Spec. Issue 2006 - Article Summary

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RECAL: creating computer-assisted alternatives using a sustainable learning objects approach

David Dewhurst, Stewart Cromar and Rachel Ellaway
College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, UK
Summary
The mainstay alternatives to using animals in higher education are multimedia computer-assisted learning (CAL) programmes simulating practical pharmacology classes. CAL development intrinsically ties the educational content and learning design to the authoring application. As technologies change, authoring applications become obsolete, leaving redevelopment at further expense as the only option.
RECAL is based on principles of standards, objects and reusability and is developing methods and tools to break this cycle by disaggregating existing CALs to separate their constituent learning objects from the runtime environment. This has improved their longterm viability and facilitated their adaptation by teachers to meet divergent learning needs.

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