Lettitia Derrington (Department for Continuing Education) received a project grant to develop a WebLearn feature that could be made available across the University to support the online induction of postgraduate students. http://blogs.it.ox.ac.uk/adamweblearn/2015/11/university-teaching-awards-2015/
Lettitia built an ‘Induction Lessons Tool’, made entirely with the standard Lessons Tool in WebLearn. It was trialled within the CPD Centre, Department for Continuing Education in 2016-17 (with eight programme sites), offered to other teams within ContEd in 2017-18 (four additional sites) and is now in a format that could be rolled out to the wider University.
- You can take a look at ContEd’s Induction Lessons Tool in place on this publicly-available WebLearn site: https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/x/q5ROki.
- If you are interested in using it for your department, please contact Lettitia Derrington.
We asked Lettitia to describe how she customised WebLearn in this way to meet the needs of tutors and students in ContEd.
The aim was to create an induction area for postgraduate students as an alternative to, or to complement face-to-face induction activities. We wanted to provide a sense of progression through the various steps that students need to take and to make the information visually appealing and the content engaging. We also needed to ensure that we provided the essential information that departments have to provide for inductions as well as signposting useful information from the wider University.
I used the Lessons Tool to create a grid layout and to embed images and videos easily. It also allows me to embed generic files held on a central site, so that updating the information can be carried out in one location with the changes automatically updating all individual sites.
I hope that describing the different areas with a question – ‘Have you…..?’, emphasises the importance of the tasks, which is substantiated by quotes from previous students describing how important/useful it is.
I used colour on the main boxes as a differentiating factor, and I have carried the colour coding through to the subpages. I don’t think that it is very obvious to the students, but the subpages are divided into white and coloured boxes. The white information contains the essential information that departments have to provide, whilst the coloured boxes contain additional information to enhance the student experience.
Feedback from students has been good. The Induction section has been very useful as a resource to help them to do everything they need to be ready. All in all, it has had an immensely positive impact in supporting the delivery and administration of ContEd courses.