Learning Technologies for Medical Sciences

LTMS, School of Medical Sciences Education Development.

Teaching Support Environment

Teachers are often the forgotten users of modern Virtual Learning Environments (compared to students & administrators).
url: http://tse.ncl.ac.uk/  |  date: -  |  for: FMS

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They are assumed to be providers and not consumers of content. However with varied and significant demands for information to support their teaching they are in reality one of the most demanding user groups for a VLE.

A few years back we designed the Learning Support Environment (LSE) and this is now well established in the faculty. It was designed specifically to aid and enhance the students learning experience.


The Teaching Support Environment (TSE) will be the system that aids and enhances the teacher’s teaching experience.

We failed to get JISC funding for the design and implementation of the TSE, but we thought it was so critical to the support of the MBBS programme that we decided we had to do it anyway!. The TSE will draw on initial pilot work to provide a series of ‘portlets’ giving a customisable view on existing data that will be sensitive to the role of the user.

This means each user will be able to choose the information presented to them. Their view will be completely personalised and could be centred around any of the following:

* What areas of the curriculum they are most involved/interested in (e.g. Life Cycle, Personal Professional Development)

* Which specialties they are most involved/interested in (General Practice, Genetics, Neurology)

* Their student supervision commitments (Tutor, Student Selected Components, rotation/placement supervision)

* Their regional influences (Base unit attachment, Hospital/Clinical setting)

Where will we get the data from? Well, several data services have been identified as potential providers of relevant information:

* Student Management Systems (MEDSAS: student Groups, Assessment marks)

* Student Selected Components (SSC, Electives)

* Curriculum Management Tools (Resource Repositories, Dynamic Learning Maps, Lecture Capture Services)

* Timetabling Systems (personal allocated slots as well as easy access to student and module based timetables)

* Library Information Systems (direct links to library reading lists)

* External Specialist Information Sources (NHS Evidence, Medical Dictionaries, CPD Courses)

* Short Courses and Staff Development Initiatives (Faculty Staff Development and Northern Deanery courses)

The TSE launched as a pilot service on 31st August 2010, and although not all services were available from launch we have had considerable interest in the system. We have presented and demoed the system at GP meetings, Base Unit awaydays and more.

The pilot is concentrating on Northumbria and Tyne base units and specifically information related to General Practice Rotations, SSC information and Clinical Rotation Timetable services. For information the Foundations of Clinical Practice (FOCP) has been chosen as a pilot rotation.

This project is a top priority for the LTMS, and there will be continued expansion to ensure that the system captures as many unique teaching/teaching support roles and requirements that exist within the MBBS programme.


If you would like to know more about the TSE or want to discuss how you could use the system, please contact tse_enquiries@ltms.org.uk
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