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Build Resource Collections for Lessons with XtLearn

Posted on 12/14/2015


In the December Web-based Activity article Susan Coulter writes that "XtLearn is a Web site that allows you to build collections of resources and present them to learners in a way that is visually appealing." You can gather resources from anywhere on the Internet or create resources from your own files. Resources can be organized to form your own collection, which can then be shared with students. Collections can be embedded in your Web site or Moodle course and numerous other social media sites. This site is based in the United Kingdom and government funded. There are slight variations in spelling and pronunciation to be aware of.

One of the most powerful features of XtLearn is that their technology will automatically extract the relevant content on a page for students to view, for certain sites such as YouTube, Prezi, SlideShare, Videojug, Vimeo, and a growing number of others.

Educators can view and follow public collections, which other teachers have created. In addition, XtLearn also houses two Content Sets, which are found on the Dashboard, National Learning Network (NLN) and the Intute archive.

  • NLN contains more than two thousand e-learning resources in various topic areas. Each resource represents about twenty minutes of self-directed study for a typical student. Many of the materials are designed for High School diploma programs, but some are for lower grades and ESL students.
  • Intute is a directory of links to useful third-party Web sites that were selected by academic specialists in the subject. They include a write-up explaining its educational uses, but since this is an archive, some of the links are no good any more and most of the content, seems to focus on post-secondary. So this set may have limited value.

There are both free and a premium versions (the premium version is called XtLearn Plus), which your agency can subscribe to at varying levels depending on the number of users and storage needed. The free version allows you to create your own collections using Internet links or using XtLearn’s Content Sets; however, you can upload user created resources totaling no more than 2 GB, such as your own worksheets for an activity. The free version does not allow you to copy a or change the contents of a Collection, but you can follow a Collection, which allows you to customize the theme, use the provided link to access the collection from your Web site, or add the embed code to your Moodle or Web site if it allows embed code.

XtLearn is a great way to bundle your Internet resources into a graphically pleasing interface, which removes many ads and targets instructional content for your students.

You can find step-by-step instructions and ideas for activities in the December Web-based Activity article External link opens in new window or tab