Demand for e-learning is being driven by a need for flexibility in the way students learn, according to Leeds Metropolitan University.
The university has 41,000 full- and part-time students, many of whom have to juggle part-time jobs and looking after children.
Stuart Hirst, of the School of Information Management at Leeds Metropolitan, said that it was difficult to pinpoint the precise number using the system, but that the university is fast outgrowing its existing version of WebCT and plans to upgrade to WebCT Vista "at the earliest possible opportunity".
"Because we are one of the newer universities we are trying to widen participation, but at the same time we want to deepen students' engagement. E-learning is helping us achieve both those aims," said Hirst.
Leeds Metropolitan decided three years ago that it needed a centralised e-learning environment integrated with its student information system. It evaluated WebCT and had expanded the pilot into a full-scale implementation within a year.
At that stage the university decided that all course modules should be represented on the system.
"That did not necessarily mean full-blown content, but there was a big opportunity for staff who wanted to develop blended learning content," said Hirst.
Many are using the system for discussion groups, and to encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning.
"WebCT has changed the way [staff] deliver material that may previously have required, say, a lecture and lab sessions. It has also removed the time-based constraints that hampered some staff and students," explained Hirst.
But not all modules currently have content. "Some staff still feel that their module is not yet quite right for this blended learning environment. The drive for development is coming very strongly from students," he said.
Hirst pointed to the university's Health Faculty as one of the more enthusiastic users.
"For example, they have a distance learning module in physiotherapy which attracts students from all over the country. That could not exist without WebCT," he said.
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