of Murdoch University, coordinators of both federally and state funded telecentres, and other community users of access to cleo. Their significance, especially in the case of the most important service, email, is due to these factors:

Customisation of these tools for the Murdoch University environment has been assisted by software developers from around the world, using electronic mail and file transfer protocol.

The following dialup information retrieval solutions have been implemented at Murdoch University:

  1. Macintosh public domain email software Eudora, for both older System 6 Macintoshes and System 7. Eudora is the defacto on-campus email standard for Macintosh users at Murdoch. This solution for dialup Eudora was implemented in a variety of forms useable in different environments.

  2. NuPop public domain email software for both DOS and Windows on the PC platform.

  3. Using the University of Melbourne's ARNS software for providing full AppleTalk network services by serial dialup via the University's Annex terminal server, including the remote use of Laserwriter printers, with possible future applications to student assignments as well as academic staff use.

  4. Appletalk Remote Access software (ARA) to provide full TCP/IP (Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) functionality for dialup users. This is one method for complete equivalence to on-campus Ethernet networking is available, albeit at slower speeds.

  5. SLIP (Serial Line Internet Protocol) and PPP (Point-to-Point) protocols which provide the most universal method for implementing TCP/IP for dialup users. Murdoch University will explore further the implementation of dialup SLIP connections, as teleworking is becoming recognised as a legitimate avenue for academics, in addition to meeting needs for off campus students.
The availability of ARNS, ARA, SLIP and PPP for general use awaits some policy decisions by the University, and upgrades to the University's Annex 3 terminal server and modem pool, to handle the additional traffic which these capabilities would attract.

The day to day work with dissemination to users is based upon a collection of public domain files on cleo, including the following for email handling and news reading:

These files are updated frequently as new versions of software become available, or as specific advice to users is revised according to the feedback received.

Dissemination and current activities

Dissemination of the outcomes from Module B has included a number of workshops and presentations. These were under the auspices of Murdoch University's Teaching Excellence Committee, the 1994 Academic Staff Development Fund (ASDF), the Western Australian Chapter of the Australian Society for Educational Technology, with some presentations for individual Schools. Workshops have included: Workshops, training sessions and individual assistance have been given on WWW, Mosaic and HTML document development to Murdoch academic staff, and to staff from other organisations. The demonstrations include developing a sample HTML document from an existing word processor document. Representatives of the legal profession in Western Australia, including law librarians and Supreme Court judges were given demonstrations.

CU-SeeMe Internet desktop video conferencing system has been tested and demonstrated for both Macintosh and Windows, using also the Maven Internet audio conferencing system (Figure 1). The first link between Australia and Singapore (the National University of Singapore) using this new technology was recently achieved. This exploration includes the investigation of the transmission of digital anatomical and medical images, with the active support of the School of Veterinary Studies and Murdoch and their interest in distance education applications. As a low cost approach suitable for small groups of 2 to 3 persons at a workstation, CU-SeeMe will have a role in the University's branch campus operations in 1996, to complement higher cost forms of lecture theatre and studio scale video conferencing which cater for larger groups.

As a result of interest generated at ASET workshops, dissemination of the work on dialup access has now extended to other tertiary institutions, with several members of the academic staff at Curtin University of Technology acquiring software and customised scripts for Windows and Macintosh environments. These individuals appear to be continuing the dissemination amongst their own colleagues.

Support in writing 1995 CAUT applications has been given to a number of groups at Murdoch University. The supported applications have as their focus the World Wide Web and the development of multimedia resources, awareness of such tools having arisen from this Project's dissemination work.

Following the conclusion of Module B's formal activities at the beginning of May 1994, the main current work is for the 1994 CAUT grant "Veterinary Anatomy practicals on CD-ROM" led by Associate Professor Jim Cummins. Specialised technical assistance is given in the development of digital images and HTML documents. Techniques have been developed for "clickable maps" and "searchable forms", which are the key to achieving with WWW a high degree of interactivity comparable to that offered by conventional and much more expensive forms of interactive multimedia.

In addition to meeting immediate goals in Veterinary Anatomy's CAUT Project, the imaging and HTML work provides a confident and economical basis for scaling up to meet other needs, including future operations for branch campus needs. The experience in imaging and HTML is an important factor behind the decision by a team under Associate Professor Jim Cummins to apply for a CAUT Clearing House grant in Veterinary Science and Animal Science.

Project Budget Module B

Expenditure on Module B proceeded according to the plan given in Progress Report, which was as given below.

