Amy Burge in the Department of English and Related Literature used the VLE for disseminating images and resources to supplement seminar work, as well as using wikis to facilitate group work for seminars.
Keywords: images, wiki, collaboration, student content, module design, student skills, employability
During my teaching of the undergraduate module ‘Late Medieval Literature’ I needed an accessible forum in which to display images to the class. Having considered using the VLE for this purpose, it became clear that the potential was there to extend the students’ use of the VLE, which I felt would be a valuable transferable skill. So I created two assignments for the students: first, to access and comment on images and second, to create their own wiki pages in pairs to present in a 20 minute discussion in class. They were free to edit this page as they wished.
Aims and Objectives
The VLE was the easiest way to disseminate images and I felt that using it was a valuable transferable skill for the students. I was informed by the Department that there was no previous use of the VLE for this module or for any other that this cohort would have taken. This was therefore a completely new practice.
I have access to a University networked PC and carried out most of the editing work from here, although I did access the site from time to time from other computers. I received very relevant and useful training from Wayne Britcliffe, who also provided valuable support in coming to train the students. The initial set up time for the site was slightly time consuming (estimate 5-6 hours work?) but the resources can be used in subsequent years. There was no extra funding for this project.
The students seemed keen to work with the VLE and successfully did so. Some engaged less with the process than others – I think letting them know about the tasks earlier would have been helpful and now that the resources are prepared this would be possible in subsequent years. I would perhaps set up a blog earlier to encourage conversation between students after the course and would alert them to the resources sooner (bibliography, seminar outlines etc). I might encourage them to link to resources they have found to share with the class to make seminar discussion more fruitful.
“I particularly enjoyed this seminar as it provided a different focus rather than on a textual source, and also because there was something different to interact with rather than the regular format of a seminar discussion” – student feedback
Transferable lessons learned
- The VLE provides a useful route for disseminating multimedia content online (images, audio, video etc.)
- Students appear to have no problems using wikis following a simple induction
- Online tools can be used to help student prepare and deliver face to face presentations
- You can learn more about the topics discussed here in our TEL Handbook:
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- View our short video guide on embedding images within a VLE content item.
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Case study last updated: April 2011