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Author: Patrick Anthony Cavaliere
Title: Socratic Method, Multimedia Courseware and History: The Case of Mussolini Illustrato
Publication Info: Ann Arbor, MI: MPublishing, University of Michigan Library
May 2005
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Source: Socratic Method, Multimedia Courseware and History: The Case of Mussolini Illustrato
Patrick Anthony Cavaliere


vol. 8, no. 1, May 2005
Article Type: Article
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.3310410.0008.101

Socratic Method, Multimedia Courseware and History: The Case of Mussolini Illustrato

Patrick Anthony Cavaliere
B.A., M.A., D.Phil. (Oxon),
Associate Professor,
Department of History and Politics,
University of New Brunswick at Saint John

Dr. Patrick Anthony Cavaliere holds a D.Phil. from University of Oxford where he completed his studies as a Commonwealth Doctoral Fellow in Modern European History under the direction of Denis Mack Smith of All Souls College. Dr. Cavaliere's primary field is twentieth-century European political history, with a specialization in Italian Fascism, but he also holds strong interests in intellectual history, comparative political and legal systems, as well as constitutional law and theory. In addition to teaching and coordinating modern European studies in the Department of History and Politics at the University of New Brunswick, Dr. Cavaliere also holds a Senior Research Fellowship from the Italian National Research Council to complete a major initiative for publication entitled: Propaganda, Politics and Film in Fascist Italy. Dr. Cavaliere has held positions at the American University of Rome, the University of Bologna, Yale University, the University of Toronto, and Osgoode Hall Law School, and has worked for several years as special assistant to both the President of the Italian Constitutional Court and the Italian Minister of European Affairs in Rome, Italy. Dr. Cavaliere is currently publishing a 5-volume study in Italian for the Italian National Research Council on the history of Fascist Special Tribunal. The first volume of this series, Il <processone> del 1928: Il Pci davanti al Tribunale Speciale, was published in 2002. In January 2005 Dr. Cavaliere was awarded a presitigeous Visiting Professorship from the University of Camerino for his work on modern Italian history.

Introduction

Developments in the area of information science enables the use of new technologies in many areas, including education. Indeed, colleges and universities across the globe are being confronted daily with the immediate impact and long-term promise of multimedia technology on teaching and learning. Over the past decade the History Courseware Consortium at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom  [1] and the Association for History and Computing in the United States  [2] have played the leading role in stimulating the discussion, development and the implementation of computer-based teaching tools for history. Salient, however, is that although well-designed multimedia packages offer exciting pedagogical opportunities for historians today, the question of the integration of these new pedagogical tools into a general undergraduate history teaching continues in some instances to receive less attention than the new multimedia learning products themselves.  [3] The aim of the present paper is to examine this question from the viewpoint of the experiences gained at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John (UNBSJ) where an experimental initiative to construct and implement a multimedia courseware program based on enriched lectures was begun six years ago. The hope is to offer some insight into the process of integrating multimedia technology into an undergraduate history curriculum, to highlight some of the advantages and benefits of a courseware package the author has developed in relation to his specialized field of Italian Fascism, and to outline some of the problems and challenges that this pedagogical initiative has encountered.The paper argues that in developing multimedia courseware for university history courses the primary concern of the historian must be to create a pedagogical foundation or conceptual framework which guides and directs active learning, a faciliatory or maieutic teaching style based on Socratic methods that develops among students, on a very personal level, thinking or reasoning skills, such as problem solving, metacognition, and critical thought. The paper also makes the case that it is important to make the material accessible and flexible for students, both as an intellectual pursuit within the discipline of history, and as a faculty and skill for research activities across a broad range of interests within the humanities and social sciences. The paper concludes by offering the consideration that the implementation of multimedia courseware in undergraduate history can be an extraordinarily powerful teaching tool for instructors, it can provide a unique learning experience for students, and it has the potential to make a significant contribution to the very nature and purpose of liberal education in free societies.

The Socratic Method: A Pedagogical Foundation for History Courseware

Socratic thought is an ancient and complex philosophy.  [4] It is an ancient and complex philosophy. Indeed, it might even be said that it is an unfashionable philosophy in a contemporary world where the highly engineered debate on education has been about standards, about testing, about grading, about organization, about management, about training, about socialization, but almost never about the nature of the activity itself.  [5] Still, the basic tenants of Socratic pedagogical theory are easily identifiable, and, more importantly, that they have permanent value for our understanding of teaching and learning, particularly at the university level and in relation specifically to the study of history and to the development of multimedia courseware for historical studies. According to one important academic in the field, to adopt the Socratic view of education is to reaffirm that education should be primarily concerned with critical reflection, with personal development, and with the sustained enquiry into the various forms of meaning; that is, the cultivation of a philosophy that recognizes, both radically and generously, that a multiplicity of meanings reside within the human experience and within the cultural inheritance of a given society or civilization.  [6] Further, to adopt the Socratic view is to conceive of education as a life-long process, which has, at once, an ethical bearing, a didactic objective, and a transcendent function.  [7] Finally, to adopt the Socratic principle is also to envisage the main purpose of university teachers as that of promoting and continuously feeding the primary symbol-making proclivities of the mind in its quest for understanding, and, in so doing, slowly to enlarge the range of consciousness and, as a consequence, to develop individual life.  [8] Crucial to Socratic method is that education cannot be simply transferred from teacher to student, for education is not an object a mass of graded knowledge, information and/or skills that can be unambiguously handed down from the teacher to the student rather, it is an activity of mind, a particular emotional and critical orientation towards experience, a process of progressive intellectual development.  [9] The genius of Socrates rests with the fact that he was one of the first to recognize the intimate and necessary relationship between education and personal commitment, and his is pedagogy was skillfully shaped to penetrate the protective armour of both custom and opinion, and to release in the suddenly exposed and vulnerable individual a sense of shocked engagement with the ideas and materials that were being studied. The aim of the elenchus the name given to his teaching method is to give birth to a desire for authentic learning, a genuine quest for meaning, and an insatiable desire to search out the truth. The primary aim of the elenchus is to bring about self-reflection and critical enquiry to each student, regardless of talent, experience, or intellectual power. As a teaching method the elenchus is indirect, has little prescriptive content, is individual, that is, related to the actual people who surround a given teacher in a specific course setting, and it is quintessentially dialectical. Essentially, the elenchus works to clear away the preconceived notions and long-held prejudices that clutter up and besiege the young mind.  [10] In this respect, to some extent, it resembles the teaching methods of Logical Positivism, particularly as they were advanced in the philosophical reflections on education produced by Bertrand Russell in the early years of the twentieth century. Certainly, there is a very strong link between Russell's general philosophical and epistemological views, his attitude towards education and teaching, and Socratic methodology that sought out truth.  [11] Russell saw philosophy, like science, as piecemeal and provisional; final truth, he maintained, belongs to heaven, not to this world. To be a good philosopher one must have a strong desire to know, combined with a great caution in believing that one knows. Philosophy, he thought, could help man to see the deficiencies in what passes for knowledge, not in order to foster a lazy skepticism, but to substitute an amended kind of knowledge, itself still tentative and capable of improvement.  [12] A very characteristic expression of Russell's epistemological position is the claim that we need to consider each piece of apparent knowledge on its merits and retain whatever still appears to be knowledge when this consideration is completed, a position which was obviously meant to keep both skepticism and dogmatism at bay.  [13] These philosophical views are directly reflected in Russell's proposal that educators need to strive for truthfulness in teaching. By this he meant the habit of forming one's opinions on the evidence and holding them with that degree of conviction which the evidence warrants.  [14] Russell further drew a pointed contrast between the will to believe and the wish to find out, and he advised that education ought to foster the wish for truth, not the conviction that some particular creed is the truth. While truth, in Russell's view, is not attainable in any final sense, what education can do is to fit us for the nearest approach to truth. Education, that is, should seek to develop in students, a due regard for truth.  [15] Similarly for Socrates, the deeper purpose of the elenchus is an ethical enquiry or search for truth: indeed, it exists primarily to engender virtue, a thinking that actually works through and on existence and which therefore develops the personality. Teaching is an ethical activity, and education is, in part, the art of releasing a critical-ethical process in the other, the final outcome of which cannot be known in advance, and certainly not predicted with any degree of accuracy by records of past performance. Therefore, it would seem that all education has within it an ethical imperative, for the term 'education' denotes an activity which all liberal societies value. An educational encounter, at least in Socratic terms, is one that all members of a given society or collectivity, approve of morally. Acquiring an education denotes more than receiving a series of grades for completing specifically defined tasks, a system disparagingly referred to by many within our profession as 'contract grading', but a qualitative intellectual advance both for the individual and the community or society in which he lives.