IncomeItem $Total $
Grant from Reserve Fund60,000
From External Studies Unit major equipment budget247
Total income (Account code group AS CES D 606)
Salary and appointment expenses and commitments
Salary (2 Nov 92 - 1 Nov 93)45,956
On costs (2 Nov 92 - 1 Nov 93)4,444
Appointment expenses (advertising the position)994
Total salary and appointment expenses and commitments51,394
Equipment and maintenance
Macintosh IIvx 5 MB disk 160 MB, CD drive3,874
Colour monitor 14 inch for Macintosh IIvx745
Keyboard for Macintosh IIvx135
Asanti Ethernet for Macintosh IIvx (UTP, 10BaseT)325
RAM expansion 5 to 8 MB for Macintosh IIvx168
Ethernet ports for Macintosh IIvx and DOS and Windows PC1,000
Telephone extension for temporary lecturer236
Second hand VideoSpigot card and software for Macintosh IIvx500
One copy Parliament Stack CD ROM version115
Reference books on Macintosh and PC data communications103
Kodak Photo CD processing93
Balance available 14 June 93 for further maintenance expenses1,559
Total equipment and maintenance8,853
Total expenditure and commitments60,247

After 1 November 1993 the project continued to
8 May 1994 with the budget listed below.

IncomeItem $Total $
From External Studies Unit Salary savings20,206
PT teach by Mr Rehn for Dept Aboriginal Programs, Edith Cowan Uni2,704
Total income22,91022,910
Salary and on costs Mr Rehn (2 Nov 93 - 31 Dec 93)5,125
Salary and on costs Mr Rehn (1 Jan 94 - 8 May 94)17,785
Total expenditure 2 Nov 93 - 8 May 9422,91022,910


Rehn, G. (1994). From Kodak PhotoCD to lecturer's desktop: The networking of multimedia resources. In McBeath, C. and Atkinson, R. (eds), Proceedings of the Second International Interactive Multimedia Symposium, 461-467. Perth: Promaco Conventions.

Rehn, G. and Atkinson, R. (1993). Interim Report for Module B: Computer tools in teaching and learning. Report on a National Priority (Reserve) Fund 1992 Part A Grant: Quality of Teaching and Learning. Perth: Murdoch University External Studies Unit.

Rehn, G. and Towers, S. (1994). Audiographic teleconferencing: The Cinderella of interactive multimedia. In McBeath, C. and Atkinson, R. (eds), Proceedings of the Second International Interactive Multimedia Symposium, 468-477. Perth: Promaco Conventions.

Rehn, G. (1993a). Telematics, telecommunications and the teaching of bridging mathematics - overcoming the problems of distance. In Proceedings of the 2nd Annual Conference of the Australian Bridging Mathematics Network. Canberra: ANU.

Rehn, G. (1993b). The use of the Macintosh as a communications, presentation and interactive instructional tool in off campus education. In Conference Proceedings, Educating with Technology, Apple University Consortium Conference, Christchurch, NZ.

Rehn, G. (1993c). A rendezvous with the present: An overview of some current developments in telecommunications in Western Australia. Keynote address, 1993 Annual Conference, Educational Computing Association of Western Australia.

Rehn, G. (1993d). Audiographics and computer mediated communication. Presentation to the Telecentres Coordinators Conference, DPIE and DEVET WA, Merredin, Sept 1993.

Report date: 16jun94

Progress Report for Module B: Computer tools
in teaching and learning

Geoff Rehn
Lecturer, Computer Assisted Learning
External Studies Unit, Murdoch University

Roger Atkinson (Module B Project Supervisor)
Acting Director, External Studies Unit, Murdoch University

Project overview

Module B constitutes one of the four modules in Murdoch University's grant from the National Priority (Reserve) Fund 1992, under Part A: National Priority Grants Program: Quality of Teaching and Learning. The broad purpose for Module B is to provide user support services for improving the utilisation of computer tools in teaching and learning. Initial planning for Module B considered four main areas for the project activities:
  1. Computers as presentation tools to assist in delivery of lectures and tutorials.

