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Virtual learning environments (VLEs): an evaluation of their development in a sample of educational settings Nick Gadfield...
Background to the survey <ul><li>Remote communication is by any standards a growing, more routine part of life – and possi...
What is a VLE? <ul><li>A range of definitions and names </li></ul><ul><li>We took ‘the use of computers to allow remote ac...
Methodology <ul><li>Selection was a mix of those where reports had commented on the use of a VLE and some at random. </li>...
Visits <ul><li>We appreciated the welcome and help we got </li></ul><ul><li>In nearly every visit there were impressive in...
Key findings <ul><li>VLEs were still at an early stage of development  </li></ul><ul><li>VLEs were most effective in insti...
Key Findings <ul><li>The best VLEs had strong support from senior managers with good resources for development and mainten...
Key findings <ul><li>VLEs mainly accessed on-site by college students and school pupils; more remote access in adult and c...
Suggestions for Further Developments <ul><li>More central guidance on, or provision of, common course materials </li></ul>...
Finally <ul><li>Again a thank you to the staff and learners in all the providers visited or contacted for their help </li>...
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Virtual learning environments (VLEs): an evaluation of their development in a sample of educational settings

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Virtual learning environments (VLEs): an evaluation of their development in a sample of educational settings

  1. 1. Virtual learning environments (VLEs): an evaluation of their development in a sample of educational settings Nick Gadfield HMI 5 March 2009
  2. 2. Background to the survey <ul><li>Remote communication is by any standards a growing, more routine part of life – and possibly learning </li></ul><ul><li>We wanted to see how VLEs how were developing as part of this change </li></ul><ul><li>Between January and May 2008 inspectors visited 18 colleges, six primary and two secondary schools, three work-based learning providers, three adult and community learning providers and one local authority </li></ul><ul><li>Inspectors also were given access to remotely review five college and four school virtual learning environments without visiting the establishments </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is a VLE? <ul><li>A range of definitions and names </li></ul><ul><li>We took ‘the use of computers to allow remote access to learning’ </li></ul><ul><li>Or VLEs could be also/part of (each with their own definition!) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning management system (LMS) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Course Management System (CMS) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning Content Management System (LCMS), </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Managed Learning Environment (MLE), </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning Support System (LSS) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online Learning Centre (OLC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning Platform (LP) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Education via computer-mediated (CMC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online Education </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Methodology <ul><li>Selection was a mix of those where reports had commented on the use of a VLE and some at random. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Between September 2005 and December 2007 Ofsted carried out over 17,000 routine school inspections. In only 39 of the reports (0.2%) was there a mention of the use of a VLE or similar system. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comments were more frequent in reports on colleges (20%) and other settings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Visits were one day, one inspector, based on a structured approach but open to reviewing initiatives </li></ul>
  5. 5. Visits <ul><li>We appreciated the welcome and help we got </li></ul><ul><li>In nearly every visit there were impressive individuals or managers who were enthusiastic about VLEs </li></ul><ul><li>However, we did not find any one institution that had a fully comprehensive and well used VLE </li></ul>
  6. 6. Key findings <ul><li>VLEs were still at an early stage of development </li></ul><ul><li>VLEs were most effective in institutions where staff were increasingly using technology to improve learning in the classroom or workshop </li></ul><ul><li>There was no correlation between effective VLEs and a particular subject area </li></ul><ul><li>Better providers had support from individual VLE/ILT champions – whole provider training not as effective </li></ul>
  7. 7. Key Findings <ul><li>The best VLEs had strong support from senior managers with good resources for development and maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>Learners content, rather than enthusiastic to use VLEs; regular use for communication (assignments in/back, notices) and in bursts for projects </li></ul><ul><li>The self-assessment of VLEs and their impact on learning was underdeveloped </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality assurance may be a future issue </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Systems costs were not seen as a major issue by colleges, and to a lesser degree by other providers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But staff time to create and upload material was a concern </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Key findings <ul><li>VLEs mainly accessed on-site by college students and school pupils; more remote access in adult and community learning </li></ul><ul><li>Work-based learning providers saw particular potential, but development of material was a concern </li></ul><ul><li>Very little use of VLE for shared learning across providers (only one example of Diploma work seen) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Suggestions for Further Developments <ul><li>More central guidance on, or provision of, common course materials </li></ul><ul><li>Continuing (LSC) funding for work-based learning developments </li></ul><ul><li>Providers to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Continue developments, with help to individual staff (training and time) and learners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Routinely review the effectiveness of their systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set up quality assurance arrangements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work jointly on VLEs where appropriate (diplomas?) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Finally <ul><li>Again a thank you to the staff and learners in all the providers visited or contacted for their help </li></ul><ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Including the question – not posed in the report – will VLEs every really take off in institutions where learners do physically attend?? </li></ul></ul>

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