Three great things about Xerte

Xerte is an open-source browser-based tool that allows educators to develop rich, interactive and highly accessible content quickly and easily and to seamlessly publish that content online

Club shaped slime mould

Slime in the spotlight at CSCT Open Forum

Rather than focusing on traditional laboratory based experimentation the PhySense project enables the general public (Citizen Scientists) to conduct biological experiments and share their experimental results.

What is Technology Enhanced Learning?

The video below is a good starting point to help answer a common question.


What do we mean by ‘enhanced’?

Another good question and there are, of course, many answers to this. The response from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) is as follows:

Efficiency – existing processes carried out in a more cost-effective, time-
effective, sustainable or scalable manner.
Enhancement – improving existing processes and the outcomes.
Transformation – radical, positive change in existing processes or introducing new processes.

HEFCE 2009, 2

To find out more about the meaning of TEL this article (Technology-Enhanced Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: What Is “Enhanced” and How Do We Know? A Critical Literature Review) by Kirkwood and Price (2014) provides a useful overview.

What do you make of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)? Leave a reply in the comments below.

Green Gown winner image

We won a Green Gown Award!

In 2015 the Learning Innovation Unit developed and delivered UWE’s first MOOC, called Our Green City – and we’ve just won an award for it

Using Open Educational Resources (OERs)

OERs are freely available, normally digital assets for research, education and assessment – anything from whole lectures or even courses to images, pictures, software, techniques, sound or films

PebblePad (portfolios)

PebblePad provides individual and collective online spaces for students and staff to develop, share, reflect on and communicate their learning and achievement

Blackboard (VLE)

All Blackboard-related information can be accessed from this page. The key source of information on all Blackboard queries is UWE’s Blackboard Support website. Faculty approach to Blackboard module sites In … Read more

the Xerte login page at UWE

Xerte (learning objects)

With Xerte you can create interactive, multi-media, accessible learning objects using just a web browser – no need to install any additional software on your computer. Xerte is available for any members of staff in FET to use.


A wiki is simply a website on which users can easily create and edit web pages and edit the content (text, images, hyperlinks etc.) on those pages. They are good for group and project work where students are asked to work together to plan, develop or present their work.

TurningPoint (polling)

TurningPoint is polling software that enables students to ‘vote’ or respond to questions in classrooms and lecture theatres using ‘clickers’ and/or smartphones, tablet computers or laptops to make responses. TurningPoint can help make teaching in classrooms and lecture theatres more interactive. It can be used, for example, to survey views, assess understanding, group revision, and to give learners more control of the content or pace of lectures.

Piazza (collaboration)

Piazza is a Q&A and discussion platform designed to simulate real class discussion. It aims to get high quality answers to difficult questions, fast.

When you talk about..., it makes me thinka bout..., because...


A blog is a website which usually takes the form of a series of posts arranged in reverse-chronologocal order, i.e. the most recent post appears at the top of the page. Students writing their own blogs, commenting on other people’s blogs, and consulting blogs written by experts in their field are common learning activities in Higher Education today.

graffiti in Bristol

Blogging in Social Geography

In the first semester of 2014/15 I worked with a FET lecturer in Geography and Environmental Management, Sara-Jayne Williams, who teaches on a module called Society, Youth & Ageing. Together we developed a plan whereby students would blog about the subject matter and share their blogs with each other in order to construct subject knowledge as a class.

Classroom Response Systems – ‘clickers’

Types of Questions

Many instructors see multiple-choice questions as limited to testing students’ recall of facts. However, multiple-choice clicker questions can actually serve many other purposes in the class, including assessing students’ higher-order thinking skills. Since clicker questions can be used not only to assess students but to engage them, some very effective clicker questions are quite different than multiple-choice questions that might appear on exams.

Here are a few types of clicker questions.

Recall Questions: These questions ask students to recall facts, concepts, or techniques relevant to class. They are often used to see if students did the reading, remember important points from prior classes, or have memorized key facts. They rarely generate discussion, however, and don’t require higher-order thinking skills.

Read more

‘Flipped’ learning – what is it?

What is flipping? ‘Flipped learning’ or ‘the flipped classroom’ are recent buzz words/phrases in education. Flipping is an approach that comes in two parts: the ‘transmission’ or ‘delivery’ part of … Read more

What is gamification?

Gamification in education is the use of game thinking and game design elements in non-game contexts to engage learners in problem solving situations. In The Gamification of Higher Education Teaching … Read more

mindmap about wikis

Finding out more about wikis in education

A wiki is a website where users can easily add, edit and delete content without specialist software or technical knowledge. Users can create new wiki pages and link them to others, and they can edit existing pages, including those created by other learners.

Teaching with ‘clickers’

In UWE we can use ‘clickers’ and software from TurningPoint to make presentations and lectures more engaging. A number of lecture theatres (4D56, 1N05, 2B020, 2B025, 2D67, 4B031 and ECC … Read more

What’s the difference between wikis and blogs?

For several years now wikis and blogs have both been widely used in Higher Education. Both are platforms for easily publishing material to the web and both provide a platform for feedback. Both are ideal for learner-centred activities with learners taking part in collaborative tasks aiding knowledge construction. And both can be used to deliver rich content for learners to absorb.