Written by Dave Houldershaw, Ian Tickle, Huub Driessen and Clare Sansom
Introduction to Communication Tools
During this course, we will be using a variety of communication tools to interact with each other as well as the visualisation tools we use to
explore protein structure. The most important of these is the Instant Messenger tool
Jabber which we will be using for our interactive tutorials.
We also run a blog in which we link recent developments in research into protein
structure and allied disciplines with the course material. Many of the posts are linked to talks in the Birkbeck Department of Biological Sciences
including those given during Birkbeck Science Week and as part of the regular seminar programme
that is run jointly with life science departments at University College London.
We will be using email discussion lists regularly throughout the course. There are two of these: the general list and the tutors' list. More details
of these lists are available here.
- Email to the general list will go to all students and tutors on the PPS course. We will use that email list to announce times of online
tutorial sessions, cutoff dates for course material, etc. and for general course admin. We also encourage all students to email it with questions or
comments about the course material. Email: email@example.com.
- Email to the tutors' list will go only to all tutors involved in the course. This is the best list to use if you have a question or comment
about the course material that you don't want your fellow students to see. Email:
We will discuss blogs, wikis and other "social software" communication tools at much more length in section 4 of the course, when we also discuss the
scientific literature and how it is accessed and used. In the mean time, if you use Twitter at all, you might like to consider following the account for the
Birkbeck College School of Science
You might also be interested to know that before we used the Instant Messenger tool for tutorials, tutors and students used to meet in a MUD - a
Multi-User Dimension, or a text-based, real-time virtual world. When the PPS course started at the end of the
1990s we used BioMOO, or 'the biologists' virtual meeting place' and this was later replaced by a simpler MUD run at Birkbeck. Both these systems are now
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