Anyone who uses the Internet on a regular basis is only too aware of the problem of finding good quality, reliable information using commercial search engines such as Google and Alta Vista. For students and teachers, short on time to complete assignments or prepare lessons, sifting through thousands of search results to find relevant information can be daunting.
Altis  is a free, national information service. It aims to provide a trusted source for selected, high quality Internet information for students and lecturers by providing free access to the best hospitality, leisure, sport and tourism information on the Internet. These are chosen by subject specialists, and listed by subject area and resource type. All sites are regularly checked for currency, and new sites are added every day.
Altis can either be searched, by using keywords, or browsed via a hierarchical list of subject headings. Users can select a heading and then browse through the resource descriptions to locate appropriate resources. It is also possible to refine your search by resource type, for example, to search for books, journals, learning materials, resource guides or statistics.
Examples of the kinds of resources to be found in Altis are:
A-level physical education: online study guide http://www.humankinetics.com/courses/alevelpe/index.cfm
P.E. Centre: resources for teachers, students and educators. http://www.physicaleducation.co.uk/
Academy of Culinary Arts http://www.academyofculinaryarts.org.uk/
Tips for using a knife http://www.onlinechef.com/getstart3.html
Star UK: statistics on tourism and research http://www.staruk.org.uk/
Vitamin Demonstration (interactive game) http://www.ag.uiuc.edu/food-lab/vitamins/
How Food Works http://home.howstuffworks.com/food.htm
In addition to its Internet Resources Catalogue, Altis provides a number of other services that can help users make the most of what they discover on the Web.
Within the Virtual Training Suite , a collection of self-paced online tutorials to assist students build up their e-literacy skills, Altis users will find a number of subject-relevant tutorials written by FE practitioners. These are:
- Hospitality and Catering http://www.vts.rdn.ac.uk/tutorial/hospit
- Leisure, Sport and Recreation http://www.vts.rdn.ac.uk/tutorial/sport
- Travel and Tourism http://www.vts.rdn.ac.uk/tutorial/travel
A series of case studies on how the resources in Altis can be used to develop FE teaching materials is also available . These studies were written in collaboration with FE practitioners. The relevant topics are:
Leisure, Sport and Recreation
- Safety of Life at Sea
- Introduction of a 10 M.P.H. speed limit on Lake Windermere
- Working in Leisure and Recreation
Travel and Tourism
- Employment - Personnel to Personal Specification
- The Seven Wonders
- Promoting Travel and Tourism
Hospitality and Catering
- Food Preparation
- Food Service
- Using Online Learning Materials
- Getting a Job
- Comparing Industrial Products
These may provide ideas for teachers who are thinking of incorporating more Web resources into their course materials.
A leaflet advertising Altis is available, in PDF format, at: http://altis.ac.uk/publications/leaflets/altisgeneric.pdf
- Altis http://www.altis.ac.uk/
- RDN Virtual Training Suite http://www.vts.rdn.ac.uk/
- Altis Learning Materials page http://altis.ac.uk/learningmaterials/
- Altis case studies http://www.rdn.ac.uk/casestudies/altis/