Multimedia Courseware on Italian Fascism: Attributes and Advantages

At UNBSJ an experimental initiative to integrate Socratic teaching methods within the context of mutimedia digital technologies was begun in 2000/01 in relation to history courses offered in twentieth-century Italian studies. The initiative, which drew its intial inspiration from a major research project in the field of Propaganda, Politics, and Film in Fascist Italy, sponsored by the Italian National Research Council, has sought specifically to design a multimedia coursware package that takes advantage of a number of recent developments in information and communication technologies (ICT), which have had great impact on the modern discipline of history. As two enthusiastic advocates in the field have accurately noted, advancements in ICT have dramatically transformed the discipline of history, both in the way historical documents are preserved, as well as the methods employed by professional historians in researching and writing about the past.  [16] The most obvious change is that, paper-based, two dimensional manuscripts and texts the staples of traditional history and archival research now coexist with dynamic, multiform, digitally coded sources, and material previously available to only a few, in relatively obscure or inaccessible archives, is now widely available to a large and ever-expanding public.  [17] The implications of these changes for research, publishing, as well as pedagogical methods, are enormous. In regard specifically to the dissemination of knowledge, initiatives in ICT have given historians the chance to bring their into the classroom and to offer history students an opportunity to view and analyze materials otherwise impossible to incorporate into traditional books, texts, articles and monographs. In multimedia classes, for example, digital coding and media streaming and compression techniques have permitted historians to compose and deliver enriched lectures with imbedded video clips, streaming videos, audio bites, HTML platforms, and a large volume of photographs and iconographic images that would be impossible, or at least too costly, to print and distribute as teaching aids.  [18] Supplementing traditional text documents with video, audio, and graphics, and adapting traditional scholarship to digital technologies, has also provided historians with an opportunity to experiment with innovative interactive media forms, to explore new ways of creatively utilizing in the classroom the same information and communication technologies employed in the field when conducting research or participating at learned conferences, and to share very rare primary source materials with students who may never have an opportunity throughout the course of their undergraduate years to visit archives and to conduct archival research.  [19]

The specific subject of the multimedia courseware package developed at UNBSJ is Italian Fascism, an authoritarian political movement that developed after 1919 in Italy as a reaction against the political, social and economic changes brought about by World War I and the spread of socialism, communism and revolutionary Bolshevism. For over a half century historians, as well as political and social scientists, have provided a number of comprehensive and compelling accounts for the political phenomenon that dominated Italian history in the years between the two World Wars, and their collective effort has produced notable historical interpretations: Fascism as a moral crisis ushered in by the Great War; Fascism as an anti-proletarian reaction and agent of bourgeois capitalism; Fascism as the product of a limited and artificial democracy; Fascism as a psychological aberration; Fascism as a mass mobilizing, modernizing experience; and Fascism as the first and prime instance of a modern political religion.  [20] Benito Mussolini was the predominant figure of Fascist Italy, and, not surprisingly, occupies a central place within the historiographical literature. Renzo De Felice  [21] and Denis Mack Smith  [22], the two most celebrated biographers of the Fascist dictator, have employed radically diverse interpretations to arrive at what is essentially the same conclusion: the ubiquity of Mussolini's image, along with the heroicization of his person and the myth of his power contributed to the deification of Il Duce in Fascist Italy. Essentially, they have argued a Great Man line, an intentionalism which explicitly or implicitly endorses the view that Mussolini himself was ultimately responsible for defining his own regime.  [23] A newer generation of scholars, led most notably by Emilio Gentile  [24], have developed this position further and they have argued that many of the elements identified by De Felice and Mack Smith constituted not only the main narrative device of the Fascist regime's discourse about its leader, but they were central to the creation of a new civic culture or secular religion which formed the basis of Fascism's totalitarian conception of politics and the nation-state. According to the most authoritative contemporary historians, the myth of Mussolini occupied all visible realms of political life in Fascist Italy, it monopolized both private and public space, and it presented Fascism itself with a model of centralized power and authority that rotated exclusively around the mythical and spectacular authority of one person.  [25]

