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Using Vle And Web Tools Presentation June 27
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Using Vle And Web Tools Presentation June 27


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  • 1. Using VLE and web tools Philip Greaney Arts Faculty Conference: Integrating the VLE June 2008
  • 2. What this presentation is…
    • a whistle-stop tour of a selection of:
      • internal, OU VLE tools and an example of use
      • external, web tools and an example of use
    • a list of resources that you can access later.
    • it raises more questions than it answers
    • descriptive rather than prescriptive.
    • it is derived from a report for the A210 course team, so it is necessarily biased.
  • 3. Online resources and RSS
    • There are thousands of potentially useful resources, including those made by the OU.
    • My task has been to identify, evaluate and then collect some of the best online literature resources.
    • Link to these resources as ‘further reading’ or to help provide additional support.
    • Here are some examples…
  • 4. OU on iTunes
  • 5. OpenLearn
  • 6. The Poetry Archive
  • 7. RSS (newsfeeds)
    • An RSS (newsfeed) pushes information out, so you don’t need to go looking for it.
    • RSS is useful for sites that are constantly updated.
    • It takes no effort once implemented to deliver these newsfeeds.
    • You can add an RSS feed to each course homepage, or use an RSS/newsfeed reader.
  • 8. Guardian book blog
  • 9. BBC radio RSS feed
  • 10. Google reader
  • 11. The OU VLE wiki: user-generated resources
    • As we’ve seen, there are hundreds of potentially useful online resources.
    • We can encourage users to add the resources they find online and elsewhere and share them using an editable public resource: a wiki.
    • Requires minimal implementation and little or no moderation.
    • Bottom-up, user-generated participation rather than top-down ‘presentation’.
  • 12. Wikipedia on wikis
  • 13. Quiz and polling tool: academic conventions
    • Quizzes are useful when there are objectively correct answers.
    • Using the correct academic conventions are such an example.
    • In this case, you can use a quiz to encourage your learners to get the academic conventions right.
  • 14. The quiz tool
  • 15. Guidance materials
    • Each tool can be accompanied be some guidance, instruction and support.
    • Provide online or electronic note-taking, resource-collecting systems: MyStuff.
    • Create a space for sharing and collaboration.
    • Provide the opportunity to create an online identity, for social networking.
  • 16. Course website guidance
  • 17. MyStuff
  • 18. iSkills and HSC resource bank
  • 19. ‘External’ (non-OU) web tools
    • Use the web as a platform, so there is no need to install software and therefore moves with user.
    • Often very easy to set up and use, and are often free.
    • High degree of stability and in perpetual improvement.
    • ‘Open’ platforms talk to each other.
  • 20. social bookmarking
    • A website with a series of weblinks can be created and distributed easily.
    • In turn, users can contribute and share the weblinks they find useful.
    • A prefix at the beginning of a tag can help identify useful items to a group of users.
    • Several alternatives to
  • 21. homepage
  • 22. Citeulike homepage: ‘academic’ social bookmarking
  • 23. Dipity: creating a timeline
    • You can create interactive timelines more easily and populate with the content you want, including course materials.
    • Timelines can be amended by everyone or locked down.
    • Resources from all over the web – or course resources – can be added.
    • Integrates several different media resources.
  • 24. Shakespeare timeline
  • 25. Google maps: mashups and open platforms
    • Several applications are being ‘fused’, to make a third. This is called a ‘mashup’.
    • One option would be to use the timeline we created earlier and link it to Google Maps to help us locate locations.
    • Free, user friendly, requires only a web connection.
  • 26. Google map for OU
  • 27. Facebook: social networking
    • Developing a community and creating a web presence.
    • The OU has the largest online community of ‘fans’ for an educational establishment on Facebook. [source:
    • The OU has two specially written applications for Facebook, ‘My OU Story’ and ‘Courses profile’.
  • 28. Facebook homepage
  • 29. A future?
    • Short to mid-term: SocialLearn.
  • 30. Second Life
    • Longer term: avatar-based virtual realities: Second Life.
  • 31. Using VLE and web tools Philip Greaney Arts Faculty Conference: Integrating the VLE June 2008
  • 32. Links used in this presentation (OU links)
    • OU VLE resources
    • Course directory
    • http:// /course/
    • OU on U iTunes [Download iTunes here]
    • OpenLearn
    • The HSC resource bank
    • iSkills wiki
    • http://
    • MyStuff
  • 33. Links used in this presentation (non-OU links)
    • ‘ External’ [non-OU] web resources
    • Slideshare
    • http:// /
    • The Poetry Archive
    • http://
    • Citeulike
    • SocialLearn presentation (Martin Weller)
    • Dipity (timeline software)
    • Google maps
    • Facebook
  • 34. Resources: glossaries
    • Glossary of poetic terms
    • Critical reading: a guide
    • Dictionary of literary terms
  • 35. More OU VLE resources
    • MyStuff blog
    • OU VLE homepage
    • Example site for VLE
    • PowerPoint presentation outlining new developments in the VLE (intranet only)
    • Integrating Library Services and Resources at the Open University (internal only)
    • iSkills – web-based repository of skills
    • iSkills wiki
    • Mobile Learner Support
    • Synchronous communication (good example of internal and external tools)
    • Windows messenger
  • 36. More ‘external’ resources
    • Wordsworth rap
    • Wikipedia [We should introduce some discussion on using Wikipedia in A210]
    • If you use the internet, it’s likely you use broadband
    • Elearning and literary studies: towards a new culture of teaching? [How the web – and particularly hypertext – might change literary output and criticism.]
