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Virtual Learning Environments
 

Virtual Learning Environments

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This presentation was prepared for IT 648 at The University of Southern Mississippi.

This presentation was prepared for IT 648 at The University of Southern Mississippi.

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  • I chose to do my presentation on Virtual Learning Environments because I find them very interesting and also think as technology professionals we will see VLE’s in the future.

Virtual Learning Environments Virtual Learning Environments Presentation Transcript

  • Virtual Learning Environments Presented by: Jennifer Styron
  • Introduction
    • Goal of higher education:
      • Foster learning
      • Provide students with the tools needed to be successful
      • Institutions throughout the United States are utilizing technology for both in the classroom as well as outside the classroom learning experiences. Virtual Learning Environments are one of these tools.
  • Introduction
    • Essential learning component is the student learning environment.
    • The Art and Science of Teaching with Technology, TeAch-nology, defines a learning environment as, “ the place and setting where learning occurs; it is not limited to a physical classroom and includes the characteristics of the setting” (2008).
  • The Emergence of VLE’s
    • Students are increasingly using social networking sites.
    • Virtual Learning Environments have the ability to provide students with interactive learning environments that were only possible previously in traditional face-to-face classes.
    • What is a virtual learning environment?
    • “ A virtual learning environment (VLE) is a system that creates an environment designed to facilitate teachers in the management of educational courses for their students, especially a system using computer hardware and software, which involves distance learning.” (Wikipedia, 2008, para. 1).
  • Tips to identify a VLE:
        • 1. The information space has been designed.
        • 2. Educational interactions occur in the environment, turning spaces into places.
        • 3. The information/social space is explicitly represented. The representation varies from text to 3D immersive worlds.
        • 4. Students are not only active, but also actors. They co-construct the virtual space.
        • 5. Virtual learning environments are not restricted to distance education. They also enrich classroom activities.
        • 6. Virtual learning environments integrate heterogeneous technologies and multiple pedagogical approaches.
        • 7. Most virtual environments overlap with physical environments.
    To help identify virtual learning environments, Dillenbourg (2000) provides seven specifics of virtual learning environments:
  • A quick look at the history of VLE’s
    • The conceptual history of virtual learning environments can be traced back as early as the 1940’s.
    • Some of the earliest pioneers to the concepts of virtual learning environments include Murray Turoff and Bernard Luskin during the 1970’s.
  • A quick look at the history of VLE’s
    • VLE’s are computer-mediated dynamic world models that create a sense of place (Clark & Maher, 2001, p.8).
    • For a thorough timeline of the history of virtual learning environments feel free to access Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_virtual_learning_environments
  • The Role of VLE’s in Education
    • The United States has continued to strive to provide education to all its citizens. This includes minorities, students with learning disabilities, foreign students, and both traditional and nontraditional populations. Virtual learning environments provide an additional avenue for those students seeking an education in remote locations or with lifestyles and/or disabilities that prohibit traditional forms of education.
  • The Role of VLE’s in Education (cont.’d)
        • Economize on the time of teaching staff, especially when they are also involved in research and administration. The extent of the economy over traditional "talk-and-chalk" teaching is not yet clear, but for instructors without web development expertise, using a VLE absorbs less time and produces a more professional result.
        • Provide a service for students who increasingly look to the internet as the natural medium for finding information and resources.
        • Ensure that quality control requirements are met by providing a standard vehicle for collecting the required information
        • Facilitate the integration of distance and campus-based learning. or of learning on different campuses.
    Wikipedia (2008, para. 4) identifies some of the major reasons universities have started to implement VLE’s:
  • Examples of VLE’s
    • Second Life ( http: //secondlife .com/ )
    • Second Life ® is a 3-D virtual world created by its Residents. Since opening to the public in
    • 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by millions of Residents from around the
    • globe. This virtual world has many uses including but not limited to educational learning
    • experiences.
    • Moodle ( http://moodle.org/ )
    • Moodle is a course management system and is a free, Open Source software package designed
    • using sound pedagogical principles, to help educators create effective online learning
    • communities. You can download and use it on any computer you have handy (including
    • webhosts), yet it can scale from a single-teacher site to a University with 200,000 students.
    • Sloodle ( http://www.sloodle.org/ )