The multimedia courseware on Italian Fascism examines all of these assumptions in the light of archival documents housed at the Central State Archive in Rome, as well as propaganda photographs, iconographic images and film held at the LUCE Institute, also located in Rome, which have only recently been declassified by Italian authorities.  [26] The course advances the view that, while the symbolic universe of Fascist religion centered upon the myth and cult of Mussolini as the Duce of Fascism, the sacralization of politics in Fascist Italy did not begin with the myth of Mussolini, nor was it created out of the collective experiences of a radical and reactionary nationalism that considered itself invested with its own missionary vision and charisma. To understand and fully appreciate the cult of personality in Fascist Italy, the course emphasizes that it is important to identify and distinguish the various 'myths' of Mussolini. Throughout the twenty-year history of the Fascist regime, the cult of personality appeared in a number of different forms. In fact, there were a number of different myths that corresponded to different periods of Mussolini's life, and to different periods in the history of the Fascist regime itself. These myths originated in different environments and in response to different political and cultural contexts, and they were in perpetual change throughout the course of the Italian Fascist experience. Many of these myths actually predated Fascism's appearance on the Italian political stage and can be traced back in time to a period when the young Mussolini militated within the revolutionary intransigent wing of the Italian Socialist Party in the years leading up to the Great War of 1914-18. To reconstruct, identify and explain these changes and historical epochs through the use of photographic portraiture, iconographic images and film essentially, the historical reconstruction of the illustrated Mussolini or Mussolini illustrato is really the principal aim of the multimedia courseware package.

The great advantage of the multimedia courseware on Italian Fascism is that it gives young undergraduate history students an indication of the sheer diversity of the political, social and cultural forms that are implicated in the post World War II processes of re-working, re-constructing and coming to terms with Italian Fascism as a historical phenomenon. Courseware that supports enriched lectures on topics like Historical Narrative and Fascist Representation in Film, Iconographic Mussolini and the Cult of Personality, Fascism as a Secular Religion and the Sacralization of Politics, The Orchestration of Consensus Through Mass Spectacle, Fascist Theatricality and the Aesthetics of the Nation State as Personality, The Myth of Rome and the Politics of Symbols, The Nationalization of the Masses: Re-Constructing Fascist Models of Urban and Rural Life, Technology, Consumption, and the Media in Fascist Italy, and Total War on Film: Hysterical Doctrines of Historical Redemption, not only serves to complement the traditional or classical works in the field, but it offers a more ample and nuanced re-visioning of Fascist history, and, perhaps more importantly, it extends the interpretive boundaries of the discipline by recommending a more positively postmodern comprehension than is possible in conventional history writing. Even within these very wide interpretive boundaries, however, students are constantly reminded that they need to be aware of the limits placed on historical knowledge by the character of the sources and the working methods of historians, so that they are regularly developing what both Socratic pedagogy and neo-Ranken historical methodology refer to as the 'critical dialogue' with the formidable array of interpretations and sources which they are required to master in order to succeed in the course. Students learn to appreciate immediately that one of the distinguishing features of Fascist historiography is its heated arguments concerning the objectives and limitations of historical enquiry. While the course reflects the methodological sensibilities and prejudices of its author-creator a political historian who decleares this openly and frequently in my classes students develop an appreciation for the fact that all historical enquiry, whatever the sources of its inspiration, must be conducted in accordance with the rigorous critical method that is the hallmark of all academic history. Students also begin to understand that historical awareness, or the construction of social memory and collective consciousness, is a task that depends on an open mind, and on a receptive and discriminating attitude toward other disciplines within the humanities and social sciences. Again, in the Socratic sense, students come to appreciate that the accumulation of historical knowledge, like all knowledge, is an activity of mind, a particular emotional and critical orientation towards experience, and a process of progressive intellectual development and change. The integration of academic commentary and historiographic debates with multimedia source materials enhances the teaching of our discipline's most cherished methodological skills and underscores the idea that history is an interpretative subject, driven by some very serious issues, such as assessing the integrity of evidence and argument, political bias, the standards and practices of the historian's craft, and, ultimately, history's direct and indirect relevance to current or contemporary matters.

The introduction and use of enriched lectures and courseware materials at UNBSJ has revealed a transformation in the way students learn when exposed to technology-enriched courses. According to the preliminary results of research done in the context of class work, performance reviews and testing within normal education requirements,  [27] students enrolled in the multimedia course on Italian Fascism report a more active engagement with course work and they have invested more of their own time in the course. In addition, it has been have noted that students in the multimedia course perceive the role of the lecturer to be more of a facilitator for learning rather than a one-way dispenser of information.  [28] It is essential to emphasize here, however, that the courseware package was not designed to replace the traditional lecture and the standard practices associated with its delivery. Indeed, it is clear from the surveys that the students themselves do not in fact perceive the enriched lecture or the courseware materials placed at their disposal as a substitute for the conventional lecture format. For the most part students are excited by the amount of information, documentation and sources that are available, by the ability to identify and cross-reference historical themes and methodological approaches as they emerge from the sources, and by the observable interaction between historical theories and historical evidence that is produced by the illustrated materials. Without question, the quality and range of sources has proved to be the strongest feature of the courseware, both in terms of its delivery and availability.  [29] Outside of the lecture theatre, for example, students use the courseware in Smartlab which is a weekly tutorial computer lab session directed by the instructor, or independently to prepare for upcoming lectures, classroom discussion, or to find reading lists for the required critical reviews, bibliographic searches, reports and formal essays they are required to write. In particular, students have benefited where there have been inadequate library resources to support their ongoing research activities. In this context, the courseware's database as an on-line electronic reference holding or as a CD ROM / DVD archival collection has been a noteworthy feature. It is instructive to indicate here as well that the courseware on Italian Fascism contains many unique resources that are not available as a collection anywhere in the world, including Italy. In the ten enriched lectures that make up the courseware package on Italian Fascism, there are over two hundred primary and secondary text sources, over 10,000 photographs, iconographic images, mpeg film clips, audio bites or sound archives, there is a series of recorded interviews with some of the most important scholars working in the field today, and there are maps, plans, tables and graphs that cover fields as diverse as architecture and engineering, criminal justice, health and welfare, education policy, city and town planning, archeology, visual and performing arts, economic corporativism, sports and leisure, travel, and fashion.outside the traditional areas of political, social and economic history: architecture and engineering, science and technology, city and town planning, archeology and the preservation of historical sites, visual and performing arts, sports and leisure, and travel and fashion.

