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Solstra plays central role in Suffolk online learning community


London, 26 May, 1999 - Solstra, the net-based learning and knowledge management system, from BT and Futuremedia iLearning, has been chosen to play a central role in a pilot project designed to provide the Suffolk community with access to learning and support through Internet technology, it was announced today.

The pilot project, COVETS (Co-ordinated Virtual Education, Training and Support Services for Suffolk), is being led by the Televersity for Suffolk Company, and part-funded by the European Social Fund's ADAPT programme.

It is anticipated that the long-term legacy of COVETS will be a structure to provide the Suffolk community with flexible and convenient access to learning and support via the Internet, whether at work, at home or at local learning centres, and so support the community aspiration for a University in the county.

Solstra will host, manage and deliver learning content and integrate with other innovative technologies to provide the complete 'Televersit' environment. Its Administrator function allows tutors to post content and learning programme material for learners, while its Developer
authoring tool allows them to create assessment and tracking tools particular to local needs.

The first pilot for COVETS, which is due to begin in October, will involve participants from Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company. They will take part in training on ŒInternet Awareness‚ and contribute to the establishment of an innovative Virtual Learning Community

A second project is also planned to investigate the potential of making learning more widely available to businesses, students and individuals at local learning centres.

Andrew Fraser, Project Manager for COVETS, said, "Solstra is playing a pivotal role in a project that we anticipate will ultimately provide a model for the Suffolk community to improve their skills and address their personal development needs in new ways. Ninety-eight per cent of
Suffolk‚s businesses are small or medium-size, employing less than 200 staff. Using Solstra within COVETS will aid in the development of employees towards new and improved skills in key areas, which enhance competitiveness for business and allow individualised learning. These
target outcomes fully support the objectives of the University for Industry."

Don Tricker, Head of Online Learning, BT, said, "The COVETS project demonstrates that Solstra belongs at the heart of today's most significant large-scale online learning installations."

Mats Johansson, Managing Director, Futuremedia iLearning, said "The choice by Suffolk College to use Solstra underlines its unique ability to host, manage and deliver learning within both commercial and non-commercial organisations."


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