How does a VLE support learning? SharePoint in Education e-learning series post 3 of 15
So far in this series on e-learning and the us of terms VLE, MLE and Learning Platform we have covered:
Post 1 What is a VLE?
What other features does a VLE contain which support or manage the learning process?
4 Collaboration tools
VLEs can act as effective collaboration tools in both their use of communication tools mentioned earlier but also in the collaborative use of documents. Tutors can share and move documents and resources within learning modules to stimulate collaboration amongst students. Students can also work collaboratively in groups, sharing project documents and resources within shared areas. In the latest version of SharePoint 2010 document collaboration is taken a step further with web apps. These allow students to simultaneously work on office documents, accessing them through the cloud with no need for Office software on their computers.
5 Assessment tools
This feature is perhaps the one which is most commonly associated with what we think of as a VLE. Typically you will expect a range of both formative and summative assessment to be possible with a standard VLE. Tutors should be able to create packages which are SCORM compliant using authoring tools (more on this next week) and automatically send these to learners individually or within groups. The learning resource will often contain learning units which can include quizzes and tests. Self tests will allow students to measure their own progress whilst quizzes can provide feedback for both the learner and the tutor on areas where understanding is not fully embedded.
To complete the common features of a VLE you would expect some form of analytics package. This allows tutors and course administrators to examine information on when learners access the courses and how frequently they have used the resources. In some cases it will also allow a granular analysis of which parts of the course have been most and least used which can support reflection on the effectiveness of different learning resources. A number of VLEs also provide analytical feedback on student assessment so that progress can be monitored throughout the course.
Coming up on Tuesday 26th July
Post 4 Why should educational institutions consider implementing a VLE?
Post 5 What is an MLE?
Post 6 Why should educational institutions consider implementing an MLE?