The courseware package currently employed at UNBSJ is very much a work in progress, and as a consequence it is constantly under review in order to discover ways to improve it.  [30] Thanks to the generous support of the Italian National Research Council and the enthusiastic interest of the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ the next step in the developmental process will be the creation of a true hypermedia educational module (HEM), which is a virtual learning and exploration environment .  [31] A HEM will integrate a hypermedia book on Italian Fascism enriched with programmable objects, on-line testing, and the evaluation and recording of student performance in a database.  [32] It will also add syncron communication facilities for interaction among students and/or the instructor.  [33] This environment will permit students to explore the learning materials organized as a hypermedia on-line book, to conduct experiments in a virtual digital lab, to interact synchronously with student colleagues and/or the professor, and to evaluate their assessment through interactive tests.  [34]Although it is still unclear from preliminary tests with an experimental or mock-up HEM whether asynchronous methods will offer a way to overcome some of the problems that are associated with large classes and the traditional lecture model, it is clear from the data contained in the surveys that students believe that access to class information and materials, to the professor, and to each other is substantially improved with the utilization of on-line database information and communication technologies.  [35] In the end, the design and implement of a hypermedia educational module that uses concepts of asynchronous learning within its structure, such as course web pages, on-line faculty office hours, network access to all class materials, answers to frequently asked questions, class announcements, the posting of practice or mock examinations, and sophisticated computer animated graphics of the complex concepts employed by the enriched lecture presentation, may prove to be an extraordinarily effective method to increase not only access to information and materials, but to augment and improve faculty-student and peer contact, and, ultimately to increase each student's depth and breadth of knowledge in the field.  [36] One particular type of innovation in the realm of HEM that will be explored more fully in the future is based on the creation of what some have termed instructional cycles that use WebCT's conditional release features, and more importantly, the statistical analysis of online web-based tests and assignments.  [37] At some universities faculty use these cycles to collect feedback created by student responses to online required course work. The feedback serves as data that can be used as the basis for formative assessments of teaching methods on student learning. Using the electronic classroom assessment techniques like those available in WebCT's online tests, for example, the instructor is in a position to receive immediate information about the effectiveness of their teaching while simultaneously providing students with feedback on their learning, which in turn help to shape the instructional moment in ways not previously possible. The two most eloquent spokesmen for WebCT, have indicated that the real value of online testing is the speed with which faculty can redirect their subsequent lectures to address deficiencies in teaching and learning.  [38]

The Challenges Confronting Enriched Lectures and Multimedia Courseware

To be sure, developing and introducing new teaching methods based on digital technologies has been an exciting and rewarding pedagogical experience, but it has not been without its share of interesting, and, at times, frustrating challenges. In relation specifically to pedagogy, while it appears reasonably clear from the experiences gained at UNBSJ that courseware can provide an attractive environment for shallow and rote learning among students, it remains difficult to determine whether it can support deep and advanced learning.  [39] There is a very real danger, therefore, that the poorly planned or the haphazard introduction of courseware, at the expense of teacher guidance, may actually reduce rather than enhance the quality of learning.  [40] It is to be remembered that the Socratic ideal which forms the basis of the courseware's pedagogical strategy rejects the learning experience as a process of information absorption and reproduction, and seeks to promote instead a process of knowledge construction that is both exploratory and critical in nature. Real pedagogical benefits in Socratic terms are to be expected from environments that let students creatively explore and construct knowledge on a very personal level through problem solving, metacognition, critical thinking, and independent self-directed learning. There is a danger, therefore, that multimedia courseware will not add pedagogical value to history studies.  [41] In the enriched lectures, where photographic portraiture, iconographic images and film play a leading role, the problem of supporting deep and advanced learning is compounded by the fact that the conventional student culture for learning in the lecture theatre that takes notes and revises the spoken and written word is severely challenged by the additional skill of having to 'read' and 'interpret' pictures, images and film. As one commentator has indicated, visuals are attractive, but 'reading' them is not a skill most undergraduate students bring to a history course.  [42] It is useful here to recall that the American historian Robert Rosenstone,  [43] the most eloquent contemporary advocate of the idea that film is our chief means of telling each other about the past, has made a significant case that historical film has a unique way of recounting the past and of constructing the historical world, and it accomplishes this by employing rules, codes and strategies which are foreign to the text-based discipline of history as traditionally understood and practiced. Thus, equipping students with the methodological skills necessary to decipher, interpret and employ visual rules, codes and strategies and to place these along side those traditionally employed by historians in our profession in order to gauge their significance, relevance and contribution to the discipline remains one of the most challenging endeavors.

A number of significant problems have also risen in relation to the construction of the courseware package contents. For example, while it was relatively easy to produce core documents in the appropriate format and style, the enriching materials took considerable time to produce and organize. In particular, the identification, collection, translation and cross-referencing of sources has been quite time-consuming. In total, it has taken three years to complete the core documents with their associated sources and study materials. Since most of the enriched lectures have several hundred core documents, and often multiple texts which need to be translated into English from the Italian originals, the completion of the courseware has taken a much longer period than originally anticipated and it has consumed a large portion of the time that would normally have been dedicated to research and scholarly activity. Related here is also the issue of copyright clearance, which in some instances remains a serious impediment to a more comprehensive collection and widespread application of the courseware materials. Needless to say, without the active and very generous support of a number of Italian government institutions and agencies it would have been impossible to construct the courseware package currently employed at UNBSJ. In reference specifically to financial considerations and resources, these have always been matters of great concern, and for the most part a small and limited budget has seriously restricted or limited the development and application of my multimedia materials. In fact, the experience thus far has been to invest a considerable amount of personal research funding in computing equipment and software that will ensure that 'smart classes' at the university keep pace with the innovations in communication technologies that are required to conduct the enriched classes. Related to this funding issue is also the matter of student finances. UNBSJ has a suburban campus located to the north of the Saint John city center, and its student body is composed primarily of individuals from modest socio-economic backgrounds who live off campus and work long part-time hours to fund their education and/or supplement their student loans. Thus, time, as well as financial resources, is limited for a great many of the students. Given these constraints, and despite the availability of computer labs on campus, access to computers for class work has become a paramount issue for those enrolled in the classes. In order to make courseware accessible to students both inside and outside of class time, longer class sessions have been regularly scheduled and weekly smartlab or workshop sessions have been introduced throughout the course of the term to accommodate those who wish to consult and review courseware documents and materials. However, scheduling longer classes and increasing contact hours is not without its own very special set of problems. These initiatives can create timetabling conflicts for students, colleagues, and departments, and they can raise the specter of some very serious labour issues in regard to job equity, comparable workloads, and professional duties and responsibilities. One way to solve the problem of accessibility would be to require that all students purchase a specific powerbook or laptop computer platform as part of the admission requirements. Several institutions in Canada, like Acadia University in Nova Scotia, have adopted this kind of policy. Obviously, while this may solve access problems and ensure that all students have the same portable computing platform and software to effectively engage course materials, it does not automatically provide for improved pedagogy. In any case, at UNBSJ, like at many other colleges and universities, requiring students to purchase expensive portable computers and software, much of which will probably be outdated long before they even graduate from a four-year degree program, is not an option, given the socio-economic characteristics of the students. At the moment, the financial resources of students at UNBSJ makes personal mobile computing a limited resource, and this has served to severely circumscribe the range of computer-based instructional activities that can be implemented in a mandatory manner or that can rely upon an up-to-date, standardized computing platform.  [44]

