E-packs and Independent Learning

Tschirhart, Cécile and Rigler, Elina (2005) E-packs and Independent Learning. Investigations in university teaching and learning, 3 (1). pp. 49-54. ISSN 1740-5106


The Open Language Programme (OLP) offered in the Department of Humanities, Arts and Languages at London Metropolitan University allows students to combine language learning with other subjects, and means that those specialising in languages work with non-specialist students, members of staff, as well as members of the general public. About 70% of our language learners are mature students from non-traditional backgrounds and have different needs from younger, campus-based students.

The programme is based on a combination of taught classes and self-study. The students are expected to attend a 3-hour class every week, as well as completing 3 hours of self-study. In order to provide students with independent learning opportunities, the OLP initially developed a series of self-study packs for each language and each stage. Although they were used successfully for a number of years, it became clear that there were some disadvantages to these paper-based study packs; in particular, students had to come to the Language Centre to use the materials, and, moreover, locating the wide range of materials was time-consuming and impractical. We therefore started developing online language learning materials that were more accessible to our students. This is the context in which the LondonMet e-pack was born.

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