  2. Computer assisted learning, particularly the use of inexpensive CAL tools such as Macintosh Hypercard, and simple "tutorials on disk", for both internal and external teaching;

  3. Use of computer graphics software for preparing diagrams for printed study guides and course materials, and for computer presentations in classrooms;

  4. Email and computer conferencing for distance teaching.
Within these broad areas, a number emerged for detailed consideration by the project. The first and main topic is techniques for digitalisation, storage, manipulation and network transmission of images derived from PAL video, still photographs or scanning. This topic was selected because of the importance of colour images as basic resources for using computers as presentation tools in class delivery and for computer assisted learning, and because recent developments have brought the cost of the technologies down to affordable levels. The second group of subsidiary topics is in distance teaching applications of computer mediated communications and audiographic teleconferencing. These were selected as relevant for Murdoch's distance teaching, and as our contribution to an inter-institutional effort in developing learning network centres in WA, which will provide improved support for non-metropolitan students.

The timetable for Module B was modified substantially owing to unexpected delays in securing the best available appointee to the temporary lectureship, and in achieving coordination with the appointments of two temporary associate lecturers to Unit positions which became available as a result of the secondment of the Director of External Studies to the Commonwealth of Learning in Vancouver. Mr Geoff Rehn commenced in the Module B temporary Lecturer, Computer Assisted Learning, on 2 November after completion of his 1992 teaching contract at Edith Cowan University. The project will now extend until 1 November 1993.

This report outlines the activities pursued and the achievements attained up to the time of writing. It will summarise directions that have been followed in a wide variety of applied areas that have sought to enhance the increased use of computers tools within the university, towards the goal of improving the quality of both teaching and learning.

It will be seen that a focus has emerged that has been shaped by both the University's needs and recent developments in the areas of CD-ROM development and publishing, digital imaging, the networked access to multimedia resources and electronic publishing. There is increasingly productive and relevant collaboration between the External Studies Unit, the Educational Services and Teaching Resources Unit, and the Computer Services Unit, in developing the tools of multimedia production and its networked distribution.

In addition, there has been a solid beginning to the provision of training and the raising of awareness of the use of computer tools in the University, by the provision of several seminars and workshops, as well as promotion using AARNet resources such email and relevant local Murdoch, Western Australian, Australian and international newsgroups on the Internet. Links have been established to counterparts at Curtin, Edith Cowan and UWA. Following a presentation to the chair of Murdoch's Teaching Excellence Committee, Pro-Vice Chancellor Lawrie Davidson, there has now been a formal request to present to a wide academic audience as part of a regular series concerned with teaching and learning within the University. The Project welcomes this opportunity to further the broad aims of Module B (Rehn, 1993j).

Project facilities and software tools

Desktop access to computing facilities was initially confined to a Macintosh LC II with 13 inch colour screen (with no Internet access) until the acquisition, in late November, of a Macintosh IIvx 8MB RAM, 160MB HD and 1 MB VRAM, with an inbuilt CD-ROM drive and a third-party EtherNet card that enabled desktop access to AARNet networked information services such as email, newsgroups, ftp sites and gopher servers. A limited number of software development tools have been obtained, with an emphasis on public domain material or readily available proprietary software such as HyperCard.

Much effort was expended in November and December of 1992 in the mastery of accessing networked information resources available through AARNet, with a special emphasis on user-friendly, public domain client server software. Skills were gained in the use of such tools on the Macintosh as the mail reader Eudora, the file transfer software Fetch, newsreaders such as Nuntius and NewsWatcher as well as the gopher client-servers Gopher and TurboGopher. Subscription to a wide variety of newsgroups followed. The cross-posting to several WA and Australian newsgroups of a brief review of a CD-ROM developed by the University of Northern Rivers, lead to a request for permission to publish the review as an short article in a recent edition of the University of Queensland's Institute News (Rehn, 1993a). This first attempt at "electronic publishing", if you like, brought home the power and immediacy, as well as potential unthought-of benefits, of the use of AARNet for academic and research publication purposes.

Email access to colleagues has facilitated the sharing and gaining of information, as well as providing the means for the exploration of multimedia email; membership of newsgroups has informed the project about relevant meetings and conferences as well as providing a veritable gold-mine of access to others' skills and knowledge.

Access to file transfer over AARNet and the Internet has enabled the down-loading of a wide range of very useful public-domain and shareware software, especially in the area of digital imaging and computer mediated communication. Several of these have been forwarded to the Computer Services Unit at Murdoch for inclusion in their locally accessible archive of software. Specialised examples are available by anonymous ftp on the recently installed host Cleo, within the External Studies Unit.

Attention is now being given to access and retrieval tools for the PC and Windows environments. An impetus has been provided by recent developments undertaken in the storage and access to digital image resources, discussed later in this report. In downloading files of applications software from the network, the writer became aware of the role of compression and decompression of files for transfer over the Internet. As a consequence, it was necessary to upgrade several of the compression utilities currently available within Murdoch University, to meet the needs of graphics file compression for the PC and Windows environments.

