It has been another good year for the WebLearn service at OUCS. We have seen take up across the university and pilot projects with colleagues Exam Schools, Clinical trials, Said Business School and Blavatnik School of Government. We are delighted to give OxTALENT prizes for innovation again this year.
Winners in this category are identified from within the Weblearn User Group which has members from all across the collegiate university. Prizes are given for innovations which support student learning or make use of WebLearn across a group or set of programmes beyond a single course.
This years winners are Dr Catherine Walter (Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the Department of Education and Fellow of Linacre) and Dr Imogen Goold ( Faculty of Law and Fellow of St Anne’s College) for their use of tools specifically for community and feeedback. Both prize winners have worked hard to create a learning community where students learn not only from the tutor and the materials, but also from each other. Dr Walter works with her students to develop peer discussion and chat forums; Dr Goold makes use of electronic submission and plagiarism education tools to share examples of good writing amongst her students.
The winners of awards for use of WebLearn beyond a single course or group go to Dr Robert Wilkins (Course Director , Biomedical Sciences and Fellow of St Edmund Hall) and Dr Claire Aland (Director of Anatomy).
The Biomedical Sciences degree course has undergone a complete overhaul in the past 18 months and to accompany this re- structure a new portal for students has been created in WebLearn for them bringing together all the resources and tools they need to navigate through the themes and years of the course. The course is truly interdisciplinary in nature, with a number of departments and units contributing teaching, including Biochemistry, Experimental Psychology, Pathology, Pharmacology, and Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics. Recognising that the interdisciplinary nature of the course presented a number of challenges which use of learning technology could address. Developed by the MSD Learning Technologies team, combining a number of bespoke and existing technologies, the WebLearn ‘portal’ page for Biomedical Sciences is the key component of success for the course.
Practical anatomy teaching at Oxford relies on many volunteer demonstrators, who work in different, often remote locations. The demonstrators must be provided with teaching schedules, given the facility to book into classes and be able to access teaching material in advance. Practical teaching occurs throughout the academic year into several years and courses; thus there are many classes, with different subject matter. The success of the classes depends upon obtaining enough demonstrators who have adequately prepared for the class. Claire Aland created her Anatomy Demonstrator WebLearn Site to support and assure quality across this teaching. The Sign-Up Tool in Weblearn has been used to create the teaching schedule, complete with links to accessible or downloadable teaching material, so that demonstrators can see very easily what each session entails, can book to teach and develop teaching materials collaboratively.