Archive for the ‘VTS news’ Category

Virtual Training Suite to have an ‘appy’ ending

Friday, June 24th, 2011

The Virtual Training Suite of 60 online subject-based tutorials to help students to expand their Internet research skills will continue to be developed after July 2011 thanks to an agreement between the University of Bristol and the software house TutorPro. TutorPro Ltd will not only retain the existing content but will also significantly enhance and develop the Virtual Training Suite with new material and new media, specifically to make the tutorials available through mobile and tablet applications.

The current set of tutorials will still be available for download as standalone units from the Virtual Training Suite website at and via the JORUM repository. The tutorials will be made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales licence, which makes the content free at the point of use to the UK teaching, learning, and research communities.

TutorPro will host the new site of these tutorials and work with the content providers to keep the content up to date whilst moving the whole project forward into the world of smartphones, tablets and mobile devices. Work is already well underway on the transition and can be viewed through desktop/laptops browsers at: Please contact TutorPro on + 44 (0) 1823 661669 and ask for VTS or email ‘’ with VTS in the subject line with any questions, comments or input.

“Internet research skills are an essential part of ensuring that UK FE and HE students are digitally literate in their academic work and are able to take those literacy skills into the workplace. We are delighted that the education community will continue to benefit from the valuable advice and guidance within the Virtual Training Suite through TutorPro’s development of the tutorials” Debra Hiom, Virtual Training Suite Director

“We are very excited about being able to continue with the excellent Virtual Training Suite product, being able to develop the whole platform for delivery across smart phones, tablets and mobile devices in general will ensure that the product continues to provide real value to students.” Paul Turner MD TutorPro Ltd.

View the full press release

Survey on the future of the Virtual Training Suite

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

An online survey about the future of the Virtual Training Suite is available from:

As you may be aware, central funding for both Informs and the Virtual Training Suite will be coming to an end in 2011.

This survey is part of a consultation programme aimed at finding out whether those who currently use and recommend these products (as well as potential users) value them and whether there might be an opportunity to develop both products within subscription or membership models, possibly with new or enhanced features.

Mindset Research, an independent market research organisation, has been asked to undertake this consultation and we would very much appreciate a few minutes of your time to respond to this brief survey.

The survey covers both Informs and the Virtual Training Suite. You can choose to answer questions about one or both of these products.

The survey will be open until midnight on Friday 8th October 2010.

New tutorials on finding video and audio resources

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

JISC Digital Media in conjunction with the Virtual Training Suite  have launched two new online tutorials: Internet for Audio Resources and Internet for Video and Moving Images.

Screenshot of the Internet for Audio tutorial

The free-to-use tutorials have been designed to assist staff and students within the education sector to locate audio and video for use in teaching and learning.

The existing Internet for Image Searching tutorial has also been refreshed and moved into the new template design.

Full details are available from the JISC Digital Media blog.

Changes to the Virtual Training Suite

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

We’d like to tell you about some changes to the Virtual Training Suite.

Until August 2010 the Virtual Training Suite was part of the Intute service but due to funding changes, the management and operation of the service has reverted to the team at the Institute for Learning and Research Technology at the University of Bristol.

The main difference is that we are now simply the Virtual Training Suite, as we are no longer part of the Intute collection of services. The web address for the service will remain as for the time being and all your old links / bookmarks will work.

Hopefully you won’t notice too much of a difference if you are using one of our bespoke tutorials, such as the Internet Detective or one of our 60 subject based Internet research skills tutorials.

During 2010/11 we will be exploring alternative funding models for the service, including subscription and membership. All of the tutorials will remain freely available until at least July 2011.

Further updates about what is happening with the Virtual Training Suite will appear on this blog and on the Future Plans page.

One of the things that has changed is how to get in touch with us. You can:

… and we would be delighted to hear from you.

An introduction to the new Virtual Training Suite tutorials

Monday, June 21st, 2010

We recently launched 30 new and updated Virtual Training Suite tutorials covering a range of academic subjects from architecture to petroleum engineering.

The tutorials aim to teach students about the concept of information literacy and develop their Internet research skills.

A short Slidecast (PowerPoint slides with an audio track) should be embedded below or is available via SlideShare.

The Slidecast introduces the Virtual Training Suite, takes you through the structure of the tutorials with sections on Tour, Discover, Judge and Success, makes some suggestions for how the tutorials could be used with students and talks briefly about future developments.

The screenshots from the presentation are available on Flickr and further updates on the Virtual Training Suite are online at the VTStutorials Twitter channel.