At the time of writing, the author will be involved in the provision of some training to academic staff in the use of retrieval tools on the Macintosh, as part of the proposed training in network services to be given under the aegis of ESTR and co-ordinated by De Stanton, Library Network Services Manager. The project made an input into the user needs analysis survey conducted by Ms Stanton.

Project Budget Module B

IncomeItem $Total $
Grant from Reserve Fund60,000
From External Studies Unit major equipment budget247
Total income (Account code group AS CES D 606)60,24760,247
Salary and appointment expenses and commitments
Salary (2 Nov 92 - 1 Nov 93)45,956
On costs (2 Nov 92 - 1 Nov 93)4,444
Appointment expenses (advertising the position)994
Total salary and appointment expenses and commitments51,394
Equipment and maintenance
Macintosh IIvx 5 MB disk 160 MB, CD drive3,874
Colour monitor 14 inch for Macintosh IIvx745
Keyboard for Macintosh IIvx135
Asanti Ethernet for Macintosh IIvx (UTP, 10BaseT)325
RAM expansion 5 to 8 MB for Macintosh IIvx168
Ethernet ports for Macintosh IIvx and DOS and Windows PC1,000
Telephone extension for temporary lecturer236
Second hand VideoSpigot card and software for Macintosh IIvx500
One copy Parliament Stack CD ROM version115
Reference books on Macintosh and PC data communications103
Kodak Photo CD processing93
Balance available 14 June 93 for further maintenance expenses1,559
Total equipment and maintenance8,853
Total expenditure and commitments60,247

The computer as a presentation and delivery tool

The use of the computer as a presentation and delivery tool within the lecture theatre context is a prime focus of Module B. By its nature, an emphasis is to be placed on the value of high-quality graphics images.

Public domain software image-viewing has been acquired from the Internet and its use demonstrated to University personnel in a variety of seminar and workshop contexts. Several of these workshops have been organised by ESTR and were intended for new staff and those with interests in "computer-assisted learning" (CAL). There has been an increased emphasis on the use of images available from CD-ROM sources, with the advent of the new Kodak Photo CD technology (Rehn, 1993b). It is hoped that the University will support the wider demonstration of such tools and media within its newly established Teaching and Learning seminar series.

In addition, demonstrations have been given of proprietary presentation software such as Aldus Persuasion and PowerPoint and the use of relatively simple tools such as HyperCard as well as AuthorWare Professional as both presentation and courseware development tools.

The public announcement at such workshops and seminars of the writer's availability for involvement in small-scale "computer-assisted learning" projects has not, as yet, lead to any significant approaches by academic staff for the use of his resources. However, a small project is to be developed within the School of Social Sciences and Humanities in the increased use of computers in the delivery of summer courses to Masters and undergraduate students.

Computer-assisted Learning (CAL)

Although this would have been seen initially as an area of primary activity within Module B, broader developments and the lack of a clearly targeted client-base have restricted specific activity in CAL, in the strictest interpretation of the term. As stated above, demonstrations of work previously done by the writer in CAL have been given, with a view to soliciting potential academic-staff involvement. Several user-friendly, public domain software courseware development tools have been illustrated. As well, a package developed for specific computer-assisted testing purposes has been shown. A general observation would be that the University is not currently well-equipped for the large-scale administration of computer-assisted testing and learning, at least in the Macintosh environment.

Despite the above, several activities are proposed that, if funded, are encouraging. A Committee for the Advancement of University Teaching (CAUT) project proposal has been formulated by Dr. Jim Cummins of the School of Veterinary Science, with the assistance of the External Studies Unit. If successful, this project will involve a computer-assisted learning module that is centred upon still and moving digitised images, of great significance in this very visual science.

In addition, approaches have been made to Dr. Paddy Hodgson in Computer Science with respect to possible student involvement in the development of some CAL within the University. This assistance could focus upon the more mundane tasks of digital image capture and processing and their incorporation into simple CAL modules or lecture theatre presentation. Dr. Hodgson has expressed strong interest and also the fact that such skill acquisition would be of potential value to Computer Science academic staff. Negotiations are proceeding very positively.

