Friday, 30 March 2007

More Therapy needed!

Just returned from a Steering group meeting for Complementary Therapy which took place at Staffs Uni. After the horrendous journey stuck in a huge queue of traffic, tutors and 'IT' representatives from each partner institution met to discuss the possibility of having access to the same system for accessing materials and communication.

I spoke about the recent meeting that Dave and I had with the Complementary Therapy students on the FD at Shrewsbury and one identified wish list item was the need for an area where they could communicate not only with the rest of the group when they are not in College but with students and tutors at the partner colleges who are delivering and experiencing the same course materials, problems and ways of helping each other.

It was identified that Newcastle, Cannock and Shrewsbury are using Moodle and Stoke using Learnwise. The problem could be resolved in a number of ways:
  1. Everyone has access to Blackboard to access the same materials and communication tools
  2. Use own institution VLE to upload course materials, and have access to Blackboard for communication with other colleges
  3. Choose one institution VLE for all to access
  4. Make use of the Portal being developed for the SURF Project

A number of valid thoughts were aired as to the pros and cons of the suggestions.

  1. Everyone needs to be clear of what will be on the Blackboard system, how to use it and make sure that everyone has a login to the system.
  2. Own institution VLE use is fine, and this could happen quickly, but why a need to replicate materials in different ways?
  3. Easy to set up, but who decides on which to use and why!
  4. Portal would be great to address all the issues, but will not be ready in the short-term for the exisiting students on the course Now!

The result of the meeting was to try and use Blackboard for all course materials to uploaded and a communication area for all to use. The next meeting will have somebody from Staffs Uni to give a introduction to Blackboard and how to use the system.

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