The Duologue Project
‘Duo’ (Durham University Online) is a version of the commercial Blackboard Virtual Learning Environment, locally customised for departments, module groups and individuals within the university. In the Department of English Studies, use of duo was at first limited to central administration. In 2001-02, however, two members of staff began testing the system in the department, offering basic materials in their own modules and stimulating favourable student response. The Duologue project built on this pilot.
The aim of the project was to produce some general support teaching and learning resources in a variety of specialist subject-areas and, selectively, to test and evaluate how various other features of duo might deepen both subject and generic skills. The main development work was carried out in the academic year 2002-03, by Dr Robert Carver, Dr Robin Dix and Dr Simon James. The team was led and co-ordinated by Dr Pam Knights.
The preliminary findings of the experiment were very positive. The students were enthusiastic as well as creative in their response to the online module materials and communication possibilities. The project has potential for enhancing teaching and learning in many areas including communication; information, resources and activities; debate and conferencing.
The project team produced teaching and learning web-resources for a range of subject areas and learning levels. Subject-specific exemplars of uses for communication and interactive duo features were presented. An analysis and evaluation of student responses and of student-initiated uses of the system was compiled as well as a survey of changing responses and level of engagement with duo on the part of other colleagues in the English department.
Dr. Pam Knights
Department of English Studies
University of Durham
Completed September 2004