Lifelong needs met by virtual campus

July 6, 2001

Ulster University has four campuses across Northern Ireland. In September, it aims to open a fifth - a virtual campus for the health professions, engineering and informatics backed by e-learning systems provider WebCT.

Clive Mulholland, director of UU's institute for lifelong learning, said that among its e-learning pilot projects, the university had successfully launched a virtual school of biomedical sciences.

UU found that despite increasing emphasis on post-qualification training, professionals were less able to take time off to attend courses because of work and family demands.

"We realised that [online learning] was a great way of meeting part of the lifelong learning agenda and improving access to education," Dr Mulholland said. "Until now we've been working through what is basically a home-made website. But we realised that we needed a proper learning environment for students."

UU has chosen WebCT to be the backbone of its web-enabled course management system. It gives students and staff personalised online access to course material, learning resources including libraries, academic and student support programmes, and the counselling service and careers guidance.

UU does not assume that students will be expert in using the technology. It will include an online induction package several weeks before term starts, introducing them to the technology and advising them on learning and time-management skills.

There will also be staff development, with academics working in teams with web designers and graphic artists to create courses, Dr Mulholland said.

The company claims that more than 2,200 colleges and universities across the world use WebCT to offer e-learning.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns