WebLearn is the University’s Virtual Learning Environment, used by colleagues across all divisions to support their students’ learning. However, it is also being used productively in outreach activities, and this is reflected in the 2016 awards.
Use of WebLearn to Support Teaching and Learning
Winner: Dr Heath Rose for Using WebLearn to Deliver a Part-Time, Distance Online course for Busy Learners
Dr Rose redesigned the MSc in Teaching English Language in University Settings in accordance with students’ needs. He explored the features of WebLearn, in particular the Lessons tool, which allowed him to integrate tasks and materials in one linear pathway. He used screen capture to record his own video lectures, and then embedded them into the lessons.
The judges remarked on the impressive level of student engagement, including students taking ownership for sharing their analysis of prescribed readings. The use of the Lessons tool, embedded recordings and existing multimedia resources is excellent.
Runners-up: Christina Hell and Martin Hurajt for Virtual Classrooms at the Language Centre
At the Language Centre about 40 tutors teach approximately 200 different language courses a year. In WebLearn Christina identified a platform that could both make tutors’ work more efficient and engage students when away from the face-to-face classroom. With the insight gained from a survey of the tutors and her own language teaching experience, Christina and Martin created a WebLearn ‘virtual classroom’ site for every class taught at the Centre. The innovation lies in the wide-reaching effect of the project: the virtual classrooms have become an indispensable teaching tool and have added value to tutors’ teaching practice and students’ learning.
Use of WebLearn to Support Outreach
Winner: Emma Searle for OxLAT: Oxford Latin Teaching Scheme Online Learning Hub
The OxLAT programme makes it possible for students at state schools in Oxfordshire where Latin isn’t taught to receive free tuition ab initio through to the GCSE examination. Emma created an online learning hub in WebLearn that allows the team to store and distribute classroom materials and information on additional external learning and revision resources, and to receive homework submissions in an organised way, with pupils’ work filed automatically. It has made a substantial difference for their students to be able to access all class materials independently and take the initiative for their own learning.
The judges commented that this project demonstrates good use of a variety of WebLearn tools and activities to facilitate outreach within the local schools community in the teaching of Latin.