The idea for VAL! came about when we realised that many new students were entering on our Biomedical Science BSc Honours programme or Medical Science BMedSci Honours programme with no laboratory experience, and also, students returning to years 2 and 3 after the holidays were often a bit rusty.
We couldn't find suitable materials on-line so successfully gained funding from De Montfort University's "Research Informed Teaching Awards" (RITA) to develop on-line laboratory resources for students, with the aim that they work through these resources before entering the laboratory.
Team receiving their "RITA" award for "VAL" in June 2008.
From left to right: Marilena Ioannou, Dr Simon Oldroyd, Dr Ruta Furmoniviciene (Professor Philip Tasker, Vice Chancellor of De Montfort University), Dr Graham Basten, Dr Vivien Rolfe. Photograph by Stuart Hollis.
Marilena Ioannou is Programme Leader for Biomedical Science (Bsc Hons.) and a microbiologist.
Dr Simon Oldroyd is Head of the School of Allied Health Sciences at De Montfort University.
Dr Ruta Furmonaviciene is Module Leader and an immunologist.
Dr Graham Basten is a Module Leader and a clinical biochemist.
Dr Vivien Rolfe is Programme Leader for Medical Science (BMedSci Hons.) and a physiologist.
All the resources you see are developed by Viv, and Phil Tubman of 'The Socratic Method e-learning Consultancy' made the website fully accessible to w3c standards. These resources can also be found on iTunes if you search for 'VALcasts!' in the iTunes Store.
A huge thank you goes to the HEA Bioscience Subject Centre for allowing us to become part of their OER Phase 1 Project, and thank you to all the excellent staff who supported the development of VAL. I am further indebted to them for their guidance which helped me gaining further OER Programme Funding for the SCOOTER Project, releasing OERs on sickle cell disease and thalassaemia.