Combined e-learning for all ages

June 9, 2000

The e-college has come to south-east Scotland with a unique academic collaboration between school and further and higher education on courses in science, technology and engineering.

Heriot-Watt University, backed by a consortium of local education authorities and further education colleges, has led the development of courses for sixth-form pupils, students in further education and first-year university students. The first courses will be in biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, mechanical engineering and computing/information systems. Modern language courses will follow.

The "Scholar" project, launched this week by Sam Galbraith, Scotland's minister for children and education, has been hailed as potentially boosting science and engineering applications.

Roy Leitch, Heriot-Watt's assistant principal for learning strategies, said: "The materials are interactive and have been described as 'captivating'. There are simulations and animations to bring diagrams and equations to life, which improves understanding."

Professor Leitch said teachers and lecturers had collaborated to create common coursework, with Heriot-Watt's learning technology specialists designing the online delivery. Pupils or students in the member institutions can sign up for the online courses.

The course development has been funded by Heriot-Watt and Scottish Knowledge, which exports university and college expertise in education and training.

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