Students learn from Australia's largest 'classroom'

29 MAY 2001

More than 500 Higher School Certificate students from isolated schools will converge on Dubbo on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 June for an intensive HSC workshop and demonstrations of Australia's largest educational website.

More than 500 Higher School Certificate students from isolated schools will converge on Dubbo on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 June for an intensive HSC workshop and demonstrations of Australia's largest educational website, the NSW HSC On-Line.

The students from schools covering an area bound by Gunnedah, Bourke, Ivanhoe and Young will attend the two days of seminars at the Dubbo RSL complex.

Students will have access to over 40 subject specialists, including lecturers from Charles Sturt University (CSU), presenting over 100 seminar sessions. The Western Area Higher School Certificate Enrichment Seminars is an annual event hosted by the Dubbo School of Distance Education (DSODE).

"The aim of the seminars is to give an intensive pre-exam boost to students in the bush," said HSC Enrichment Seminars Organising Committee spokesperson, Christine Bray.

"HSC Students studying by correspondence or attending isolated schools thrive on events like this being offered in their region."

The seminars on how to use the HSC On-Line are part of a collaborative effort between CSU and the Seminars' Organising Committee to provide equity for HSC students in country NSW. Ms Lyn Riley-Mundine, Campus Manager, Western Institute of TAFE, will officially open the event in the Orana Cinema at 9.15am on 7 June.

The NSW HSC On-Line site, launched in 1998, is a teaching and learning resource that is the first of its kind in the world. The site recently underwent a make-over brought about by the introduction of the new Higher School Certificate syllabus.

A virtual field trip to Minnamurra rainforest for geography students, using sound files to improve language skills, taking part in monitored online forums, and extra resources for parents, are some of new features of the redeveloped site.

The site received up to 80 000 hits a day in the lead-up to the 2000 Higher School Certificate, indicating the significant role it plays in supporting students and teachers, especially those from regional NSW.

Subject specialists from the NSW Department of Education and Training and CSU staff currently supply content for 23 subjects, with another 13 subjects under development. The University provides ongoing technical expertise and support to the site and runs the site off the CSU server.

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Dubbo Charles Sturt University