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Durham University

Department of English Studies

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Publication details for Professor Claire Warwick

Warwick, C. (2000). Technophobes, or the Nintendo generation? A study of the use of ICT in teaching and learning in Modern Languages. ALLC/ACH 2000 Conference, University of Glasgow 21 - 25 July, 2000, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

This paper discuses the results of the application of a methodology typical to information science to humanities computing. User studies are widely performed in the library and information science community. However, although some research has been carried out into the information needs of researchers in the humanities, very little research has been done into the actual use of electronic resources. (Warwick, 2000). Modern languages is an area in which the usage of electronic resources in teaching is known to be widespread. Yet the recent HEFCE report (1998) found that over one third of universities felt that computer-assisted learning (CAL) and information and communication technology (ICT) resources were being under-utilised. It concluded that there is a need for more research into their use in HE and recommends a "focus on the information and knowledge needs of the real end-users". This paper seeks to address this need, and considers the way that both teachers and students of Modern Languages use electric resources, and what their perceptions about them are. It is based on work conducted in the department by myself and a Masters student as part of her dissertation. (Pine-Coffin, 1999). We argue that such research is an important contribution to the area of humanities computing, since without an accurate idea of the way in which resources are used and perceived it is impossible to tell whether computer methodologies are useful and successful in aiding teaching and learning. Without this type of user study it is difficult to plan for possible future developments.

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