The "toolkits" approach
The university has several teams who work to create e-learning for staff. However, there is only so much these staff can achieve in the time they have, and to address this the University is adopting what is refered to as the "toolkit" approach. The aim of the elearning toolkits is to reduce and remove tecnhical barriers to the adoption of elearning to support teachning and learning at Nottingham. Hopefully staff will find these templates easy to use and understand, but the templates will also be easy to be tailored (if required) to meet your needs.
For example, a toolkit is has been developed for the school of Modern Languages developed by the IS learning team. By July 2007, 280 staff hours have been spent developing the materials, and this has created over 70 hours worth of online lessons. These lessons are then subsequently delivered via WebCT - and at present are being used by over 1,300 students. This saves a large amount of time for staff, as well as making these resources available 24 hours a day.
Xerte is the main tool with which we can use to create new templates and toolkits for staff members. Xerte was developed by the IS learning team and can be set up to allow staff members to create and modify content to make learning materials very quickly. If you are interested in xerte, why not visit the xerte site. It is a developer's tool, so it is not suited to all staff, but you may find templates already exist to help you make learning materials.
There is also now a web based version of the xerte wizards available for University of Nottingham staff. The wizards present a helpful and informative interface allowing users to create e-learning content from templates. You can log in (using your normal username and password) at the site - http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/toolkits/.
If you would like any advice on xerte, or how to create a template please contact the IS learning team.
Toolkits Case Study
Wyn Morgan and Andy Beggan recently presented a paper on Toolkits to the International Technology, Education and Development Conference in Valencia, March 2008. You can read more about the conference here. The presented paper is also available to read.
Toolkits launch event
On December the 3rd 2008, Xerte Online Toolkits was officially launched to the academic community. Please see this video recording of the event.