Enhancing a building construction technology course using digital images

Published date01 September 2002
Date01 September 2002
AuthorPaul Sandford,Malcolm Dunkeld
Subject MatterInformation & knowledge management
Enhancing a building
technology course
using digital images
by Paul Sandford and
Malcolm Dunkeld, Faculty of the Built
Environment, South Bank University
Keywords: Electronics, Resources, Education
Abstract: With the support of the ADC-LTSN
and the CEBE, the Faculty of the Built
Environment (FBE) and Learning and
Information Services (LIS) at South Bank
University are collaborating to develop
electronic resources for students of a building
construction technology degree course, in a
one-year project dubbed ``HERBE'' ± Higher
Education Resources for the Built
Environment. Delivery will be via the
Blackboard VLE and CD-ROM.
The project will provide students at the FBE with
an information-rich multi-media Blackboard
VLE resource for a Construction Technology
BSc course unit. This resource is being designed
to demonstrate sound pedagogic use of digital
images in an area that lends itself to visual
presentation, and to address transferability and
sustainability issues.
The provision of course materials via a VLE at
this time has been determined by a number of
drivers. HE as well as FE are facing the challenge
of servicing more distance learners and part-time
students, with increased student expectations for
flexibility and IT facilities, and a desire on the
part of institutions to reduce costs of hard-copy
course materials. Above all, there is a desire to
enhance the learning experience in order to
attract and retain students. The project aims to
deliver the resource to students and for review in
the wider community in early March 2003.
In parallel with a Blackboard VLE resource, a
stand-alone CD-ROM will be produced, which
will be useful for distance learners and those
studying part-time, or those without an Internet
connection while studying off-campus. It will
incorporate some 200 selected digital images, of
direct relevance to the course, with some images
offered as image maps. In addition, the resource
will include course documents, audio and video
clips, and links to relevant Web sites with text
and many more images for students to use as
optional resources in project work.
The CD-ROM will hold large files including
images, which will be linked to the Blackboard
VLE to reduce access time, and thus these portable
media will be an integral component of the VLE
resource. A version of this SBU resource as an
online demonstrator is to be produced, to encourage
others in HE and FE to develop similar resources
from DNER or local digitised image collections.
Image resources
The main image database being built in HERBE
contains material largely derived from born
digital JPEG images of approximately 200kb file
size taken on construction sites by subject
specialist Malcolm Dunkeld with a Minolta
Dimage 7 camera during summer 2002. Other
digital images were created from 35mm slides
scanned from Malcolm's personal collection
using a Nikon Coolscan IV dedicated slide
scanner and CD-RW. Photographs (both digital
and APS prints, including panoramas) acquired
by Paul Sandford while observing the
construction of the new Keyworth Building at
SBU were also offered to the project for scanning.
The project will also have access to some 14,000
digital images created in the BuilDNER project, a
JISC/DNER content creation initiative. Student
access to both the BuilDNER collection and the
separate project image database will be provided
via thumbnail images embedded in a DBTextworks
database, as employed experimentally in the
current slide finder in use at SBU.
The BuilDNER image collection, though a varied
and interesting historical collection of building
and architectural subjects, of varying quality, is
not expected to hold a large amount of material
relevant to the subject course, with its emphasis
#MCB UP Limited, ISSN 0305-5728, DOI 10.1108/03055720210474280
44 Ð VINE, Volume 32 Number 3 2002, Issue 128

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