Reporter 410, 17 November 1997

‘Virtual’ building to provide interactive learning experience

A new building has been opened on the campus – not one made of bricks and mortar but an interactive site accessible through the world wide web. The Nathan Bodington Building, named after the University’s first Vice-Chancellor, houses learning resources created by departments and schools and has been officially opened by Professor Tony Chapman.

The resources have been organised as a building to make the site easier – and more enjoyable – to use. Jon Maber, who has developed the system for the Teaching and Learning Support Unit with Dr Andrew Booth, said: “Our aim was to develop a system which can be used with the minimum of technical know-how on the part of staff and students. Pre-prepared templates are provided to enable staff easily and quickly to develop resources, to change and maintain them and to control who has access to them.”

The most important resources in the building are interactive. Course tutors can create self-assessment tests for students who can attempt them at leisure and receive a score immediately. Staff can review the marks and target appropriate feedback through the bulletin boards or tutorials. Staff can also make use of on-line questionnaires and electronic submission of work. Access can be granted to selected groups.

Resources can be provided equally to full-time and part-time students, students studying on campus or at a distance and students studying in associated colleges. ‘Rooms’ are provided where students can post messages which the whole group can read and reply to and group discussions can be held. In the pilot year these facilities were used by 1,900 students and 100 staff.

TLSU staff are available to demonstrate the facilities offered in the building. To make an appointment contact David Gardner, ext 4038 email d.gardner@leeds, or Jane Jotcham, ext 5310 email j.e.jotcham@leeds

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