Cortex: your new look vUWS
Cortex is an exciting new learning and teaching initiative developed by Learning Futures at Western. In simple terms, it is a template for all vUWS sites that will be applied to units across the University to ensure consistency and accessibility for all students.
In anatomy, a cortex exists as an outer layer. Coming from the Latin for “shell” a cortex systematically organises important matter. Project Cortex at Western offers a structural layer which we can apply to one of the central features of our learning and teaching – the vUWS site. Our vUWS sites present information and content to students for individual units and can contain a wide range of material from lectures to readings, videos and beyond. With the Cortex template applied this material is consistently presented enabling greater accessibility across the university and across disciplines, enhancing the student experience.
Background of the Project
Quality Standards Checklist
In developing Cortex, the Digital Futures Team won the Blackboard Catalyst award in 2018 (Digital Futures University-wide Template to improve access to content).
When is it Happening?
Implementation of Cortex will be completed by Learning Futures working collaboratively with academic staff. It will be delivered in a phased approach across schools on a session by session roll-out. Deans, DAPs and individual Unit Coordinators will be contacted with information specific to the migration of sites over to the new template ensuring minimal disruption.
Will Staff Receive Assistance?
Existing vUWS Site Migration
After a site migration, Unit Coordinators will need to complete a checklist of items to ensure their site is ready for students. Please refer to the Cortex Information Document for more detail on how content will be arranged during migration.
New vUWS Site Requests
Unit Coordinators who request a new unit site will be automatically provided with the new Cortex template. Please contact ITDS through the MyIT Portal for more information.
Training and Support
To help academics prepare their new look site, Cortex overview and training sessions are run regularly . Everyone is welcome to join these via Zoom. A copy of the Cortex Training Session presentation is available here.
Our vUWS support site contains 'step-by-step' instructions for a large range of vUWS queries.
To see the latest training dates see our Services and Resources page.
If you would like to arrange a consultation or if you need more help at any stage, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cortex icons for item headings
Cortex video for staff
Take a look at the Cortex videos:
Cortex video for students
To familiarise students with the new look vUWS, Unit Coordinators can use this YouTube video in two ways:
vUWS Demonstration Site
You can self-enrol to our Showcase site here. (Staff login required).