Interactive learning resources in Xerte for equipment in labs and studios

Many courses in our faculty involve students using equipment in laboratories and studios – from simple scalpels to much more complex items such as the wind tunnel or flight simulator. Much of this equipment is new to our students and some is potentially hazardous.

Although technical and academic staff introduce students to the safe and effective use of equipment they are not always on hand to provide individual help when students need it. Additionally, students sometimes miss inductions or it may be a long time after the induction that students actually need to use the equipment themselves.

Oliver Haslam in the LIU started developing interactive online guides for lab and studio equipment to help improve the learner experience. The guides include a series of short videos (expertly filmed by Steve Brown, LIU’s film producer) in which lab technicians demonstrate and discuss the safe and effective use of equipment followed by a series of multiple choice questions to ensure students have grasped the important content. Accesibility is enhanced by including a written transcript for each video and a bulleted list of the key points covered.

The interactive guides are put together in Xerte, a great tool for authoring multimedia content which comes with accessibility features built in. They are delivered to students via Blackboard, which allows us to record student engagement with the guides. Students must watch all the videos and get all of the questions correct to get a 100% score and this can be checked by academics and technicians simply by looking in Blackboard’s grade centre.

You can see our interactive learning resources on scalpels here (available from UWE campuses only). So far we have made guides on:

  • scalpels and trimming knives
  • soldering
  • using a heliodon
  • soundmeters
  • shear box equipment

If you work in FET and think an interactive learning resource might help in your area please contact Oliver Haslam in the Learning Innovation Unit for further information.

Credits: The scalpels guide linked to from this page was produced by Jamie Randall, Steve Brown and Oliver Haslam.