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The VLE and Open Education: Problems, Potentials and Practicalities

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Paper presented at The Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference, Hagen, FernUniversitat, 29th October.

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The VLE and Open Education: Problems, Potentials and Practicalities

  1. 1. The VLE and Open Education: Problems, Potentials and Practicalities Mark Brown, Eamon Costello & Enda Donlon Thursday 29th October 2015
  2. 2. Outline 1. Is the VLE dead? 2. What is the VLE’s value? 3. What is the future of the VLE? The VLE and Open Education: Problems, Potentials and Practicalities
  3. 3. “The VLE/LMS is Dead” (Weller, 2007) http://nogoodreason.typepad.co.uk/no_good_reason/2007/11/the-vlelms-is-d.html The original debate
  4. 4. 1. Is the VLE dead?
  5. 5. 1. Is the VLE dead?
  6. 6. 1. Is the VLE dead?
  7. 7. In Ireland… National Forum Consultation… 27 out of 27 HEIs using a ‘Main VLE’ (several using more than one) 1. Is the VLE dead?
  8. 8. National Forum Consultation… 27 out of 27 HEIs using a ‘Main VLE’ (several using more than one) “…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) In Ireland… 1. Is the VLE dead?
  9. 9. The numbers… 1. Is the VLE dead?
  10. 10. “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 1. Is the VLE dead?
  11. 11. 1. Is the VLE dead?
  12. 12. 1. Is the VLE dead?
  13. 13. 1. Is the VLE dead?
  14. 14. “Concern seems widespread about what is perceived as poor/limited use of VLEs (often used merely as repositories for basic content) […] Among those with direct experience of using VLEs, opinions were expressed that existing platforms are ‘clunky’ and not in tune with the digital experiences students expect and find when using social media platforms. A further concern, expressed by one Registrar, is that VLEs, used poorly, contribute to a persistence of ‘transmission teaching’ practices.” (P. 16) 1. Is the VLE dead?
  15. 15. “…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...” 1. Is the VLE dead?
  16. 16. “…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) 1. Is the VLE dead?
  17. 17. 2. What is the VLE’s value?
  18. 18. What has the VLE ever done for us? 2. What is the VLE’s value?
  19. 19. 2. What is the VLE’s value?
  20. 20. 2. What is the VLE’s value?
  21. 21. Stability 2. What is the VLE’s value?
  22. 22. 2. What is the VLE’s value?
  23. 23. Security 2. What is the VLE’s value?
  24. 24. 2. What is the VLE’s value?
  25. 25. Online Assessment 2. What is the VLE’s value?
  26. 26. 2. What is the VLE’s value?
  27. 27. Consistency of Experience Integration with IT Systems Content Repository Widening Access MOOCs 2. What is the VLE’s value?
  28. 28. “… the majority of faculty do not take advantage of advanced LMS capabilities that have the potential to improve student outcomes.” (Dahlstrom, Brooks & Bichsel, 2014) Teachers’ use… 2. What is the VLE’s value?
  29. 29. (Risquez et al., 2013) Students’ use… 2. What is the VLE’s value?
  30. 30. “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). 2. What is the VLE’s value?
  31. 31. The VLE/LMS is like... 2. What is the VLE’s value?
  32. 32. The VLE/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) 2. What is the VLE’s value?
  33. 33. “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) “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 VLE/LMS is like... 2. What is the VLE’s value?
  34. 34. 3. What is the future of the VLE?
  35. 35. “The PLE [Personal Learning Environment] is a facility for an individual to access, aggregate, manipulate and share digital artefacts of their ongoing learning experiences. 3. What is the future of the VLE?
  36. 36. “The PLE [Personal Learning Environment] is a facility for an individual to access, aggregate, manipulate and share digital artefacts of their ongoing learning experiences. The PLE follows a leaner-centric approach, allowing the use of lightweight services and tools that belong to and are controlled by individual learners. Rather than integrating different services into a centralised system, the PLE provides learners with a variety of services that hands over control to them to select and use these services the way they deem fit” (Mikroyannidis et al, 2015, p. 3) 3. What is the future of the VLE?
  37. 37. “…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) The Next Generation VLE… 3. What is the future of the VLE?
  38. 38. “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) 3. What is the future of the VLE?
  39. 39. “Higher education is moving away from its traditional emphasis on the instructor… [and] from a standard form factor for the course... 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. One final quote… 3. What is the future of the VLE?
  40. 40. “Higher education is moving away from its traditional emphasis on the instructor… [and] from a standard form factor for the course... 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). One final quote… 3. What is the future of the VLE?
  41. 41. Conclusion A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking (or ran out of time) The VLE is not dead yet!
  42. 42. Questions “A prudent question is one-half of wisdom” Francis Bacon http://www.slideshare.net/mbrownz
  43. 43. Thank You!

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