Y Porth – the gateway to Welsh-medium resources for the University sector
A national Welsh-medium e-learning platform for the Higher Education sector
Y Porth (literally “the Gateway”) is an innovative e-Learning platform for the Higher Education sector in Wales. Developed by the Centre for Welsh Medium Higher Education it was formally launched at the National Eisteddfod on 4 August 2009 and attended by Jane Hutt AM, Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills.
Owain Huw (Digital Technologies and E-Learning Manager for the Centre and Y Porth Project Manager) noted: “This is a credit to the collaborative working that has taken place over the past year between the Centre for Welsh Medium Higher Education and Welsh universities. The platform, which is based on Blackboard Learn, will offer a central repository of electronic resources for staff and students, as well as a virtual learning environment for collaborative modules”.
Dr Ioan Matthews, Director of the Centre added: “This development is particularly timely as it provides a means of delivering elements of degree courses collaboratively across Wales, within the frameworks for quality and standards that students and academics expect. The first resources available on Y Porth will be mainly aimed at those studying Education, Welsh, Drama, Geography, Nursing and Sports Science, but this will be built upon rapidly during the coming months”.
Welsh-medium students and staff from any HE institution in Wales will be able to register as users of Y Porth from the beginning of the 2009/10 academic year.
Y Porth offers:
- A publicly accessible portal showcasing Welsh-medium web-based HE resources.
- A central repository of electronic resources for Welsh-medium students and staff from every HE institution in Wales.
- A Virtual Learning Environment to host learning materials for collaborative modules and guide the learner in an effective way, irrespective of their home university.
Y Porth will both mirror the expected increase in the number of Welsh-medium resources and cross-institutional modules available and act as a catalyst to further development, by providing the sector with a central, publicly visible location for all current and future developments. The opportunity to bring Welsh-medium students and teaching staff together in a single virtual space, not only whilst studying/providing collaborative modules but also in other interactive shared spaces in Blackboard, has huge added value in terms of future collaboration.