Landing page for a module in a VLE
The VLE is behind a password protected screen http://now.ntu.ac.uk. The university’s e-learning website is at https://www.ntu.ac.uk/elearning/elearning_at_ntu/index.html and it is expected that further information on this design will be placed there following presentations in Jan and Apr 2009.
Type of snapshot
Policy or strategy for learning literacies Provision in the curriculum: skills/literacies addressed in topic module
What was the context for this snapshot?
The module is a 30-credit M-level module ‘Learning and Teaching in HE’. It is aimed at members of academic staff. The development of the module was supported by an internal Learning and Teaching development grant from the university’s Centre for Academic Standards and Quality. The module runs for 15 weeks and is staffed by the School of Education. It complements the PGCHE and is part of the suite of MA Education modules.
The implicit intention of the module was to enable staff to experience an almost completely online learning experience. There was a single 2 hour ‘kick off’ meeting but after that all of the learning and teaching was done through the VLE and other technologies (eg video conference).
The VLE used was completely new at the start of the module (Sept 08) and so there were twin demands of coming to terms with the generics of online learning and the specifics of the environment.
What kind of learners were involved in accessing this provision or support?
Academic staff, most of whom had not studied online before.
What skills or literacies were particularly being addressed?
The literacies addressed in this screen shot are in the realm of navigation and access to information in an online environment. The design of the ‘landing page’ for the module (called a Learning Room in this VLE) was made so that elements were persistent, providing redundancy of pathways, and met learner needs. Thus the design includes – fixed layout for ‘widgets’, links with text and within menus (both textual and graphical) and prominence to what needs to be done at any point in time.
Who provided the support? How was support provided?
Support was provided by the environment, with initial discussion at the two hour face to face kick off meeting. This was led by the two module tutors.
Benefits, outcomes, and lessons learned
The benefits are that we had no instances of learners asking where things were or what they needed to do. The graphical representation of units of study was built up so that an image was added when each unit commenced (we discussed this strategy with learners who preferred this to the ‘release all at once’ model).