New authoring software for further education and adult community learning sectors

New authoring software for further education and adult community learning sectors

Tutors in the adult education sector can now get first-hand experience of creating e-learning materials as well as adapting pre-existing courses - thanks to a new service from The Training Foundation. Developed with Ufi Limited, the organisation behind e-learning providers learndirect, the free Acce-Lerator™ online authoring tool gives tutors a quick and simple way to create tailor-made courses for their learners.

By enabling tutors to upload their existing content such as Word documents, photographs and diagrams and mix these with existing content from a number of existing e-learning modules and websites, this new tool means learners can access e-learning courses which have been specially developed for them.

Speaking after an announcement made at the Becta Post-16 e-Learning Practitioners Conference recently, The Training Foundation's Director of Learning Solutions Les Hobbs explained how the new toolset operates: "Acce-Lerator empowers tutors to create learning materials for delivery online to their learners. However, it is much more than simply an on-line authoring tool. Acce-Lerator uniquely offers powerful, integral support and training tools for educators which make it the complete solution for all, particularly those new to e-learning. Free with the service, these will assist practitioners in the sector to build their skills and confidence in creating effective and accessible e-learning materials.

"There is nothing more intimidating than an 'empty' software tool, no matter how user-friendly it is so practitioners are also able to access a free Acce-Lerator course to review called, Learning to Learn Online. A single Nominated User from each Institution is then able to modify, adapt or expand this course, using Acce-Lerator, to meet local needs. The course can be branded with the relevant organisational logo and made available free of charge to learners.

"Practitioners are also able to re-purpose, or customise, much of the current NLN material, and, in the future, to share and adapt other material developed with Acce-Lerator.

John Brown, Executive Director at Ufi said: "We have been working with The Training Foundation for four years and this new project is a great new, free tool for tutors and lecturers in adult education. Ufi has a keen interest in promoting best-practice in e-learning content development, and we are therefore pleased to be working with The Training Foundation to develop this system."

Access to the development area of the authoring portal at www.acce-lerator.net requires prior registration on the National Learning Network website at www.nlnonline.nln.ac.uk. Once registered users should check the 'Sign up for Acce-lerator' box on the 'Personalisation' page.

According to the project website at www.acce-lerator.net courses developed or customised using the online authoring services can easily and quickly be downloaded to any desktop computer connected to the world-wide web. It is then a simple process to launch and run the new or customised course on any local PC. Once a course has been downloaded to a desktop, it becomes entirely independent of Acce-Lerator and free to use indefinitely, even if the practitioner ceases to use Acce-Lerator itself!

Whilst the service does not provide a facility to host content for online delivery to students - practitioners will be able to upload courses to their institutions local Learning Management System for delivery to students.