An ESRC-funded partnership between Redbridge Local Authority and the University of Reading helped to develop a metadata scheme to enable the storage, retrieval and dissemination of educational materials.

Impacts

  • Development of an online resource has enabled teachers throughout the borough to exchange pedagogical information. Over 50 schools had online access to the Redbridge Networked Learning Community exchange.
  • The development of a handbook providing information on web-related issues (such as updating web content and submitting resources), and a CD-ROM containing the complete website and project files.
  • Streaming video was used to capture and disseminate teaching and learning good practice.
  • Other local authorities across London and beyond are interested in adopting similar systems.
  • Case study materials are used in BSc courses by the School of Systems Engineering.

"The project has provided case studies for use on the BSc Computer Science and BSc Information Technology degree courses. For example, technical aspects regarding the development and use of rich media systems have been integrated into teaching materials for the web and multimedia design modules." (Dr Shirley Williams and Dr Rachel McCrindle, University of Reading)

About the research

Redbridge, a diverse London borough, are currently ranked second in the country for the progress pupils make in secondary schools. The Redbridge Local Authority was aware that the best staff development for teachers occurs when they meet to discuss issues about teaching and learning, but there were practical and financial limitations of disseminating good practice throughout the borough.

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project funded by the ESRC offered the opportunity to develop an online community of teachers who could learn from each other. During this project the KTP Associate worked towards developing and implementing the systems necessary to launch the Redbridge Networked Learning Community (RNLC) exchange.

The RNLC consisted of over 50 schools that worked together on a number of networked themes. The exchange formed a vital part of the system by enabling all schools in the borough to submit examples of their practice, experience, ideas and resources to the network.

An innovative feature of the online resource was the development of video hosting, tagging and streaming to show video footage of best practice and tagging of materials so they could be retrieved easily.