2.1 Introduction

This unit concentrates on a specific aspect of Technology-enhanced learning: the facility to personalize your learning environment by using or accessing a series of widgets. All of the widgets that are presented in this unit have been developed by the Responsive Open Learning Environment (ROLE) project. Some of these widgets enable you, the end user, to search for particular types of documents or media items that relate to your specified subject terms. These widgets search through a number of databases or content repositories in order to find the documents or media items that are of interest to you.

The majority of content repositories used by the ROLE widgets contain or are related to Open Educational Resources (OER). In other words educational content or material that is freely available under an open content licence e.g. Creative Commons, GNU etc. Please be aware that some of the databases that the ROLE widgets search are not necessarily offering materials under the same open licences, for example, the various newspaper archives, YouTube, or Slideshare – these repositories of material are clearly marked in terms of their individual icences.

Other ROLE widgets presented in this course provide support for collaborative activities between groups of users. The services offered by these widgets include videoconferencing, as well as services for collaboratively authoring a document.

Please be aware that:

  • A list of definitions have been provided for you in the first section of this unit.
  • Widget and gadget are interchangeable terms but for consistency we will refer to and use the term widget throughout this unit.
  • ROLE is an ongoing project and consequently many of the widgets presented in this unit are works in progress. Sometimes their content may change or be different to the images presented in this unit.
  • All links are dynamic and that repositories or databases may change their content on a daily basis thus increasing or decreasing the amount of materials available.
Last modified: Friday, 10 October 2014, 11:15 AM