    • The aesthetics of net literature (book)
    • LibraryThing [enter your library and share ideas and book recommendations]
    • Timeline of poets and poems [includes links to the more notable poems]
    • Victorian Web [A comprehensive and sophisticated approach, full of resources]
    • Early Modern Literary Studies [useful for the LION citation on interactive Shakespeare]
    • Book: A Companion to Digital Literary Studies [get from library]
    • Elearning at Sheffield Hallam
    • Sheffield Hallam guide to writing essays
  • 37. Poetry resources
    • BBC Poetry out loud – poems to make, watch and hear [audio resource, read by poets]
    • DIY poetry kit [make your own poems through an interactive drag-and-drop activity]
    • Excellent collection of online poetry resources
    • Facsimile of Tennyson’s ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ [click on facsimile thumbnails]
    • Interactive quiz on metre including sound clips [useful as an example of moodle quiz]
    • Schoolsnet [interactive lessons in reading poetry – Carol Ann Duffy]
  • 38. More poetry and academic conventions resources
    • The Poetry Society [need to research this more thoroughly]
    • Poetryclass for children and schools [need to research this more thoroughly – links and resources]
    • ‘ Dynamic collation’ of Lyrical Ballads [compare changes in text in a user-friendly approach]
    • Poetry portal [great many resources collected here]
    • Barbauld poems [good example of early edition facsimiles and hypertext for glossary terms]
    • Poets on poets: contemporary poets read Romantic-period poems [download MP3]
    • Poetry quiz (useful for an idea of how it might work)
    • Another poetry quiz [a different, more light-hearted approach – useful question types]
    • Academic conventions
    • Quiz on academic conventions and standards [broader than presentation, this also focuses on the principles underlying academic ‘integrity’]
    • Son of Citation Machine [This uses a simple form to construct an accurate bibliographic reference in a variety of conventions (MLA, APA, etc)]
  • 39. Resources on writers
    • Shakespeare
    • BBC Interactive broadband Shakespeare [video site with some interaction: not A210 texts]
    • Virtual Globe Theatre [QTVR-style interactive viewer, with commentary]
    • Shakespeare online links portal
    • Sparknotes Shakespeare [free study guides with themes, plots, synopsis, etc]
    • Interactive Shakespeare on the history of textual changes[although seemingly directed at school children, it’s still a useful and informative resource]
    • Wordsworth
    • Homepage of UK rsource
    • Useful resource with several links
    • Focus on the places and history of Wordsworth and his contemporaries
  • 40. Education and elearning publications (a selection)
    • E-learning references, with especial focus on collaborative activities and learning in a VLE
    • Brown, R. (2001) ‘The process of community-building in distance learning classes’, JALN , vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 18–35; also available online at
    • Carson, S. (2005) MIT OCW 2004 Programme Evaluation Findings Report , Cambridge, MA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; also available online at
    • Castells, M. (2001) The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business, and Society (New York: Oxford University Press)
    • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (2002) How Do People Learn? , CIPD
    • Dalsgaard, C. (2006) ‘Social software: E-learning beyond learning management systems’, European Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning [online],
    • Daradoumis, T and Xhafa, F. ‘Problems and Opportunities of Learning Together in a Virtual Learning Environment’ in Roberts, T. (ed) (2005) (ed) Computer-supported Collaborative Learning in Higher Education (Idea Group: London)
    • Dirkx, J and Smith, R ‘Learning to Learn in Online Collaborative Groups’ in Roberts, T. (ed) (2004) Online Collaborative Learning: Theory and Practice (Information Science Publishing: London)
    • Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) (2000) Circular 7/00: MLEs in Further Education: Progress Report . JISC 1 July 2000; also available online at
    • Katzenbach, J.R and Smith, D.K. (1993) 'The Discipline of teams', Harvard Business Review, Mar/Apr 93, vol. 71, no. 2, p.111–20; also available online at http:// =http:// = true&db = bth&AN =9308065089&site= ehost-live&scope =site
    • Mason, R. and Rennie, F. (2004) The connecticon: learning for the connected generation (Information Age, US)
    • Paulsen, M.F. (2002) Online Education Systems: Discussion and Definition of Terms [online],
    • Roberts, T. (ed) (2004) Online Collaborative Learning: Theory and Practice (Information Science Publishing: London)
    • Roberts, T. (2005) (ed) Computer-supported Collaborative Learning in Higher Education (Idea Group: London)
    • Karen Swan and Peter Shea ‘The development of virtual learning communities’ in Hiltz, S. and Goldman, R. (ed) (2005) Learning Together Online: Research on Asynchronous Learning Networks (Lawrence Erlbaum, New Jersey)
    • Weller, M. 2007 ‘Is education intrinsically a bit dull?’ EdTechie Blog
    • Weller, M. (2007A) Virtual Learning Environment: Using, Choosing and Developing your VLE , London, Routledge.