    • Sloodle is an Open Source project which aims to develop and share useful, usable, desireable
    • tools for supporting education in virtual worlds, making teaching easier. Through engagement
    • with an active community of developers and users, the Sloodle project hopes to develop sound
    • pedagogies for teaching across web-based and 3D virtual learning environments. Sloodle
    • integrates the Second Life ® multi-user virtual environment and the Moodle learning
    • management system.
  • Examples of VLE’s
    • Edusim ( http://edusim3d.com/alpha )
    • Edusim is a free opensource 3D multi-user virtual world specifically for your classroom interactive
    • whiteboard (Smartboard, Activeboard, Mimio, eBeam, or WiiBoard). Edusim is extendable allowing
    • multiple classrooms to connect their interactive whiteboards for collaborative learning sessions.
    • Claroline ( http://www.claroline.net/ )
    • Claroline is an Open Source eLearning and eWorking platform allowing teachers to build effective
    • online courses and to manage learning and collaborative activities on the web. Translated into 35
    • languages, Claroline has a large worldwide users’ and developers’ community.
    • Atutor ( http://www.atutor.ca/ )
    • ATutor is an Open Source Web-based Learning Content Management System (LCMS) designed
    • with accessibility and adaptability in mind. Educators can quickly assemble, package, and
    • redistribute Web-based instructional content, easily import prepackaged content, and conduct their
    • courses online. Students learn in an adaptive learning environment.
  • Theories/ Facts that support VLE’s
    • Greg Kearsley & Ben Shneiderman’s (1999) Engagement Theory:
    • Basically this theory states that to maximize student learning
    • and outcomes, students must be engaged with the content.
    • There are three components in this theory are relate, create,
    • and donate and include:
        • 1. collaborative teams
        • 2. project-based learning
        • 3. authentic learning
  • Theories/ Facts that support VLE’s
    • Students retain more when they learn by experience so incorporating technologies that create collaboration, interactivity, modeling, simulations, virtual reality interfaces, and gaming will help students experience the skill being taught (“Where is e-Learning headed”, 2001).
    • Benesova, Boland, & Galloway (2002) state that, “more flexible, comprehensive and dynamic communication is now possible through the available technologies of videoconferencing, live broadcasting, and faster connection speeds.”
    • Astin's (1984) theory of involvement posits that students learn more the more they are involved in both the academic and social aspects of the collegiate experience (Huntley & McCluskey, 2008).
  • Educational Advantages
    • Increase interaction between learner, content, and classmates
    • Eliminates barriers to providing a learning environment
    • Open Source Software to build such environments makes VLE’s affordable
    • Creates motivating, self-learning experiences for students
  • Educational Challenges
    • Costs
    • Training
    • Tech Support
    • Security and Confidentiality
  • Final Thought to Close On…
    • “ Culture creates the tool, but the tool changes the culture. Participants in the culture appropriate these tools from their culture to meet their goals, and thereby transform their participation in the culture”
    • (Duffy & Cunningham, 1996, p. 180).
  • References
    • Becta ICT Research (2007). Virtual learning environments in education: a review of
    • the literature. Retrieved July 21, 2008, from
    • http://partners.becta.org.uk/index.php?section=rh&rid=13640
    • Benesova, A., Boland, S., & Galloway, W. (2002). Virtual learning environments. Retreived July 21, 2008 from http://www.dcs.napier.ac.uk/~mm/socbytes/feb2002_i/3.html
    • Clark, S., & Maher, M., L. (2001). The role of place in designing a learner centred virtual learning environment. Presentation from Computer Aided Architectural Design (CAAD) Futures 2001. Retrieved July 21, 2008 from http://web.arch.usyd.edu.au/~mary/Pubs/2001pdf/CF2001.pdf
  • References
    • Dillenbourg, Pierre (2000). Learning in the new millennium: Building new education strategies for schools. Workshop on Virtual Learning Environments presented at the Eclipsys User Network (EUN) conference. Retrieved July 21, 2008, from http://tecfa.unige.ch/tecfa/publicat/dil-papers-2/Dil.7.5.18.pdf
    • Duffy, T. M., & Cunningham, D. J. (1996). Constructivism: Implications for the design and delivery of instruction. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Educational communications and technology (pp. 170-199). New York: Simon & Schuster Macmillan.
    • Hutley, K. & McCluskey-Titus, P. (2008). Alexander Astin’s Theory of Involvement: A Summary. Retrieved July 21, 2008 from Illinois State University Web site: http://www.sotl.ilstu.edu/conf/astin.shtml
  • References
    • Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 21, 2008, from http://home.sprynet.com/%7Egkearsley/engage.htm
    • The Art and Science of Teaching with Technology. (2008). Definition of Learning Environment. Retrieved July 21, 2008, from www.teach-nology.com/glossary/terms/1/
    • Virtual Learning Environments. (2008, July 21). In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved July 21, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_virtual_learning_environments
    • Where is e-learning headed? " As e-learning technology and practices mature, expect more interactivity, greater topic coverage, and a wider range of uses." Advisor Zone, 2001. Retrieved February 12, 2007 from http://www.advisor.com/Articles.nsf/aid/SMITT318