University shares teaching expertise over the web

   
   
28 Jan 2010 17:55:04.593

The University of Nottingham has become one of the first universities in the country to make a selection of its teaching expertise freely available over the web in a large scale e-learning programme.

U-Now is the name of The University of Nottingham's open courseware initiative. It makes samples of e-learning material from across the University freely available to individuals and organisations outside the institution.

Launched in 2001 the OpenCourseWare Initiative has been taken up by over 200 universities worldwide. However, this is one of the first large scale initiatives to be developed in the UK.

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The University of Nottingham has become one of the first universities in the country to make a selection of its teaching expertise freely available over the web in a large scale e-learning programme.

U-Now is the name of The University of Nottingham's open courseware initiative. It makes samples of e-learning material from across the University freely available to individuals and organisations outside the institution.

Launched in 2001 the OpenCourseWare Initiative has been taken up by over 200 universities worldwide. However, this is one of the first large scale initiatives to be developed in the UK.

As well as podcasts by experts in subjects from politics to engineering there are e-learning modules on subjects from solutions for global water shortages to the growth in road traffic; from nursing practice to the veterinary examination of dogs; and from languages to collaborative training projects with universities across the world; even virtual field trips will be accessible on U-Now.

The decision to make the University's expertise available over the web underlines the importance and value it places on sharing knowledge. It also builds relationships with prospective students by showcasing its expertise and reinforces the University's reputation for teaching and learning.

Christine Ennew, Professor of Marketing, in Nottingham University Business School said: "As we make more and more use of the internet for on campus education, we have the ability to share these learning opportunities with the wider community, both here in the UK and overseas. Our open courseware initiative is an attempt systematically to share a selection of our educational materials with interested others."

Open CourseWare (OCW) is a term used to describe collections of educational materials that are freely available, usually over the web. These can be complete modules or smaller scale learning objects. No assessment is undertaken and no credits are awarded.

The U-Now project has been sponsored by The University's e-learning strategy and put in place by a team of people headed by Professor Ennew and Dr Wyn Morgan, Director of Teaching and Learning,  working very closely with the Information Services Learning Team headed by Andy Beggan and supported by Paul Distant and Nuno Jorge.

E-learning materials are available under a Creative Commons licence. This allows others to copy, distribute and display the material for non commercial use.

Rather than have all its teaching material online the University has taken the decision to focus on high quality learning materials from across the full range of subjects.

Dr Morgan said: "U-Now is a great opportunity to provide a window on to the excellent teaching and learning activities across the University's campuses. We believe that it gives an insight into what can be found at The University of Nottingham, not only for potential new students but also for those who are simply interested in learning about new areas, ideas and concepts."

Andy Beggan, Learning Team Leader, said: "Since releasing Xerte (our own accessible e-learning production tool) through U-Now in 2006, we have been extremely excited by the positive response our e-learning materials have received. U-Now is a great vehicle for sharing with the world the excellent e-learning content created at The University of Nottingham and is testimony to all of the hard work of everyone involved in e-learning throughout the University."

Additional information and access to U-Now's e-learning resources can be found at http://unow.nottingham.ac.uk/about.html


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Notes to Editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 70 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THES) World University Rankings.

It provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia.

Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation - School of Pharmacy).

Its students are much in demand from 'blue-chip' employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for three years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.

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