An organic approach to building an intranet with WebLearn
Case study of the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS)
Wulf Forrester-Barker, IT Manager at NDORMS has discovered that WebLearn can be stretched far beyond the expected applications of a Virtual Learning Environment. He has used various WebLearn tools to tackle a number of requirements in his department, including:
- MSc in Musculoskeletal Sciences: creating a site that supports current students and shares some relevant information with prospective students
- Athena SWAN Charter for Women in Science project: running an anonymous survey of more than 50 questions for all members of the department (Survey tool)
- Sonographers at remote sites: testing their skills in interpreting subject-specific images and videos (Tests tool)
- Room and resource booking: Providing a way for staff to book seminar, meeting and clinical appointment rooms, or equipment (Schedule tool)
- Health and Safety: making information available in a read-only format and tracking usage (Resources and Site Stats tools)
- Supporting a clinical trial: providing information including an online calculator for the ‘Oxford Shoulder Score’ for many non-Oxford participants, mainly in the NHS community (Web Content tool)
Wulf’s tops tips for success
1. Don’t abandon a site too quickly. Some aspects have taken a long time to germinate before establishing themselves as useful tools. It took over a year from the suggestion that WebLearn could provide certain solutions to the point where these became embedded across the department.
2. Seize the opportunity to try out new tools. They might not work exactly as expected in some of the places you deploy them, but they won’t work at all if you never try them out in your site. Wulf attended the Surveys course several months before he found opportunities to apply that knowledge.
3. From time to time, weed out areas or tools that are not being used. This brings more light to the areas that are healthy. You can move things around too, although do warn your users first!
PDF case study (https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/x/pfIyNq) on WebLearn Guidance site
Slide presentation (https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/x/MX0FCh) at WebLearn User Group
Audio commentary (https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/x/RcSvYy) to accompany WebLearn User Group slide presentation