The paper deals with the problem of self-education with a help of Internet. Revealed shortcomings of a current approach to the Internet courses often neglecting methodological structure and instructions are discussed. Some recommendations to solve such a problem are introduced.
The new informational technologies applyed to education could demonstrate both positive and negative features [ 1 ].
The Internet system, being a global information network is much prospective for self-education. Howhever our experience in self-education of students revealed inefficiency of a current approach, when methodology of self-study is often neglected at Internet educational information
2. Current approach
Usually the purpose of study, subject-matter and topics have to be determined in the beginning. Then having a direction of a search or WWW address, interesting topics could be ordered. If these data is unknonwn the preliminary search of related information with a help of search systems like Alta Vista could be undertaken. After the initial page has been studied, the student moves to other pages according to the hypertext references. The search of study material is over when needed information has been received.
The positive features of that approach are availability of fresh information, full selfcontrol,independence from the tutor and his way and rate of information delivery and usual availability of interactive visual information and animation [ 2 ].
Among sone negative factors the following could be specified: the necessity to look-over the volume of information several times more then really needed when methodologically srtuctured textbooks are used; the difficulty in assuring whether the information has been true and complete resulting in overflow of information and fatigue; the possibility to get untrue, distorted, abusing or hurmful information [ 3 ]; the necessity to work a long time in front of PC screen and a risc of psycho-physiologycal disorders; the lack of team work experience and competition incentives could be mentioned among others.
The comparison of positive features and negative factors demonstrates inefficiency of a current approach to the self-education.
The first two negative time-wasting factors are much due to the absence of information rating and methodic guidlines.
The well known positive aspects of DE with a help of Internet will garantee the development of a global network of self-education next five-ten years [ 4 ]. It seems prospective to work-out means to reduce and possibly eliminate the shortcomings.
The information rating [ 5 ] could help to reduce the volume of papers and texts needed to study and will increase the confidence to the material studied. Besides it seems necessary to develop a classificator of subject-metters, study courses, topics; to supply every course and topic open for public with recommended methodology of self-study. The methodic information should have the highest priority in rating system.
The implementation of above recommendations could be possible only if detailed tailoring of educational courses has been done by experienced educators. In the case when the course or topics are not supplied with methodology better to refuse Internet or take in account the above shortcomngs.
Since self-education will have a groving public demand it seems prospective to develope a data base of subject-oriented methodics available in Internet. They could be a collection of rated study-methodics of different vocational schools, colleges and universities and specially designed for self-education.
1.The current approach to self-education with a help of Internet is inefficient and can cause a dissappointment and harm due to absence of methodolody ;
2.Classification and rating of educational information, methodology of self-study are much needed to avoid shortcomings;
3. The highest rating (priority) should be given to metodics for educational courses self-study;
4. It seems prospective to develop a data base of subject-oriented methodics in Internet.
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2. D. Reamon: The Role of Simulation Software in an Ideal Learning Environment. Proceedings DETC’97, Sacramento, California.
3. Yu. Bocharov: Educational Technology Selection and Threats of Misuse in CEE, Proceedings 7th WCCEE, Tourino, Italy, 1998.
4. S. Fukuda, Y. Matsuura, K. Kandie: Intellegent-Agent Approach to Distance Learning, Proceedings DETC’97, 1997, Sacramento, California.
5. C. Ruckert, G. Ahrens, F. Schroda, O. Gaedeke: Evaluating Methodical Engineering Design Education. Proceedings DETC’97, Sacramento, California.