3. Tools in the WebLearn
The effective use of WebLearn to support teaching and learning in a face-to-face institution can be difficult to visualise. We see our students several times a week, in lectures and tutorials, they can physically access the library, they are digital 'natives' and are comfortable finding their own resources on the web, aren’t they?
- Information – providing organisational information and tools, such as Announcements, Calendar and Syllabus;
- Content – Resources tool (containing a collection of electronic documents), Reading Lists, Podcasts, links to external Web content (web pages, videos etc.);
- Communication – Discussion forums, Email archive and collaboration tools such as the Wiki;
- Assessment – Assignments (including Turnitin plagiarism detection), Tests, Tutorial tasks, assessed Forum discussions;
- Management – monitoring student activity, administering marks, course evaluation, sign-up sheets for meetings and tutorials.
Using this conceptual framework, one sees that the virtual learning environment, just as with the physical learning environment, demands thorough course design and planning. Once such a virtual site has been designed and created, it assists lecturers, tutors and students to collect course materials and access them in a structured, convenient and collaborative way.
More information:Step-by-step guide for Drop Box
More information:Step-by-step guide for Email Sender
More information: Video tutorial for Home tool
More information:Step-by-step guide for Polls
More information:Step-by-step guide for Reading List
More information:Step-by-step guides for Schedule
It allows either single or repeated meeting to be scheduled and will automatically partition time slots into any number of equal-length sessions with an optionally specified maximum number of attendees. All meetings will be added to the site calendar and potential attendees can be notified of the details. The meeting can be displayed on one or more WebLearn sites.
More information:Step-by-step guide for Sign-up
More information:Step-by-step guide for Site Stats
Questionnaire templates can be created from scratch, or existing templates can be copied and modified. Various question types are available, such as Lickert scales, multiple choice with a single answer, multiple choice with multiple answers, and free text questions. Detailed settings control open and close dates, how participants access the survey, and who may view the results.
A survey can be delivered to WebLearn site members, ad-hoc groups or the general public over a fixed time period. Although responses remain anonymous, the course administrator can track who has or has not completed the evaluation. The system can automatically notify users of upcoming surveys, and send reminders to complete an ongoing survey. The notification scheme is intended to increase the response rate.
More information:Step-by-step guide for Surveys
- The Assignments tool offers multiple grading options for submissions, but does not support automatic marking of objective questions.
- The Evaluation tool supports the construction, distribution and administration of template-based questionnaires with an emphasis on course based evaluation. Participants who have not yet completed an evaluation will receive reminders by email.
More information:Step-by-step guide for Tests
More information:Step-by-step guide for Wiki
There are many facilities in the WebLearn, these are partitioned into Primary and Secondary Tools. The WebLearn Service Level Description details which category each tool falls into, see section 2.12. Section 2.21 explains the difference between the two classifications. In short, if a Primary tool is withdrawn then IT Services will endeavour to provide instructions on how to move the content of the tool to a suitable alternative; if a secondary tool is removed then there is no guarantee that IT Services will provide support for the transfer of content. The Secondary tools are:
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