Universities offer free online study aids

Salford University is among eight across the UK that have made learning materials for built environment subjects available free of charge.

The initiative is led by the Centre for Education in the Built Environment at Salford and is aimed at companies and individuals in the property, design and construction sectors.

The scheme is known as Open Resources for Built Environment Education and covers subjects such as sustainability and building information modelling.

Each module of the 42 currently available is packaged as a notional 50-hour programme which is designed to be easily learned online. All of the modules are those used within the universities currently to teach students up to postgraduate level.

A spokesman for Salford said the material is broadly split into core knowledge, specialisms and future skills, and the objective of the Orbee scheme is to improve the skills of the UK construction sector by making the collected knowledge of universities more widely available.

Aled Williams from the University of Salford's School of the Built Environment said: "There is an increasing demand for universities to make their knowledge freely available to academics, learners and wider industry. ORBEE is a great example of how institutions can come together with national reach to put their resources in the built environment online and it is a powerful tool.

"It would be fantastic if the sector could try the system and feedback to us on how it's working for them."

The other universities partici[pating in Orbee are Northumbria, Edinburgh, Reading, Robert Gordon Aberdeen, Westminster, Cardiff and Leeds Metropolitan.

Visit http://www.orbee.org/ to find out more.

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