Until recently, the School of Materials directed students to paper-based resources to look at weave structures. This was becoming increasingly unpopular with students, as the books with this information are expensive to buy and are in high demand in the University library.
Celina Jones from the School of Materials contacted the FSE eLearning team to propose the creation of an online catalogue of weave structures.
A weave structure is the design by which fabric is produced.
The Weave Catalogue would support coursework and assessment for Celina’s first year undergraduate course, and would also have a positive effect on the student experience. Students would use the resource to help develop a better understanding of weave structures, and to choose a weave to create in their lab sessions for their coursework.
It was agreed the first version of the catalogue would hold 45 weave structures, with the option to add many more if the initial project was a success.
The catalogue landing page would be a menu with a list of all of weave structures with columns for weave name, category and sub-category.
Owing to the large number of available weave structures, a keywords column was added to the menu to allow students to search for weave structures by entering text into a search function. Each weave appears on a single webpage and contain a photograph, lifting plan schematics, draft schematics and a text description. All of the catalogue webpages open in the printable view in case students prefer to look at the materials on paper. This is particularly important in their lab classes. The FSE eLearning team created webpages to suit these requirements.
The School of Materials Weave Technician, Liz Murray-Jones, wove 45 different structures and provided the photographs, lifting plan schematics, draft schematics and text descriptions.
The Weave Catalogue was embedded into Celina Jones’ MATS11201 Raw Materials for Fashion Blackboard course in Semester One of the 2017-18 academic year, and became available to 125 students on the course.
By the end of Semester One it had received a total of 1064 hits. The most popular month was October, with 701 hits. This is when students have assignment report deadlines and have to revise for an online test.
As part of the assessment for the MATS11201 Raw Materials for Fashion course, students took an online test in Blackboard which included questions related to weave structures. The average score for this test last year (2016-17) was 76%. The average score this year increased by 5% to 81%.
At the end of Semester One, we wanted to hear what the students thought of the Weave Catalogue, so we created a short survey. The key results were:
- 85% of students said the weave catalogue supported their learning
- 28% of students said the weave catalogue support their learning a great deal
- 65% of students said they used the catalogue to look up different weave structures to create in the workshops
The survey results were a welcome reinforcement that the initial aims of the project had been successfully met: the Weave Catalogue did support student learning, and was widely used for workshop coursework, thereby fulfilling the initial aims of the project.
Following the success of the initial project, the School of Materials plans to add more weave structures to the catalogue before the start of the next academic year (September 2018). Up to 400 different weave structures could be included, so Celina and Liz are hoping to embed the Weave Catalogue into more undergraduate and postgraduate Materials Blackboard courses in the coming years.