Electronic Publishing

Initial exploratory steps have taken place in the use of electronic publishing, with the advent of the Unix-based host Cleo, within the External Studies Unit. Several papers written by the writer that are concerned with the use of computer tools within teaching and learning have been placed in a directory that is accessible to the public, by anonymous ftp (Rehn, 1993c). In addition, the local WA newsletter of the Australian Society for Educational Technology (ASET), of which the writer is currently both State and National Secretary, is available for electronic access on Cleo. (This newsletter is the only one that is published on a regular basis by the Society within Australia).

The most significant move in this area has taken place most recently in the electronic publishing on Cleo of digital images in both colour and greyscale, for both the Macintosh and PC, in the areas of the geological, biological and veterinary sciences, as well as other images including several of Murdoch University itself, and key University personnel. This development is of very broad significance within the University sector and the wide issue of network access to multimedia information. It is also strongly connected to the related concurrent work in CD-ROM development and publishing that will be discussed later.

Digital Imaging

As indicated above, the prime focus of activity of the incumbent in Module B, Computer Tools in Teaching and Learning, has moved towards the broad area of digital image capture and use, including the newest technology that enables the easy development of CD-ROMs that contain digital images.

Early work and demonstration focused upon the use of simple flat-bed scanned colour and greyscale images. Initially, attention was focused upon the use of such images in presentation and audiographic software (Rehn, 1993d). However, activity soon moved to the acquisition of skills in the incorporation of such images in the printed document as well as inclusion in electronic mail.

Full-colour and greyscale images have been incorporated into word-processed documents such as MicroSoft Word for the Macintosh and Word for Windows. This has lead to much exploratory work in the difficult area of graphic file transfer between these environments. Considerable success has been achieved and needs to be well-documented by the writer for use by other academic staff. Such documents have been sent by email to colleagues within this University and others, raising the awareness and attractiveness of such usage of images. Even the use of QuickTime moving video and sound within such documents has been demonstrated to academic staff. This is well within keeping to the broad aims of Module B, whereby the use of readily accessible tools for multimedia production was to be encouraged. In addition, public domain "clip-art" of simple bitmap black and white graphics has been down-loaded and is available for public access. Dr. K Y Wong, within External Studies, is currently incorporating QuickTime still and moving images in his HyperCard work in Mathematics, as a consequence of exposure to digitised images and QuickTime video.

The acquisition, by ESU in late February 1993, of a VideoSpigot video digitising board and associated software for the Macintosh, enabled a dramatic change in the University's digitising capability and the use of both moving and still images within teaching and learning. (It is worthwhile noting that this board and software was advertised at bargain price on a local WA AARNET newsgroup, viz. wa.multimedia. Negotiations proceeded to a great extent electronically). Although the acquired board is limited in its capability, the ability to capture both still and moving images easily and effectively, has lead to intense productive and influential activity.

The following processes have been demonstrated, using both the usual moveable video camera as supplied by ESTR and the in-house fixed-position video camera contained in the PictureTel videoconferencing unit within ESU :

  1. The "frame grab" of a still image taken from a previously recorded VHS video tape.

  2. The taking of a still image using both types of camera setup. Thus, "snapshots" of ESU and other staff have been taken. Several ESU staff in particular now regularly incorporate a digital image of themselves in word-processed correspondence. In addition, it has been demonstrated that more than acceptable digital images and pictures can be produced without having access to the usual colour scanner (although the latter is considered essential by the writer).

  3. The production of moving QuickTime digitised video, from both live and pre-recorded sources, for incorporation into presentation software and CAL. In particular, the development of rotating digitised video has been of particular interest, with respect to such academic disciplines as veterinary science, geology and biology.
Activity in digital images and their use by computer tools has not been restricted to the Macintosh platform. Viewing and image processing software for the PC is being used regularly and the exploration of suitable file types for transfer across platforms is an area of current development. Collaboration with the CSU in some of these complex areas is being pursued, to mutual benefit.

Attendance at the Roy Stringer Workshop

The writer was most fortunate to attend the above three-day workshop conducted by Mr. Roy Stringer from the UK. Roy's visit to Australia and the above workshop at Curtin University, was organised by various directors of computer services units in several universities across Australia, which belong to the Apple University Consortium. That the writer was able to attend was due to the very generous sponsorship of Murdoch University's computer services unit and grateful acknowledgment of CSU's support is given.

The public lecture and workshop by Stringer provided the writer with increased insight into the means of capture and use of digital images in a multimedia context. As well, the writer gained skills in the development of mediabases, which is significant in the light of the above CAUT bid concerned with the use of digitised images in the teaching and learning of veterinary science.

