Web Magazine for Information Professionals

News from the Resource Discovery Network

Simon Jennings and Philip Pothen on the new RDN workbook and extensions to the RDN Virtual Training Suite.

New RDN workbook and training page

The Resource Discovery Network (www.rdn.ac.uk) has launched a training page, including a new workbook designed to introduce students and staff to some of the services of the RDN. The workbook contains practical tasks and exercises and can be used to support a hands-on workshop or can be used by individuals for self-paced learning. It also contains quizzes, tips and hints, as well as scenarios designed to suggest ways in which the RDN can be used practically to support learning and teaching. The workbook has already proved popular, with nearly four thousand downloads in two weeks and dozens of enquiries about institutional visits by the RDN to host workshops focussing on the workbook.

The training page contains links to training services at the RDN’s hubs, a Powerpoint presentation for use in institutions and downloads of flyers and posters.

The RDN provides access to high-quality Internet resources that have been selected and described by subject specialists. See http://www.rdn.ac.uk/training/ for the RDN workbook and other training materials.

Extensions to the RDN Virtual Training Suite

Four new Virtual Training Suite tutorials are being created and will be launched in June 2002. They are in the following subject areas: Internet for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting; Internet Pharmacist; Internet for Allied Health; and Internet for European Studies

In addition, the Institute for Learning and Research Technology (ILRT) at the University of Bristol and Resource Discovery Network Centre (RDNC) are collaborating on a project to create eleven Web tutorials for the RDN Virtual Training Suite specifically targeted at students in further education (FE).

This project builds upon the success of the RDN Virtual Training Suite (www.vts.rdn.ac.uk), a JISC-funded project, which teaches Internet information skills for different academic subjects via a suite of “teach yourself” online tutorials, authored by subject specialists. The Suite currently offers 40 tutorials: 11 went live in July 2000 and 29 more in May 2001.

While feedback from the FE sector suggests that the Virtual Training Suite is potentially a valuable tool for post-16 learners (particularly for those studying academic subjects), it is also clear that the current tutorials, devised for the higher education community, do not meet the needs of the FE students either in terms of subject coverage or format. This new project will deliver eleven tutorials covering popular subjects in FE (such as Construction and Hairdressing and Beauty). Following consultation with the FE community, the new tutorials have also been redesigned to better meet the needs and learning priorities of students in the sector. In teaching students how to find information on the Internet and how to critically evaluate Web resources, these tutorials will help students develop their key skills in information technology. Comprehensive teachers’ notes to support the use of the tutorial with in the classroom will accompany each tutorial.

The eleven tutorials will be available on the Web in June 2002.

Author Details

 Philip Pothen
Communications Manager
Resource Discovery Network
King’s College London

Email: philip.pothen@kcl.ac.uk
Web site: www.rdn.ac.uk

 Simon Jennings
Resource Discovery Network
King’s College London

Email: simon.jennings@kcl.ac.uk
Web site: www.rdn.ac.uk