Key Skills with Chaucer
Key Skills with Chaucer is a website that was designed as a joint project by Dr Lesley Coote at the University of Hull, and Mr Brett Lucas at the English Subject Centre under the auspices of a grant provided by the Filter project.
The aim of the site is to provide an introduction to Geoffrey Chaucer and the Canterbury Tales, to help introduce the subject to new students at any level. It acknowledges that such students are often daunted by the prospect of reading a medieval English text, expecting to find it dry and irrelevant to their own life experiences.
This site is designed to be immediately accessible and attractive to students, whilst providing basic information, and reference points to which they can return if they wish. Of particular interest are the uses of visual imagery, multimedia elements (including a multimedia player designed in Flash), discussion points and a messageboard to encourage discussion.
The aim of this project was to show how a lecturer with very few resources can put together a visually orientated set of learning materials that can contextualise the subject material in interesting and stimulating ways.
The work was divided up between the two sites involved (University of Hull and the English Subject Centre). Lesley developed the site design and began scanning a series of photos from an extensive personal collection. Brett played around with visual layouts and started on the multimedia flash player that would be used with the various characters in the tales.
The project brief also required that the site would be hosted on the FILTER project server with appropriate ‘metadata’ attached to each image in the resource. In addition we had to provide a case study which details some of the technical decisions made in more detail.
The website has been used sucessfully as a supplementary resource for teaching of the Canterbury Tales within the undergraduate program at the University of Hull. The website has also been demonstrated at the Medieval Congress In Kalamazoo, USA where it received warm praise.
Dr Lesley Coote
Department of English
University of Hull