Last updated: 13.09.12

Supplementary e-learning tools 'can boost university learning'

Universities could invest in supplementary software that could boost their online learning provisions, a specialist has said.

Writing for, Pebble Learning operations director Colin Dalziel pointed out e-learning tools that provide students with a private space to enhance their education could significantly improve the successes of educational institutions.

The specialist claimed "the majority" of universities already provide some form of online learning provisions to their students, supplying them with content that can bolster their coursework.

However, he argued that if they set up online personal spaces for every student, this would add a "powerful new dimension" to academia.

This does not have to be merely a place for them to store their files and work, or record their progression through the course, Mr Dalziel said.

Instead, it could contain e-learning tools that support the sharing of documents and enable participants to receive feedback from their peers and instructors, he continued.

Some universities are also setting up digital learning tools to support staff management and assessment processes.

Tutors and university leaders can use this technology to deliver double-blind marking, freeing up educator's time by improving the efficiency of grading, the representative added.

Programmes providing academic centres with e-learning solutions can also enable users to log information for the future and support the creation of virtual curriculum vitaes, set up presentational websites and control who is allowed to view content and for how long.

Developments in e-learning could bridge the gap between social networks and academic systems, the expert predicted, pointing out this will help to reflect the work the university attendees of today will perform and could allow students to bring in data from all of the different areas in which it can be sourced, such as Google Docs, YouTube and online learning spaces.

It is not just the academic sector that is bolstering education through web-based technologies, with research from CrossKnowledge finding the majority of companies have delivered e-learning to at least half of their employees.