Although multimedia sessions based on enriched lectures have proven to be broadly applicable and flexible tools, it is questionable whether the courseware itself as a self-contained instructional package is flexible enough to accommodate a different historian. However sensitive the courseware package is to the varying problems, perspectives and politics of Italian Fascist historiography, the simple truth is that the courseware materials have been tailored to accommodate the methodological biases and specific subject interests of its author-creator, and as a consequence it is unlikely to have widespread or universal appeal among scholars working in the field. The courseware can be re-programmed, but the instructor who attempts this task this must possess the required technical skills, as well as the time and resources to adapt it to their needs. Also, while much has been written about the flexibility courseware and web-based courses offer students in the pacing and sequencing by which they proceed through course content, very little is known about the impact of multimedia instruction as it relates to the instructor's flexibility in teaching the content.  [45] One of the primary concerns that technology-adept faculty have about pre-packaged courseware is that is places constraints on their ability to adapt and improvise once they have mastered or become more comfortable with courseware software and web-based tools. While most users are content just to be able to operate a multimedia environment without having to know HTML, CGI scripts, Java and a variety of other web programming languages that perplex and annoy our right-brain sensibilities, there are those characterized as 'early adopters' who can eventually see past the simple, prescribed applications of the tools and wish to do more specialized kinds of teaching by capitalizing on the hidden assets of technology.  [46]

Perhaps the greatest challenge facing history and computing comes from the very institutions that employ us. Although this has not been entirely the experience at UNBSJ, it is a matter of record that IT support for the use of computer-assisted learning in history is either inadequate or non-existent at many colleges and universities. While technology-adept faculty can always find a way to forge ahead on their own initiative, instructors who do not have the necessary time or skills to implement courseware are totally dependant on the availability of arts and humanities resource to customize their multimedia package and to act as intermediaries with IT services. With limited administrative support, it should come as no surprise that major technical or structural considerations, like the limitations of local storage on servers and networks, or the availability of updated smart classes and labs, are very rarely addressed.  [47] Unfortunately, enthusiasm for innovative teaching practices which make use of multimedia technology is not universally shared among college and university administrators. Of course, one reason is that there is no conclusive assessment of the pedagogical effectiveness of multimedia technology within the classroom, nor is there any measure of its cost-effectiveness in terms of equipment and time invested. It is also the case that very few institutions encourage their faculty and staff to develop skills in this area, either by providing training workshops or modest financial help to integrate multimedia tools into their teaching. In the face of substantial budget cutbacks which have led to larger class sizes, reduced library acquisition budgets, and a reduction of personnel among support staff, it is highly unlikely that substantial resources will be invested and sustained for college or university-wide computer-assisted teaching in any arts discipline, let alone history. Finally, faculty that intend to introduce multimedia teaching tools as a regular part of their pedagogical practice should be warned that they may face the most difficult institutional challenges from colleagues within their own departments. History professors whose pedagogy is narrowly conceived along traditional lines and who rely on conventional didactic methods will not be intrigued by the pedagogical merits and potential of courseware, and they will care nothing about experimenting with multimedia teaching tools, or accepting invitations to attend your classes in order to arrive at a more informed judgment of its pedagogical usefulness. These colleagues may advance charges that you are creating tiny bastions of expensive exclusivity,  [48] or, more seriously, that you are not teaching history in your classes, and they may generate obstacles to curriculum development, to budget allocations, and, quite possibly, to career assessments for promotion and tenure. Marginalization and the erosion of bonds of collegiality constitute a very real danger wherever there is a culture that lacks intellectual courage, a genuine commitment to knowledge, and a sense of scholarly community.  [49]

Conclusion

At the University of New Brunswick in Saint John the experiences with enriched lectures and multimedia coursewarehave breathed new life into the study of modern Italian history and significantly enhanced the quality of the classes offered in the European stream by the history program. By combining Socratic methods with multimedia teaching tools it has been possible to influence and direct student learning in a comprehensive and decisive manner. Significant evidence has also come to light to suggest that teaching does not cause learning in the direct way that is often assumed by college and university educators. Much of a student's learning takes place in private, or in forums such as extra-curricular workshops, through the effort to make sense of new ideas and concepts, and to develop and practice new skills. To be sure, traditional didactic methods contribute to this activity, but so do many other components of the overall learning environment, many of which form the basis of multimedia courseware design and its functional attributes: prior knowledge, intellectual ability, personality, motivation, epistemological level, learning style, learning orientation, work habits, study methods, and form of understanding, just to name a few. Ideally, the whole teaching-learning environment should be kept in focus when considering ways of improving the current situation in any institutional review. In practice, of course, it is rarely feasible to alter several aspects of the learning environment at the same time. Still, there are always some steps that can be taken to improve existing situations, and multimedia courseware offers one of the most attractive and effective options in this regard. Courseware views the learning environment as an interactive system, it allows that the whole picture to be considered, and it permits that interactions between the various cultural components be borne in mind. In the long term, it is my personal belief, that courseware should stand on the frontlines as an option for any quality review process that seeks to encourage the development of a coherent strategy designed to achieve planned and effective evolutionary change within the college or university classroom. Of course, the successful design, implementation and use of multimedia courseware, whether it is for history or any other subject, depends almost entirely on the college or university as an institution, for it is the institution which must take the lead in establishing strategic planning efforts in the field of educational reform and IT development. In essence, there must be a commitment on the part of institutions to strong, dynamic and innovative IT programming that will meet the needs of its faculty, students and staff. Ironically enough, the future of multimedia courseware for history depends a great deal upon the support of those colleagues within our profession who will never employ the technology. Multimedia courseware has the potential to develop and influence generations of students, but it will be able to accomplish this only in intellectual communities that simultaneously respects and fosters the vagaries of individual difference and the fellowship of common purpose. All historians who have worked in highly politicized fields, like the world of Italian Fascist history, have first-hand experience with an area of enquiry where the choice of method and topic has often embodied one or another political inclination, and they can also attest to the fact that these political inclinations have often served to preclude a genuine commitment to knowledge for its own sake. To paraphrase the impassioned plea of Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, at the heart of the current experiment with multimedia courseware at the University of New Brunswick lies the conviction that history itself — as education, as scholarship, as of concern to the general culture – is vital to our prospects for a robust and democratic society and cannot be sacrificed on the altar of individual or group prejudices and politics.  [50]

