University of Nottingham
Visual imagery has been shown to have a potential powerful role in accelerating human learning. Students understanding of complex phenomena can increasingly be enhanced through visual imagery, which is becoming ever more accessible through new technologies. The Visual LearningLab has grown out of innovative teaching practices in the Schools of Education, Geography, Engineering, Medicine, Psychology, Computer Sciences and Nursing. Through a number of innovative research and development projects it is now investigating, developing, extending and promoting various visual approaches to accelerate and improve student learning. This work is breaking new ground and already making a big impact on the ways in which student learning occurs in many different contexts within a wide range of discipline areas.
Examples of current areas of work include:
- Extending student learning through mobile technologies.
- Teaching and Learning Observatories allowing students to utilise interactive video conferencing to engage with off-campus locations (school classrooms, hospital theatres, other workplaces)
- Simulating complex Engineering plants, which would otherwise be inaccessible, and with which students can interact and experiment from work-stations on campus.
- Enhancing spatial awareness using Geographic Information Systems to present complex data visually.
- Illustrating learning and teaching innovations using video clips to assist staff to learn about and reflect upon alternative approaches utilising new technologies.
The VLL is also benefiting from working collaboratively with four external partners, who are Bradford Technology Ltd, the National College for School Leadership, Promethean, and Aims Solutions. In the next five years the VLL is planning is to extend VL applications to student learning in other Schools within this University as well as with other partners nationally and internationally.