7. IT Training

The range of IT training courses offered by OUCS is very wide. There are more than 50 modules covering:
  • basic IT concepts;
  • use of a range of software packages;
  • programming;
  • internet skills and web development techniques;
  • specific courses for groups of staff and students;
  • induction courses as requested by departments and faculties.

The courses vary in length from the new one-hour sessions to up to three full days for the programming courses. The one-hour `byte-sized' sessions proved very popular with two being offered in Trinity Term; Putting your Files on the Web, and Creating a PowerPoint Presentation. These were given in response to the findings of the OxTALENT survey and they consist of a talk and demonstration followed by time to try out the skills. This type of course has been developed further during the 2001/2002 session with many new titles being offered.

The mix of courses adjusts as student and staff knowledge develops and software changes. There is still a requirement for basic skills but these are not run as frequently and their content has broadened. The courses developed for specific departments, such as the postgraduate research skills courses have proved very popular.

The numbers of attendees remains high with many courses running full, but the number of modules has decreased slightly [figure Figure 21, IT Training Course Modules Offered] due to staff availability and the combining of some courses as requirements change. The share by type of attendee has remained approximately constant [figure Figure 22, Training Course Bookings by Attendee Status] and the distribution across the academic divisions is surprisingly even [figures Figure 23, Training Course Bookings 2000/2001 (Academic Divisions only) and Figure 24, Training Course Bookings 2000/2001 (All Divisions)].

IT Training Course Modules Offered
Figure 21. IT Training Course Modules Offered
Training Course Bookings by Attendee Status
Figure 22. Training Course Bookings by Attendee Status
Training Course Bookings 2000/2001 (Academic Divisions only)
Figure 23. Training Course Bookings 2000/2001 (Academic Divisions only)
Training Course Bookings 2000/2001 (All Divisions)
Figure 24. Training Course Bookings 2000/2001 (All Divisions)

During 2001 the Learning Technologies Group was formed bringing together the Academic Computing Development Team (formerly the HCDT), Project ASTER, OxTALENT, and during Michaelmas term the Centre for Humanities Computing (see Appendix).

The figures below covering the period 2000-2001 were while the main focus of the components of the LTG was still the Humanities Division. Nevertheless they still illustrate that several of the courses that were run in that period attracted many attendees from other divisions. For a full report see http://www.hcu.ox.ac.uk/chc/teaching.htm.

The total number of courses taught was 98, with 274 total teaching hours and 2156 total participants. Of these, 803 participants attended the Humanities graduate courses, and 1353 attended the generic courses. The breakdown of the generic courses by division is shown in Table Table 1. All of these figures are included in figures Figure 21, IT Training Course Modules Offered to Figure 24, Training Course Bookings 2000/2001 (All Divisions).

Academic Services 250 (18.52%)
Continuing Education 56 (4.12%)
Humanities 311 (23.04%)
LES 145 (10.70%)
Social Sciences 234 (17.28%)
Medical Sciences 184 (13.58%)
MPS 173 (12.76%)

7.1. Lecture Rooms

The computers in Lecture Rooms B and C were replaced in July/August 2001 and the old machines then replaced the ones in the Learning and Resource Centre (LaRC).

Facilities for those with a disability have been installed in the lecture rooms. There is an induction loop in Lecture Room A, adjustable desks in each of the rooms, two flat screens in each room and special chairs are available as well as a variety of mice, keyboards and wrist-rests.

7.2. IT Qualification Recognised by Employers

The European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) establishes standards for everyone who uses a computer. It is a qualification that verifies a person's competence and declares their computer skills according to a pan-European industry standard (http://www.ecdl.com).

OUCS was one of the first academic institutions in the UK to run the ECDL and is a leader in the development of this qualification in the national academic community. OUCS runs weekly drop-in sessions throughout the year and intensive training weeks. During the year 107 people enrolled for the ECDL and 436 tests were passed.

7.3. Learning and Resource Centre (LaRC)

The IT Learning and Resource Centre provides a supervised, open learning environment for University members to acquire computing skills. In addition, the LaRC facilities supplement those available in colleges and departments.

The LaRC has continued to prove an invaluable adjunct to the formal teaching facilities and sessions provided by OUCS. The number of usernames allocated is slightly down on the previous year but the number of sessions per username has increased. The use of the facilities is now dominated by those wishing to train and in particular those wishing to study for the ECDL.

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