A seminar/workshop on Roy Stringer's work that was given by the writer was well attended by significant personnel within ESU, ESTR, CSU and veterinary science. The above skills and processes were demonstrated and there incorporation into a mediabase was shown. It has been suggested by CSU that the above form a basis for a broader Murdoch University staff development session (Rehn, 1993e).

Kodak Photo CD development

Murdoch University is currently at the forefront of this technology that is very new to Australia and Perth in particular. The writer has kept abreast of developments in the commercial digitisation of images onto CD-ROM, partly through active membership of the WA Multimedia Users Group, which currently draws its clientele from within the university sector. Perth is most fortunate in having one of the two Australian sites that will provide the service of digitising onto CD-ROM images from both previously developed photograph slide sources as well as 35mm undeveloped film. The service is not yet available to the general public in Western Australia.

An ex gratis sample CD of 19 digital images has been "cut" for the University by Kodak Photo Services in Belmont. This followed approaches by the writer to Kodak upon hearing of the establishment of the service. Contact was made with ESTR concerning the service and calls were circulated within the University for suitable slides to be provided for this initial CD. As a consequence, colour slides were provided in the geological, biological and veterinary sciences as well as several rolls of film having been taken of views around the University and several high-level University personnel. To the writers knowledge, this is the first Kodak Photo CD to be produced by a WA university that contains images directly related to academic disciplines.

A further CD of 62 images has been cut. As well, the initial CD has been returned to Kodak for exploration of the stated "multi-session" capability of the technology - the ability to add, at a later date, further images to a Photo CD that already contains images.

The CDs have been read using simple viewing software (for instance, the very robust public domain software JPEGView, available from Due to the way the images are stored, some of the images appear "sideways" when viewed in such simple software. However, the writer is most impressed with the complete hardware and software package provided by Kodak, namely the Kodak Photo CD Player. There is tremendous potential for the use within the lecture theatre of this simple and inexpensive image viewing solution. For under $600, a system can be purchased that will easily view Photo CD images on Kodak CD-ROM, re-orient them if necessary and readily "zoom-in" for a magnified view, making full use of the variety of different resolutions of each image that are provided on the Kodak CD.

Several of these raw Kodak Photo CD images have been processed using image enhancement software such as Adobe PhotoShop. This has enabled the cropping of the frame that attends the image of a slide source (this frame does not occur with a photographic film source), the inverting of horizontal images as well as the retouching and resizing of the image. The image can then be stored in a variety of formats, colour depths and size. As well, images suitable for across platform use have been developed.

A variety of these prepared images, in both Macintosh and PC formats, has been stored on the Unix host Cleo, that are currently available to those with AARNet / Internet access, by anonymous ftp to the directory /pub/Digital_Images. Thus, a significant development in both electronic publishing and access to networked multimedia resources has occurred. It will be of value for the University to aim for the provision of these images by gopher server as well, in keeping with developments in the network access to multimedia resources.

The image processing of the original Kodak image is a necessary but somewhat tedious task, if the image is to be further used within computer-based teaching and learning. It is hoped that some Murdoch Computer Science (CS) students might undertake the task, as part of the call to academic staff by Dr. Hodgson of CS for expressions of interest in computer-based and multimedia tasks.

It is recommended that the University consider the purchase of Kodak CD Players for extremely user-friendly access to digitised images stored on CD, for display within the lecture theatre and beyond, using audiographic and ISDN compressed digital means.

The next phase is to develop the incorporation of suitable selected Photo CD images into simple courseware tools such as HyperCard, to indicate there use in computer assisted learning and presentation. Also, a mediabase tool is to be further developed. These developments are consistent with the general aims of Module B as well as being in keeping with the above proposed CAUT bid.

Apple University Development Fund (AUDF)

The project submitted an application for funding from AUDF, seeking $10 000 for hardware and software to further develop the University's image digitising capability. It also indicated the intention to develop several CDs that would be publicly available for purchase, that contained stored digital images with an Australian flavour in the biological, environmental and earth sciences.(Rehn, 1993f).

Further activities

A number of subsidiary topics have been developed in distance teaching applications of computer mediated communications and audiographic teleconferencing. These activities are relevant for Murdoch's distance teaching, with particular reference to the Western Australian inter-institutional effort in developing learning network centres, which will provide improved support for non-metropolitan students in the post-compulsory sector.

