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EdTech15 Conference: What's on the Horizon for the VLE?


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Presentation at EdTech15 Conference

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EdTech15 Conference: What's on the Horizon for the VLE?

  1. 1. What's on the Horizon for the VLE: extinction or evolution? Enda Donlon | Eamon Costello | Mark Brown
  2. 2. Image attribution:
  3. 3. VLE Saturation/Penetration in HE “…their presence is ubiquitous in higher education, with 99% of colleges and universities currently reporting they have an LMS” “Global learning management system (LMS) revenue was estimated at $1.9–2.6 billion in 2013, with projected growth to $7.8 billion by 2018” (Dahlstrom, Brooks & Bichsel, 2014, p.5) National Forum Consultation 27/27 HEIs using a ‘Main VLE’ (some using more than one)
  4. 4. Reflecting on the VLE/LMS “Evaluation activity in reviewing VLE provision is now well established across the sector, with half of the institutions which responded to the Survey having conducted reviews over the last two years” (UCISA, 2014, p.3) Ireland - Cross-Institutional Survey: 2008, 2011, 2013, 2015 - Internal institutional reviews ongoing
  5. 5. “The VLE/LMS is Dead” (Weller, 2007) “Scott Leslie has coined the term “Loosely coupled teaching”, for the assembly of a number of different, third party apps to do your teaching with. This differs from a PLE in that it is still the educator who provides the tools, they just bypass the institutional systems”
  6. 6. “The VLE/LMS is Dead” is not dead
  7. 7. The VLE is Dead: Resurrection
  8. 8. Over to You!
  9. 9. What has the VLE ever done for us?
  10. 10. Stability
  11. 11. Security
  12. 12. Online Assessment
  13. 13. Consistency of Experience Integration with IT Systems MOOCs Widening Access POVLs
  14. 14. The LMS is like... “the LMS is the minivan of education. Everyone has them and needs them, but there’s a certain shame in having one in the driveway” (Hill, 2015) “the LMS is more like a bus than a minivan - someone else is driving, it only travels on a pre- arranged route, the bus is often late but you still have to be on time because it won't wait if you miss it” (Downes, 2015) Image Attribution:
  15. 15. Trends supporting emergence of PLE in Higher Education (Gillet & Na Li, 2015) formal INFORMAL teaching LEARNING closed OPEN Local GLOBAL
  16. 16. “VLEs, while valuable as tools for course management and communications, have evidently not been deployed to their full pedagogical potential: evidence points to their use primarily as a mechanism for storing documents and transferring information” (p.40) teaching LEARNING
  17. 17. Source: Risquez et al., 2013
  18. 18. Source: Risquez et al., 2013
  19. 19. teaching LEARNING “… the majority of faculty do not take advantage of advanced LMS capabilities that have the potential to improve student outcomes.” (Dahlstrom, Brooks & Bichsel, 2014)
  20. 20. “What is clear is that the LMS has been highly successful in enabling the administration of learning but less so in enabling learning itself. Tools such as the grade book and mechanisms for distributing materials such as the syllabus are invaluable for the management of a course, but these resources contribute, at best, only indirectly to learning success. (Brown, Dehoney & Millichap, 2015, p.2). teaching LEARNING VLE is also known as: • Learning Management System (LMS) • Course Management System (CMS) • Learning Content Management System (LCMS)
  21. 21. Shift from Students as Consumers to Students as Creators [Key Trend] “A shift is taking place in the focus of pedagogical practice in universities and institutions of technology in Ireland as students across a wide variety of disciplines are learning by making and creating rather than from the simple consumption of content.” (p.6) teaching LEARNING “… educators are often trying to design new, innovative learning models that must be integrated with outdated, pre- existing technology and virtual learning environments” (p. 8).
  22. 22. VLE/LMS User Hierarchy (example) teaching LEARNING
  23. 23. closed OPEN Increasing Focus on OERs Mid-range trend: 3-5 years) Proliferation of Open Educational Resources Mid-term trend: 3-5 years) Open Content Time to adoption: 2-3 years
  24. 24. Recommendation 3: • “Institutions will adopt open education principles with regard to teaching and learning resources and practices” • “Open educational resources will be developed and shared nationally through institutional or shared repositories” closed OPEN
  25. 25. “…most LMS implementations still lack elementary capacities to publish to and interact with the wider web and the public. By restricting online teaching and learning activity to these closed systems, colleges and universities make a mockery of oft-stated values such as social engagement, public knowledge, and the mission of promoting enlightenment and critical inquiry in society...”
  26. 26. “…also cuts students off from each other and the institution. Courses are severely limited in the ability to access other courses even within the institution (so much for "connecting silos"), and when courses end, students are typically cast out, unable to refer to past activity in their ongoing studies or in their lives (so much for "promoting lifelong learning"). (Groom and Lamb, 2014)
  27. 27. (Back) over to You!
  28. 28. Back to that Horizon… Image Attribution:
  29. 29. On the Horizon? Interoperability LTI: Learning Tools Interoperability (
  30. 30. On the Horizon? Next Generation VLE? “…the NGVLE might include a traditional LMS as a component, it will not itself be a single application like the current LMS or other enterprise applications. Rather, the NGDLE will be an ecosystem of sorts…” “The model for the NGDLE architecture may be the mash-up […] uses a heterogeneity of components to produce a homogeneity of function.” (Brown, Dehoney & Millichap, 2015)
  31. 31. On the Horizon? 4G LMS? “Fourth generation LMSs will be characterized by the unencumbered ability for users to choose a preferred client or app to access the LMS in a way that is similar to how one can choose a preferred client (or build one’s own) to use Twitter. The LMS will also begin to present itself as a service following standard protocols for common abstract LMS actions such as “submit assignment” or “grade quiz”. (Kroner, 2014)
  32. 32. Final Thoughts … ? … “Higher education is moving away from its traditional emphasis on the instructor, however, replacing it with a focus on learning and the learner. Higher education is also moving away from a standard form factor for the course, experimenting with a variety of course models. These developments pose a dilemma for any LMS whose design is still informed by instructor-centric, one-size-fits-all assumptions about teaching and learning. They also account for the love/hate relationship many in higher education have with the LMS. The LMS is both “it” and “not it”—useful in some ways but falling short in others.” (Brown, Dehoney & Millichap, 2015, p.2).