As a research intensive institution, the University of Nottingham faces a number of challenges that are common to universities across the world when trying to embed and encourage the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. A key concern is the fact that academic staff often complain that they would like to engage more fully with new technologies but lack either the time or expertise to
The response at the University of Nottingham has been to explore ways to reduce technological barriers to adoption that mean that staff need less technical expertise and can more efficiently produce effective and well designed learning materials for their students. This approach has focussed on developing an e-learning "toolkit" consisting of a range of tools and strategies that make the utilisation and implementation of e-learning more rapid and more straightforward.
For a demonstration of how examples like this one are created within the online toolkits, click here. ]]>
Portishead and Purple Haze in Portland
It's one of the University's more unusual collections of cultural artefacts, and is also one of its best kept secrets. You won't find old sculptures or paintings, but you might stumble across the likes of David Bowie or Stevie Ray Vaughan.
The library is run by around 15 volunteers— both students and staff — who are on hand during library hours to offer advice and help.
The idea of a music library may seem dated, with the availability of cheap music downloads. But volunteer Jon Crookston thinks it's still viable: "Downloading music is popular," he admitted, "but downloading online means you don't have the social atmosphere of the library. Here committee members are always on hand and they know the collection. You can ask them for their recommendations. Besides, you can pay 50p for a single track online, but at the library you can hear a whole album for the
Click on the play button under the picture to listen to the University's podcast.]]>
Teacher Created Content through Re-Usable Xerte Templates
The range of toolkits projects are varied and aimed at all teaching staff within the University. To facilitate individual engagement, templates have been developed with our own freely available Flash based e-learning development tool called xerte. Creation of rich and engaging e-learning content is complex, time consuming, and requires technical expertise. This can often prove a barrier to wider adoption as teaching staff simply do not have the time or support available to accomplish their e-learning ambitions. To address this need, the IS Learning Team at Nottingham developed xerte.
Xerte is an xml editor and run time engine that makes it easy to create and deploy interactive learning objects that are highly accessible and SCORM compliant. Xerte helps developers focus on interactive design by providing tools that are fit for purpose and easy to use. Xerte is a very powerful and flexible development tool, and as such requires a level of technical expertise which is still beyond most of the teaching staff at Nottingham (but easily within the grasp of e-learning development staff).
To address this need we have created the Xerte Online Toolkit, which provides users with a simple form based online editing environment to create engaging, accessible and interactive e-learning content. ]]>
Second life, virtual environments and academia are being displayed from Flickr.
The results display a series of images available from Flickr revealing different uses of Second Life in HE within the UK.
Combinations of keywords can be used to refine results.]]>
Text : Title Pages; Plain text (this page for example).
Media: Graphics and sound; Drawing; Video; Audio slideshow; Image viewer; Flash animations; Flash paper; Bespoke Xerte content
Navigators: Column; Tabbed; Accordion; Slideshow; Button
Interactivity: Stimulus question; MCQ; Hotspot image; Annotated diagram; Timeline/Matching pair; Gap fill; Categories; Dialog; Drag and drop; Quiz
As wll as: Google maps; YouTube video; Wikipedia entries; Flickr images; Delicious bookmarks; RSS feeds and a RSS feed writer.
We welcome feedback and look forward to hearing from you (is-learning-team( @ )nottingham.ac.uk) ]]>