Oxford was well represented at the Sakai Virtual Conference held on Wednesday 4th November. Sakai is the technology that underpins our WebLearn virtual learning environment, and members of the WebLearn team, together with WebLearn user Dr Lucy Tallents from the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, gave presentations on both educational and technical topics.
The education-related presentations centred around the Lessons tool, an exciting and versatile addition to WebLearn’s repertoire. Lucy, who won an OxTALENT 2015 award for her Conservation Statistics course, ran an interactive learning session which gave participants the opportunity to explore the ‘student pages’ feature in the Lessons tool. Xavier Laurent and Steve Burholt presented the templates which have been developed by the WISE project. The templates use the Lessons tool to structure students’ learning within WebLearn and have been receiving an enthusiastic response from departments participating in the project. Finally, Fawei Geng described how the Lessons tool has been transforming users’ experience of WebLearn.
On a more technical note Matthew Bucket talked about Docker and REST web services, while Adam Marshall discussed the proposed Mobile WebLearn (MOLE) project and talked about Oxford’s contributions to sakai 11. Adam Marshall and Jill Fresen also ran a Sakai-themed trivia quiz.
All of our presentations were well received and sparked active discussions. Comments captured on social media and during the session included:
‘Great demo by Xavier and Steve on redesigning [the] WebLearn Lessons page.’
‘[Lucy’s session] is the most interesting session that I … attended.’
All sessions at the conference were recorded and will be made available via the Sakai YouTube channel where the two keynote presentations are already published.
- Opening keynote: “Into the Great Beyond: Exploring the Next-Generation Digital Learning Environment” by Dr. Malcolm Brown
- Closing keynote: “The Next Generation of Teaching and Learning Tools” by Dr. Charles Severance
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