Remote dial-up access

A special interest has been in the dial-up access to networked resources by modem using the public switched telephone network (PSTN). This derives from the Unit's continuing support for the Network Learning Centres administered (up to the present) by the Western Australian Office of Higher Education and the issue of equity for remote and rural learners (Rehn, 1993h). Particular attention has been placed on the acquisition of user-friendly tools suitable for the purpose of dial-up access. The assistance of the Computer Services Unit has been sought and they are currently examining the adaptation, for dial-up use in the Murdoch environment, of a serial version of Eudora client-server software. Some initial assistance in both the PC and Macintosh environments has been provided to other staff and external students who are engaged in a trial of the use of electronic mail for teaching purposes.

Telematic and Audiographic Delivery

Continuing activity occurs within the broad area of audiographic delivery to remote students, both on the Macintosh and PC environments. Murdoch University has been a beta-test site for the Australian developed audiographic software for the Macintosh, Electronic Classroom. Thus, close involvement in the development of audiographic delivery in Australia is taking place that is nationally recognised. A recent certificate of appreciation by this software developer acknowledges the writer's role.

In addition, through the above Learning Network Centres and the Western Australian Distance Education Consortium (WADEC), trialling of similar audiographic software for the PC has taken place. This has led to fruitful collaboration with the Australian distributors, as well as the Queensland Open Learning Network.

In particular, the writer's very active involvement with a nationally-funded DEET Australian Language and Literacy Policy (ALLP) project on the use of audiographics in the delivery of literacy curriculum to remote adult learners has led to a wider appreciation of the role of quality imaging and graphics in telematic delivery to remote learners (Rehn, 1993d). Such use of digital images has required the development of skills and the use of resources that are further documented below.

A posting to the local Murdoch newsgroups has lead to several expressions of interest, by academic staff, in audiographic delivery and a demonstration session is to occur shortly. Several demonstrations to outside agencies including TAFE and Curtin University have taken place by request from staff within these institutions.

Community Education

The writer has been invited to present to several classes at other institutions. An invitation to present to a class in TAFE curriculum design was extended by Clare McBeath, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education, Curtin University. Richard Lancaster of the new Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Centre within DEVET extended an invitation to present to his class in Instructional Design in computer based training (CBT). Both demonstrations covered the writer's general activities within Module B, in all the above areas. A presentation to key personnel in external studies, open learning and computer managed learning within DEVET, on audiographic and telematic delivery was given recently by remote audiographic means. The writer is becoming increasingly aware of the need for a "fee-for-service" approach to such work, that is essentially consultancy work. The External Studies Unit within Murdoch could well generate income from such service, as the unit is becoming increasingly acknowledged for its expertise in several areas.

Participation is had in regular two-weekly teleconferences organised by the Western Australian Learning Network Centres (WALNC), that include the LNC co-ordinators and the Perth-based WALNC executive officer. Advice, assistance and indeed training is provided to these LNC co-ordinators in the areas of audiographics, file transfer and email. The connection with WALNC has been a long-standing one and has enabled the application of computer tools in teaching and learning to be extended well beyond the University Campus.

Outside Teaching and Lecturing

Prior to the writer's current appointment as a temporary lecturer in Module B, he was employed within the Department of Aboriginal Programmes at Edith Cowan University. This previous position involved the delivery of classes via narrowcast TV, using the satellite technology provided by the WestLink project, under the Department of State Services within the Western Australian Government.

In 1993, this initial pioneering work continues but via public broadcast television, for two one-hour sessions each week, to the rural and remote areas of WA, via Golden West Network (GWN). Such work was the subject of two recent newspaper articles, one in the nationally distributed Campus Review (3(13), 20, 1993) and the other in The West Australian newspaper (May 18, 1993).

The work is of relevance to Module B in that the Macintosh computer is used extensively as a presentation, instruction and delivery tool during the live broadcasts in both Mathematics and Computing. National and international interest in such delivery is current. The Department of Aboriginal Programmes is paying ESU for the service, which will terminate at the end of the current school term. However, present developments are that the writer will be contracted out to provide a training program to Edith Cowan University staff on the techniques and tools employed in such delivery.

Consultancy Services

Two submissions for funding under the telecentres program, administered by the federal Department of Primary Industries and Energy (DPIE), have been written for several community-based organisations. The first, for the Shire of Wongan-Ballidu was successful and gained $50,000 in funding. The second, for the Shire of Moora, is currently under consideration by DPIE. There has been a request by Katanning for attendance at a two-day "future search" workshop that will be attended by key personnel within DPIE and Telecom.

