LABplus contains a range of laboratory and field equipment in addition to bespoke resource boxes. Each resource is designed by academic and technical staff to support modules and enhance students understanding of laboratory and field techniques.
In addition to the physical resource boxes and equipment housed in LABplus there are virtual resource boxes available through the LABplus website. These virtual resource boxes were initially developed by the Experiential Learning, Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (ELCETL) learning technologist from 2006-2009. Each virtual box contains copies of all documentation associated with the resource, links to recommended student reading, links to recommended websites, videos, interactive maps, images where applicable and supporting academic content. These virtual resources were previously accessible on the former LABplus website.
With the introduction of the Digital Learning Environment (DLE) in 2014, I made the decision to transfer the academic content and resources from the former ELCETL website onto DLE subject sites. The main driver for this decision was ensuring that the resources remain sustainable.
The former website became outdated and began affecting the student experience. The main feedback points from a student survey carried out in 2012 were:
- the website was difficult to find
- the website was difficult to navigate
- the resources on the website were useful; however, links and videos did not always work properly
- videos and interactive maps did not work with Google Chrome
- resources not linked to modules.
The business and pedagogic reasons behind the move to the DLE were therefore very clear, as the existing set up was not performing.