[University home]

Faculty of Humanities Teaching & Learning Office

Blended Learning Examples

Developing interpretive skills through online interactive resources

Developing interpretive skills through online interactive resources

See it in action:

  • Philosophy GLO

    Philosophy GLO

    An interactive resource to explore the philosophical thought experiment "The Trolley Problem"

  • Papyrus GLO

    Papyrus GLO

    An interactive resource exporing multiple interpretations of an ancient artefact.

The resources, which encourage students to consider multiple interpretation of a single concept or artefact, have been made using a freely available development tool called the GLO (Generative Learning Object) Maker.

The GLO Maker produces a series of interactive slides which can include text, video, audio, flash animations and quizzes. The tool does not require specialist multimedia development skills and it creates resources in a format which can easily be hosted on Blackboard. Academics can develop impressive multimedia resources quickly and easily and, because of their interactive nature, GLO resources are ideal for encouraging greater student engagement with course content.

Combined Studies' innovative use of GLO is a good example of the tool's potential. GLO Maker materials are now included as a feature of a series of courses offered by Combined Studies to first year students. These include Essentials for Psychology, Essentials for Philosophy, Essentials for Literary Studies and Essentials for Film Studies. Each resource introduces students to a concept, Auteur theory for example, or presents an object of considerable artistic or historical importance, such as the Greek Papyri held at John Rylands Library. Students then listen to a number of different speakers giving their interpretation of the concept or their views on the significance of the artefact. Presentations are interspersed with questions directed at students asking them to reflect on the concepts being presented.

The resources were created by post graduate students for undergraduate students, and both groups have gained from this development. The resources help level 1 students to gain confidence in interpretive skills so important in scholarly debate. The creative process involved in producing them, on the other hand, has given the post graduate authors of the materials valuable practice in presenting complex issues in a concise, meaningful and engaging way; key skills for academics to develop.


  • Interactive materials of this kind can help to foster interpretive and analytical skills in undergraduates.
  • Post graduates gain valuable skills in the design and creation of pedagogically sound materials.
  • Multi-media materials are livelier and more engaging than standard online text-based resources.
  • GLO Maker resources can be hosted on Blackboard, adding variety and a further dimension to the online component of a course.
  • GLO Maker is easy to use; no special technical skills are required.