The University's web-pages are built in-house, and the platform is known as Sitebuilder. Within your course website, or Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), you will find a range of pages - some of these are informative, but some are active pages, and require you to 'do' something as part of your learning and assessment. For example, you may have to share a resource with your peers, watch a video and then complete a self-checking quiz, or read a report/article and discuss the key findings on a forum.
This section will take you through the different types of activities that you may be asked to complete.
A Wiki is a type of website which is open to everyone to be viewed and edited by them. This means that communities of individuals can come together to share their knowledge of a topic and the creation of the web page happens in an 'organic' manner. Individuals joining the Wiki can edit, delete and moderate content and the site grows as individuals make their contributions. The advantage of a Wiki is the notion of shared knowledge, which is usually up-to-date and is in the spirit of the 'open source' and forum community. The downside is its lack of privacy and the potential for 'inaccurate' information on a topic. In addition, the content and contributions of individuals can be subject to editing by others. The most famous Wiki is 'Wikipedia' - the online community-based encyclopedia (see link to right).
Watch the You Tube clip below to see this principle in action (click on image below):
The Wiki on your course follows these same basic principles. It is a basic web-page model of adding comments, and growing a body of knowlege which the group can share; you won't be able to delete/edit the comments of others (for obvious reasons in relation to assessment), but you will be able to comment on them or add to them. If you are required to contribute to a Wiki on your course, it will be clearly signposted.
How to contribute to a Wiki
You will see the contributions of other people. Hit the Reply button, and a Post a comment box will appear for you to enter text (see example above). Once you have entered the text, it is useful to check the Send me an email whenever a comment is posted here box, so that you will get automatic updates of your peers contributions, serving as a useful prompt or reminder. Select Add content, and your contribution will appear on the Wiki page. To delete your entry, select the Delete function. To edit your entry - for example, if you want to add more, or reword it, then select Edit.
Tutors design self-marking quizzes so that you can independently assess your progress on a topic. The tutor will be able to see your overall score and answers, to assess your knowledge and understanding on a given topic. All quizzes have clear instructions on the top of a page, outlining what you need to do and why.
How to contribute to a quiz
There are seven different types of questions, and all are self explanatory, and require minimal IT skills.
You may be required to use your mouse skills, and 'drag and drop' the correct answers under the right category. To drag: this involves clicking on the correct answer, holding the click (not releasing it) until you find the correct category. To drop: release the mouse click to complete the move.
Forums are online places for discussion. They bring together groups of people with common interests, things to share or issues to resolve. They allow conversations to take place around topics which are dictated by the members of the forum themselves, or on topic specific content, as led by the tutor. Forums are great places for developing a group identity and a community of practice on a given topic.
How to contribute to a forum
To add to an existing topic, open the thread and select Reply. To create a new thread, select Add topic
Resource pages are created for students so that they can upload any resources (reports, articles, documents, material, conference notes, study notes) with the peer group. Your tutor may ask you to contribute to a shared page during your programme, and/or comment on any of the resources that have been created. As a student, you will have contributor rights, so that you can add to the resource list.
How to contribute to a Resource Page
To add a resource, hover the mouse over the Edit button in the top right hand of the screen. Select Upload a file from the options. Now under Select file to upload, hit the Browse button and search for the file on your PC. Provide a Short title and Description, as these will be displayed on the page. Select Upload when you have finished, and your resource will now be added to the page for your peers to use.