Acknowledgements

While engaged in the preparation of this article I incurred a number of debts to individuals and institutions that facilitated my work. In particular, I wish to thank the directors and staff of the LUCE Institute in Rome, Italy. In particular, the president of the Institute, Dr. Angelo Gugielmi, and Dr. Edoardo Ceccuti, Director of the Photographic and Film Archives. Their patient and expert assistance have been invaluable to me and my ongoing project for the Italian National Research Council on Propaganda, Politics and Film in Fascist Italy, and their kind permission allowed for the reproduction and use of all the photographic portraits and films included in this academic contribution published by the Journal for the Association of History and Computing. I would also like to thank Dr. Mauro Canali of the University of Camerino for his constant good advice as a historian and for his encouragement as a friend. At my home institution, Dr. Thomas Goud deserves mention for always engaging me in the most serious and stimulating discussions on pedagogical theory and practice. I should like to express a vote of gratitude to Dr. Robert MacKinnon, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of New Brunswick at Saint John. Dr. MacKinnon has actively supported my teaching philosophy and practices, and on numerous private and public occasions he has steadfastly upheld and defended them on my behalf. The wise counsel and assistance he has offered me over the course of the past two years have served to enliven my course offerings, to improve my pedagogy, and to expand interest in my specialized field of research among a new generation of young students pursuing an undergraduate degree in history on our campus. Finally, I should like to thank Dr. Giuseppe Castorina, Director of the Department of Languages for Public Politics, Faculty of Political Science, at the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, for courageously offering to support further study and development with the project.

Appendix A: Images

[figure]
The adolescent firebrand, 1898.
[figure]
The young Mussolini, 1908.
[figure]
On the front lines during the Greta War, 1917.
[figure]
The March on Rome, 1922.
[figure]
Official portrait as Prime Minister, 1923.
[figure]
Mussolini, 'Il Borghese'.
[figure]
Mussolini inspecting the Royal fleet, Genova 1926.
[figure]
Mussolini family portrait on the steps of Villa Torlonia, 1927.
[figure]
Mussolini among the agrarian peasants during the 'Battle of Wheat', 1930.
[figure]
Visiting excavations at the Coliseum in Rome, 1930.
[figure]
On sight at the Pontine Marshes recalamation project, 1931.
[figure]
Proclamation of the Empire and apotheosis of Mussolini, 1936.
[figure]
The sacralization of politics in Fascist Italy, 1935.
[figure]
Mussolini as high priest of a new secular religion, 1935.
[figure]
Mussolini's cult of personality, 1938.
[figure]
Mussolini awaiting Ethiopian delegattion at Palazzo Venezia, 1936.
[figure]
Inspecting armaments plant, 1939.
[figure]
Mussolini's Fascist honor gurad, 1938.
[figure]
Mussolini and Hitler: Totalitarian profiles, 1937.
[figure]
Inspecting German honour gurad with Hitler, Berlin visit 1937.
[figure]
Inspecting Italian troops in North Africa, 1942.
[figure]
Mussolini surrounded by Nazi supporters and Republican loyalists, Salò 1944.
[figure]
Signing an autograph for a young admirer, Salò 1944.
[figure]
Mussolini inpsecting young Salò recruits, 1945.
[figure]
Mussolini's last stand, Salò 1945.

Appendix B: Video (for windows media player)

Decenale : Celebration of Fascism's Tenth Anniversary, 1932.

Facist Propaganda : Mussolini, Fascist Propaganda and Mass Culture, 1935.

Mussolini Builder : Mussolini, Architect and Builder of Rome, 1928.

Mussolini Cult / Personality : Mussolini and the Theatricality of Fascism, 1937.

Mussolini Speaks : Mussolini Speaks: Propaganda for British Export, 1936.

Mussolini Speech : Fascism as a Mass Mobilizing, Modernizing Experience, 1935.

Notes

1. For the uninitiated, the best general introduction to the evolution and principles of the HCC remains: Ian G. Anderson Developing Multimedia Courseware for Teaching History: A UK Perspective, The Journal of Multimedia History, Volume 3, 2002. http://www.albany.edu/jmmh/vol3/creating_cdroms/creating_cdroms.html.

2. For information on this organization dedicated to the use of computers in historical research see: http://grid.let.rug.nl/ahc/. An interesting article which highlights the similarities and differences between the British and American approaches can be found in: D. Greenstein, Bringing Bacon Home: The Divergent Progress of Computer-Aided Historical Research in Europe and the United States, Computers and the Humanities, Vol. 30 No. 5 1996/1997, pp 351-364.

3. This case was eloquently made by Jos E. Igartua of the Universit du Qubec Montal in an earlier article published by the JAHC. See: J. E. Igartua., Integrating multimedia technology into an undergraduate history curriculum: pedagogical considerations and practical examples, Journal of the Association for History and Computing, vol. 1, 2 (November 1998). This paper was a very important source of inspiration for me when I first began to explore the idea of integrating multimedia technology into my classes.

4. Of course, there are a great many works on Socratic philosophy. See, for example, the following recent works: N. D. Smith and P. B. Woodruff, (eds.) Reason and religion in Socratic Philosophy, New York : Oxford University Press, 2000; T. Kasachkoff (ed.) In the Socratic Tradition : Essays on Teaching Philosophy, Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield, 1998; P. Abbs, The Educational Imperative: A Defence of Socratic and Aesthetic Learning, Falmer, London, 1994; B. S. Gower and M. C. Stokes, Socratic Questions : New Essays on the Philosophy of Socrates and its Significance. London ; New York : Routledge, 1992.

5. Abbs, The Educational Imperative, op. cit., p. 13.

6. ibid., 8.

7. ibid., 8.

8. ibid., 8.

9. ibid., 17.

10. ibid., 17and 18.

11. See: Russell's contribution to philosophy in education, in W. Hare, Attitudes in Teaching and Education, Calgary: Detselig, 1993.

12. B. Russell, Philosophy, New York: W. W. Norton, 1927, chapter 1.

13. B. Russell, The Problems of Philosophy, London: Oxford University Press, 1973: 88.

14. B. Russell, Freedom versus authority in education, in Russell, Sceptical Essays, London: Unwin, 1985.

15. B. Russell, Principles of Social Reconstruction, London: Unwin: 1971: 105. Originally published in 1916.

16. Abbs, op. cit., p. 18.

17. ibid.

