Generic content


We aim to identify and/or develop reusable, customisable versions of generic content materials to be used within our virtual learning environments (VLEs).

Our initial stakeholder engagement activities, and the review of new course proposals, identified a large amount of generic content created by different teams across the Department. This content covers both administrative areas, such as that covered by our course handbooks, and basic skills training in what might be called 'academic literacies', especially in areas such as basic study skills and library and information skills. It was recognised that, in many cases, this information was delivered at the start of a course when students were not fully cognizant of its importance. Therefore, when students need a specific skill they often require retraining. Reusable online content addressing those areas that can be accessed by students at the point of need has much to offer. However, there is also a clear requirement that information and skills training needs to be discipline specific in order for it to be most valuable. We are working with the library and course teams to identify which topics would be most valuable to develop and how to ensure they are easily customisable to ensure greatest utility and uptake.

Purpose of the pilot study

  • To identify sources of material that may be utilised within the VLEs
  • To determine the best format of presentation for the material in question
  • To determine the best method of ensuring the material can be kept up-to-date
  • To identify ways in which generic content may be customised

Types of generic content being investigated

  • Library guidance
  • Study skills for historians
  • Induction materials
  • Videos of getting around Oxford, e.g. finding libraries
  • General background information on Oxford
  • Citation and referencing
  • Student handbooks
  • Feedback forms
  • Guides on useful tools and software
  • Frequently asked questions