Such consultancy service is consistent with the aims of the distance education part of Module B, as one of the prime goals of telecentres is the provision of access to education and training for disadvantaged people in rural and remote areas. The role of computer mediated communication, audiographic and videoconferencing delivery within the telecentre is pivotal.

Conference attendance and participation

AUC/EMA seminar Gold Coast February
The writer was Murdoch University's representative at a two-day seminar in early February at Queensland's Gold Coast, conducted by the Apple University Consortium. Accommodation and airfares were donated by the Apple University Consortium. The seminar was very informative on issues in digital imaging. A report on the seminar was circulated via electronic means and posted to several Murdoch newsgroups (Rehn, 1993g).

Teaching Learning Seminar - Conference Curtin University February
Three sessions were presented and subsequent papers written for this two day conference for local university and TAFE personnel. The theme was improving quality in teaching and learning at university and the writer presented in the areas of the use of computer tools in teaching and learning, computer mediated communication and audiographics, and the use of digitised still and moving images in courseware production. (Rehn, 1993c, 193d, 1993i)

First International Information Technology in Education Convention (IITIEC) Singapore May
The first, live educational TV broadcast from Australia into Singapore took place in early May. One of the above-mentioned live GWN educational TV broadcasts was beamed into Singapore, to be followed by a half-hour videoconference. An integrated use of telecommunications technology, centred around the use of a the computer, was demonstrated. Publication of an associated paper will be in the conference proceedings (Rehn, 1993c).

Future conferences

Educational Computing Association of Western Australia (ECAWA) August Mandurah WA The writer has been invited to be one of two key note speakers for the annual ECAWA conference to be held in August.

Apple University Consortium "Educating with Technology" August Christchurch New Zealand A paper entitled "The use of the Macintosh as a communication, Presentation and Interactive Instructional Tool in off-campus Education" has been accepted for presentation at the above conference.

Second International Multimedia Symposium January 1994 Perth The writer will present a paper at this symposium, centred on the current work with CD-ROM digital imaging and network access to multimedia resources.

Geoff Rehn photo Roger Atkinson photo
Geoff Rehn
Lecturer, Computer Assisted Learning
External Studies Unit
Murdoch University, Murdoch WA 6150
Telephone 09 360 6308 Fax 09 310 4929
Roger Atkinson
Acting Director
External Studies Unit
Murdoch University, Murdoch WA 6150
Telephone 09 360 2240 Fax 09 310 4929


Campus Review (1993). Distance education passes new frontier, 3(13), p. 20.

Rehn, G. (1993a). Courseware Sampler on CD-ROM. Institute News, 3(1). The University of Queensland.

Rehn, G. (1993b). Some applications of the Macintosh as a presentation and instructional delivery tool in teaching and lecturing. In conference proceedings, Sharing Quality Practice, Teaching Learning Forum, February 1993, Curtin University (in press).

Rehn, G. (1993c).An integrated use of telecommunications technology in the delivery of real-time, interactive teaching to remote and rural areas of Western Australia. Satellite presentation to First International Information Technology in Education Convention, Singapore, May, 1993. Anon ftp:, directory pub/Res-and-Dev.

Rehn, G. (1993d). Audiographic teleconferencing , teleteaching and presentation on the Macintosh. In conference proceedings, Sharing Quality Practice, Teaching Learning Forum, February 1993, Curtin University (in press).

Rehn, G. (1993e). The Roy Stringer Workshop. Internal paper. External Studies Unit, Murdoch University.

Rehn, G. (1993f). Digitised image resources for biology, geology and veterinary science teaching. AUDF application, May 1993.

Rehn, G. (1993g). Report on Apple University Consortium / EMA seminar. Internal paper. Murdoch University.

Rehn, G. (1993h). Connection to AARNet / Internet via remote dialup modem and telephone lines. Internal paper. Murdoch University.

Rehn, G. (1993i). The use of QuickTime compression of video, sound and photographic still images in the production of a computer-assisted language learning module. In conference proceedings, Sharing Quality Practice, Teaching Learning Forum, February 1993, Curtin University. (in press).

Rehn, G. (1993j). Digitised images and Kodak CD-ROM. Murdoch University. Internal paper.

Rehn, G. (1993k). Maths students can tune in all over the state. In Education Insight, The West Australian, 18 May, 1993, p.12.

Please cite this paper as: Rehn, G. and Atkinson, R. (1994). Final Report for Module B: Computer tools in teaching and learning. Report on a National Priority (Reserve) Fund 1992 Part A Grant. Perth: Murdoch University External Studies Unit.
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