Nexus is a website for sharing good practice in technology-enhanced learning at Aberystwyth University, and is maintained by the Information Services E-learning Group. It was initially created under the Gwella programme, a Wales-wide initiative to promote the use of technology to enhance learning.

The site features:

  • good practice guides, including both pedagogical and technical guidance
  • training options, including group sessions and one-to-one consultations
  • Blackboard required minimum presence, enhanced presence, and exemplary course award information
  • annual learning and teaching conference
  • Aber Academy provision for creating media for learning and teaching
  • case studies of good practice at Aberystwyth University
  • news about events and new provision


Gwella Reports

In October-November 2010, we carried out a learner experience study, looking at technology use by both current and prospective students. The responses from current AU students are available in the institutional profile.

The institutional profile identifies:

  • tools that students use
  • technology choices made by tutors and teachers in both school and university
  • choices students make for themselves about technology use
  • recommendations students have for their tutors
  • students' learning preferences

The executive summary extracts key messages from the survey as a whole. Department-specific reports have also been compiled and are being released to departments in Autumn 2011.

Background to Gwella

Please see the following HEFCW circulars:

The Aberystwyth Gwella Project Team was chaired by Prof. Martin Jones, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Learning and Teaching. Other members of the Group are Prof. Tim Woods (Dean of Arts), Ms. Rebecca Davies (Director of Information Services), Dr. Gaynor Eyre (Head of Department, Information Studies), Dr. Alan Macmillan (Deans’ Office), Graham Lewis (Centre for the Development of Staff and Academic Practice), and Mary Jacob, Kate Wright and Johanna Westwood (E-learning Team, Information Services). In addition, we were assigned a ‘critical friend’. Professor Paul Bacsich, founding Director of Matic Media Ltd and Senior Consultant at Sero Consulting Ltd, has worked with us since 2007 and has come to understand the role of e-learning at Aberystwyth through site visits and regular contact with the Gwella Project Team

The Nexus web site is being developed as part of AU’s Gwella projects. On 21 October 2009, a symposium was held to publicise Gwella within the University.

The word cloud below is drawn from the text of AU's initial Gwella proposal and project plan.


Gwella has enabled the provision of the following areas for AU:

  • New funding to enable staff to enhance their teaching through technology 
  • Campus Pack, New Web 2.0 tools for Blackboard (supported up through June 2016)
    • podcasting audio and video clips
    • Wiki tool for collaborative learning
    • journal tool for reflective learning
    • blog tool for collaborative learning
  • New training - an expanded range of staff training courses to help you integrate technology into your teaching effectively
  • Learner experience study:
    As part of our Gwella project, AU is carrying out an e-learning learner experience study based on groundwork done by JISC and ELESIG (Evaluation of Learners' Experiences of e-learning Special Interest Group). The study comprises a series of focus groups and an online survey. The focus groups will continue through the end of AY 2010/11, while the survey closed 24 November. We had two versions of the survey - one for current students including all departments and programmes, and one for prospective students based on the October and September Open Days and Hobsons mailing. You can see the text of the survey questionnaires below:
Tags: gwella
Created by Mary Jacob on 23/09/2009
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