Learning & Teaching Enhancement Fund

01 July 2012

There was an unusually diverse range of projects funded this year by the Learning & Teaching Enhancement Fund - software programmes that teach about evolution in fish, making marking easier, helping students take better notes at lectures, and the teaching of basic statistical methods - but all had one thing in common; they all embraced the use of innovative technology to enhance learning.

Offering up to £2000, the fund is designed to back projects that improve learning and teaching.  The Fund focuses on areas highlighted in the Aberystwyth / Bangor Learning, Teaching and Widening Access Strategy, with submissions requested that are substantial, involve more than one academic department or have uses across departments.

SELFISH is a new e-learning tool that explains evolution in fish. It has been designed by Dr Sonia Consuegra from IBERS and Drs Amanda Clare and Bernie Tiddeman from the Department of Computer Science, and developed by computer science undergraduate Matthew Harrison-Jones under their supervision. This new tool to help students learn about basic concepts in evolution is accessible at  http://selfish.dcs.aber.ac.uk/. The team are also developing versions for use in schools and at Bristol Aquarium.

Dr Neal Snooke from the Department of Computer Science is developing software that will help with marking of assignments and examinations and provide feedback to students. It is also designed to provide improvements in consistency and timeliness of assignment feedback to students, whilst the automatically produced results spreadsheets should also save time for lecturers and administrators.

English and Creative Writing team Drs Louise Marshall, Megan Owen and Elisabeth Salter are looking at how students can make the most of lectures and resources available online. Their project, Making the Best of Both? Enhancing the symbiotic relationships between face-to-face lectures and Virtual Learning Environments, focuses on improving student note taking at lectures and responds to feedback received from students and the National Student Survey.

And a series of videos that introduce, describe and explain basic statistical methods is being developed by Dr Basil Wolf (IBERS), Dr Malcolm Leitch (IBERS), Dr Les Tumilty (Sport and Exercise Science), Dr I-Chant Chiang (Psychology) and Professor Bryn Hubbard (IGES).  Available via Blackboard and designed for use across departments, they will combine screen capture software and digital ink technologies, and feature quizzes and feedback forms.

If you would like to know more about the Learning & Teaching Enhancement Fund go to http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/cdsap/funding/ltef/.