18. On the enriched lecture see: I. Anderson, Embedding CAL: The History Courseware Consortium Experience, History 2000 Conference, Bath Spa University College, April 15-16, 1999. For an online summary and paper abstract: http://users.bathspa.ac.uk/history2000/embedcal.htm; and A.M., Wissenburg and D. Spaeth, In Search of a metaphor for hypermedia: The Enriched Lecture, in O. Boonstra, G. Collenteur, and B. van Elderen, (Eds.) Structures and Contingencies in Computerized Historical Research, (Proceedings of the IX International Conference of the Association of History and Computing, Nijmegen 1994), Cahier VGI, 9, Hilversum 1995, pp. 306-310.

19. On the development of multimedia technologies for education in specific national contexts see: E. Downs, R. D. Carlson, J. Repman, K. Clark, Web-Based Instruction: Focus on Learning. Paper presented at the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, San Antonio, TX., March, 1999); O. Parlangeli, E. Marchigiani, and S. Bagnara, Multimedia systems in distance education: Effects of usability on learning, multimedia communication laboratory, University of Siena, Italy; A.F.G Prez, F. Fernndez, P. Izquierdo, and S. Camaes, (eds)., La historia en une nueva frontera/history in a new frontier. Xiii international conference of the association for history and computing, Toledo, 20-23 July 1998. Toledo [Spain]: Asociacin historia e informtica/ediciones de la universidad de castilla-la mancha/digibis, 1998; Dumitru D. Radoiu, Calin Enachescu, and Eugen Rotariu, On Advanced Educational Technologies, Advanced Educational Technologies Newsletter, 10 December 1996, http://www.aet.uttgm.ro; and J.C. Van der Veer, Design methods for human-computer interfaces,13th World Computer Congress 94, Vol. 2, (1994) 188-195.

20. The standard text detailing the classical interpretations of Fascism remains: R. De Felice, Interpretations of Fascism, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1977. An excellent source with a new introduction is: A.J. Gregor, Interpretations of Fascism, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, USA, 2000. A fine comparative work which discusses the taxonomic variables that constitute generic or paradigmatic Fascism is; S. G. Payne, A History of Fascism, 1914-1945, Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 1995.

21. De Felice's biography of Mussolini, which includes an incomplete volume published after the author's death, is made up of five massive studies. These volumes were published between 1965 and 1997 by Einaudi of Turin, and have never been available in English. The titles are: Mussolini il rivoluzionario 1883-1920 (1965); Mussolini il fascista I: La conquista del potere 1921-5 (1966), II: L'organizzazione dello stato facista, 1925-1929 (1968); Mussolini il duce I: Gli anni del consenso, 1929-1936 (1974), II: Lo stato totalitario 1936-1940 (1981); Mussolini l'alleato 1940-1945 I: L'italia in Guerra 1940-1943 (2 vols., 1990); Mussolini l'alleato 1940-1945 II: La Guerra civile 1943-1945 (1997).

22. D. Mack Smith, Mussolini, London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1981. Another important related book would include: Mussolini's Roman Empire, London, Longmans, 1976.

23. R.J.B. Bosworth, The Italian Dictatorship, London, Arnold, 1998. p. 8. Without question, Bosworth's historiographical survey of the literature in the field is the best available in any language.

24. Gentile, a former student and collaborator of De Felice, is a leading figure among the new generation of Italian historians who study Fascism. Gentile, who appears today to owe a greater intellectual debt to the cultural histories of George Mosse rather than to the political histories of his former professor, occupies De Felice's old chair at the University of Rome and has published widely in English. See in particular: The Sacralization of Politics in Fascist Italy, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1996. However, the true heir to the historiographical legacy bequeathed by De Felice is Mauro Canali of the University of Camerino. Another former student and long-time collaborator of De Felice, Canali is an extraordinarily methodical neo-Rankean scholar who has produced some of the very best political history on Italian Fascism to appear in the last decade. See in particular: Il delitto Matteotti. Affarismo e politica nel primo governo Mussolini, Il Mulino, Bologna, 1997; and Cesare Rossi. Da rivoluzionario a eminenza grigia del fascismo, Il Mulino, Bologna, 1991

25. In this regard, see the work of S. Falasca-Zamponi, Fascist Spectacle: The Aesthetics of Power in Mussolini's Italy, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1997.

26. LUCE is an acronym for L'unione cinematografica educativa, which roughly translated is the 'institute for educative or instructional cinematography'. The LUCE Institute today is a historical archive, but it was founded in 1924 by the Fascist Government and its original purpose was to serve Mussolini as the executive's propaganda press office, essentially supplying both national and international press agencies with official government photographs and film. The LUCE Institute is composed of four primary archival files: a photographic archive containing over a million official portraits of Mussolini; a photographic archive chronicling Fascist Italy's military campaigns in Spain, Africa, and in World War II; a photographic archive of architectural and engineering works, archeological excavations, and monumental constructions, as well as fine arts produced during the regime; and finally a cinematic archive containing thousands of short films, documentaries, and newsreels of the Fascist era.

27. To date, for the assessment of my ongoing project on multimedia courseware, I have collected and evaluated both quantitative and qualitative data over a five-year period involving all of my course offerings in the European stream at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, Canada. Quantitative data, generated in relation to over nine hundred students who have been enrolled in both my multimedia and traditionally taught lecture/seminar courses, investigated: demographics; student familiarity, ownership, and attitudes toward computers; attitudes toward various modes of instruction; and usefulness of courseware. Qualitative inquiry was conducted through class observation, which involved specifically the formal assessment of student assignments .

28. Similarly, C, Doss, Virginia Tech Study Shows Shift in Learning Process Through Technology-EnrichedCourses, http://www.technews.vt.edu/Archives/1997/Nov/97449.html.

29. In this instance, my study confirms the findings of the British case study conducted by Ian. G. Anderson. See: Developing Mulitmedia Courseware, op. cit.

30. I am a Macintosh user and have benefited from a number of works such as that of J.D. Bolter, M. Joyce, and J.B Smith, "Storyspace: Hypertext Writing Environment for the Macintosh." Computer Software. Cambridge, MA: Eastgate Systems.

