Web-Based Seminar Work

Web-Based Seminar Work

Kalle Kangas (Turku School of Economics and Business Administration, Finland) and Jussi Puhakainen (Turku School of Economics and Business Administration, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-60-5.ch022


Telecommunications are vital devices for researchers to exchange information between researchers located in different places around the globe. This kind of exchange can be regarded as external concerning individual institutions. But also internally there are people with matching interests. Why should they hold their seminars or meetings gathering in one place face-to-face at the pre-agreed point of time? This question has lately puzzled the academic community, and will still puzzle during the years to come. Further questions also arise: Will the Internet and WWW technology provide novel solutions? Does the new technology drastically change the dynamics of such group gatherings? The Internet must be seen more than a new medium. It is an infrastructure for commerce, a universal conduit of ideas, a parallel universe where people are exchanging information on an unprecedented scale (Schwartz 1997). Changes in the modes of communication are also emerging. We have at our disposal a powerful medium suited for one-to-one and many-to-many communications (Hoffman and Novak, 1996). On a practical level these developments can be seen in the speed of diffusion of this new technology. Finland, for instance, has turned out to be one of the densest Internet countries in the world. There are 500,000 daily and one million weekly Internet-users (Finland has a total population of 5.1 million). Thirty-six per cent of all the users classify as students, which is not surprising, since all universities in Finland have Internet connections and e-mail addresses available for student use (TOY Research 11/1998). The Internet is also by nature an open system. Thus, in practice for the first time, we now have at our disposal a tool that allows us easily to connect and work within the university as well as with other universities.

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