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.