The Royal National College is a Further Education establishment in the United Kingdom
, catering for the needs of over 160 students with a visual disability, delivering academic programmes such as GCSEs, AS & A Levels, NVQs and GNVQs to Music Technology, Performing Arts, Sport and Recreation programmes.
During the summer of 2004, the Research Development and Training Team (RDT) of RNC attended an RSC training day on web authoring tools and creating content. One of the sessions introduced CourseGenie and covered the basic points of creating accessible content. We immediately recognised the potential for our staff and students in using a familiar environment – Word – to create accessible elearning content.
Within the past six months RDT have purchased a five user license and have been evaluating and devising a college wide plan to integrate CourseGenie within RNC. This has and will involve the creation of demonstration materials and workshops.
Documentation developed for our wide range of programmes is usually created with Microsoft Word, and by using CourseGenie, conversion of these documents to an accessible web-based environment has been made with few problems.
As part of our role within RDT we deliver accessibility and usability workshops. We have decided to use CourseGenie as the main method of delivering presentations, workbooks and CDRom contents, as we are confident that CourseGenie is able to produce accessible material which is now essential to our students and the wider community we encounter. We also run the assistive technology combined with an Interactive Whiteboard running the CourseGenie presentation as a ‘see and do’ method of teaching assistive technologies.
May 2005 update:
The VLE in use at the RNCB is Blackboard. Whilst we haven’t yet deployed courseGenie content to our students via Blackboard, we are finding it invaluable for preparing materials for our staff to use. We are planning to have assistive software self study modules available on Blackboard and ready for staff to access by September. CourseGenie content easily imports into Blackboard, in fact, because courseGenie automatically creates the Blackboard unpackage file, it is actually very quick to package up a course and upload it into Blackboard.
We see our use of courseGenie increasing over the coming months as more and more staff are introduced to it, and as we aim to get far greater use from Blackboard.