31. Hypermedia modules have been used for some time within colleges and universities for science education, as well as in the field of distance education. See: R.T. Kouzes, J.D. Myers, and W.A. Wulf, Colaboratories: Doing Science on the Internet,Computer IEEE, August 1996, 40-46; and D. Dumitro Radoiu and C. Enachescu, C., Trends in Distance Education: Hypermedia Educational Modules, http://www.t2v.com/rilw/Papers/Radoiu.html.

32. L. Calvi Improving the Usability of Hypertext Courseware Through Adaptive Linking, http://citeseer.nj.nec.com/calvi97improving.html. Hypertext is being used more and more often in distance education, as a replacement for paper course texts. A textbook usually suggests only one (linear) reading order. The student can of course elect to read the pages in a different order, but in many cases such alternative order does not make sense. A hypertext offers many intended different reading orders. Every page (or node) contains links to a number of different pages that can be read next. In many hypertext systems it is not easy to add or remove links automatically and dynamically while the student is reading, because they assume a static hyperdocument. This paper describes research on the enhancement of students' learning by means of a hypertext courseware that automatically modifies its link structure during the student's learning process.

33. W.F. Massy and R. Zemsky, Using Information technology to enhance academic productivity, http://www.educom.edu/program/nlii/keydocs 1995.

34. P. Brusilovsky, E. Schwarz, G. Weber, "ELM-ART: An intelligent tutoring system on World Wide Web", Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, ITS-96, Montreal, 1996. (Lecture Notes in Computing Science, vol. 1086, pp. 261—269); and P. Brusilovsky, E. Schwarz, G. Weber, "A Tool for Developing Adaptive Electronic Textbooks on WWW", Proceedings of the WebNet'96 Conference, pp. 64—69, San Francisco, 1996.

35. Although somewhat dated, V. Balasubramanian "State of the Art Review on Hypermedia Issues and Applications." Graduate School of Management, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, 1994, asks many of the most important questions regarding hyperware which continue to be relevant today.

36. See two excellent articles on these issues by D. B. Skillicorn: Using Collaborative Hypermedia to Replace Lectures in University Teaching, http://www.cs.queensu.ca/achallc97/papers/a012.html; and Using Distributed Hypermedia for Collaborative Learning in Universities, The Computer Journal, vol. 39, no. 6, 1996.

37. T. A. Angelo and P. C. Cross, Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers. (2nd ed., 1993). San Franscisco: Jossey-Bass.

38. A. Gandolfo and C. A. Carver, Electronic Classroom Assessment Techniques: Assessment Beyond the Classroom in a Networked Environment, Assessment Update, 7, (6), 1995, 3. See also: M. Chetty, A scheme for on-line Web-based assessment, Engineering Science and Education Journal, 9, (1), 2000, 27-32; P. De Bra, "2L670: Hypermedia Structures and Systems", Course at the Eindhoven University of Technology. http://wwwis.win.tue.nl/2L670/; and P. De Bra, "Teaching Hypertext and Hypermedia through the Web", Proceedings of the WebNet'96 Conference, pp. 130-135, San Francisco, 1996.

39. K. de Smedt, Beyond courseware as giftpaper: Computers as exploratory learning tools for the humanities, http://helmer.aksis.uib.no/AcoHum/abs/DeSmedt2.htm.

40. W. J. McKeachie and N. Chism (1994). Teaching tips: strategies, research, and theory for college and university teachers. (9th ed., 1994). Lexington, MA : D.C. Heath.

41. Also the view of C. Fincher, Teaching and Technological Innovation, IHE Newsletter. Athens, GA: Institute of Higher Education, University of Georgia, ( December, 1999). 3-8.

42. This was also a specific problem in a case study: R.J. Morris, Urbanization in Britain: 1780-1914A Teaching and Learning Technology Programme (TLTP) Unit, http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~urban/teach/syllabi/morris1995meth1.htm.

43. R. S. Rosenstone, Revisioning the Past, Princeton U.P., N.J. ,1994. For a recent detailed historiographical critique of Rosenstone, particularly in reference to re-visioning Italian Fascism on film, see: Patrick Anthony Cavaliere, “Contemporary Italian Cinema and Fascism: History, Memory, and the Politics of Representation in the Films of Bernardo Bertolucci,” in Revue de recherche interdisciplinaire en textes et médias, Numéro 4, Printemps (2004).

44. Many of these same problems relating to accessibility were highlighted first in the work by Jos Igartua in the History department at the Universit Montral. See: Igartua, Integrating Multimedia, op. cit.

45. G. Drake, Web-Based Assessment: Innovating the Instructional Cycle, http://www.doit.gmu.edu/Archives/fall00/jdrake_1.htm.

46. See in particular the revealing piece by M. Jacobsen, Adoption Patterns of Faculty Who Integrate Computer Technology for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Paper presented at the Association for the Advancement of Computering in Education's World Conference of Educational Media, Hypermedia & Telecommunications, Frieberg, Germany, (1998). Also, K. Husain, Extending JavaScript with Java, WEB Techniques, Oct 1996, pp 58-62.

47. M. Leban, U. Burnik, and J. F. Tasic, Using Local Storage in Multimedia Enriched Education. http://citeseer.nj.nec.com/537236.html. The central issue here is that remote access to multimedia data like video and audio clips typically requires high-bandwidth network connection, which is usually not available at the learner's home. A possible solution is to store the majority of multimedia data locally and to access a significantly reduced set of data over a real-time network connection. Instead of transferring all multimedia material over real time network connection, lessons could be kept on a mass storage device.

48. S. C. Ehrmann, S.C., Access and/or Quality? Redefining Choices in the Third Revolution, http://educause.edu/ir/library/html/erm9956.html. Also by Ehrmann, "Improving a Distributed Learning Environment with Computers and Telecommunications," in Robin Mason and Anthony Kaye, eds., Mindweave: Communication, Computers, and Distance Education, Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1989, 255 59.

49. In this instance I am reminded of the liberal-democrat anti-Fascist historian Gaetano Salvemini who advanced the following sharp words for historians who hold a simple empiricist understanding of their activities as researchers and teachers: . . . there are certain historians . . . sincerely convinced that they are unbiased, impartial, 'scientific', who reject any historical work or teaching methodology which does not appear to conform to the conventional model they have arbitrarily constructed within their small minds . . . these individuals are fools endowed with a God Almighty complex . . . impartiality, concluded Salvemini, is either a delusion of the simple-minded, the banner of the opportunist, or the boast of the dishonest. G. Salvemini, Prelude to World War II, London, 1953, p. 9.

50. E. Fox-Genovese and E. Lasch-Quinn, Reconstructing History: The Emergence of a New Historical Society, Routledge, New York, 1999, pp. 4-5.

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