What is the problem for which this
technology provides the solution?
In response to the core question in this title, I thought I would do a contrastive analysis between the
LMS, the VLE, the PLE and the SLE. This is a personal slant / interpretation only and I would
welcome critical feedback.
LMS = Learning Management System
http://moodle.org provides this facility via local activities (eg Lesson, Quiz) and importable
activities (eg SCORM) which interface with its gradebook and via the record keeping moodle
allows by means of its learner activity reporting functionalities). I see Moodle as being a VLE with
some LMS features. A better Open Source LMS (with some VLE features) is probably:
VLE = Virtual Learning Environment
http://moodle.org combines its LMS functionalities with socially interactive activities (ie Wikis,
Forums, Chatrooms, Social Glossaries and Databases, etc.) to offer “Online Classrooms”. Expert
developed and sanctioned knowledge, delivered by a knowledge transmission process.
PLE = Personalised Learning Environment
http://mahara.org is based on the Project-Based principle that a learner:
− should set their own goals
− should manage their own learning (eg Language) content themes / texts
− should have a facility for feedback on their own needs (eg responsive focus on language
errors) by communicating with associated others during the process of learning
− and that those others (either tutors or peers) should be associated with a monitoring
...ie the PLE approach represents a move towards collaborative forms of knowledge construction
within a frameworked, monitored and supervised context.
SLE = Social Learning Environment
Small pieces, loosely joined. The concept that a learner creates their own institutionally
independent digital identity by their use of Cloud Software as a Service (Web2.0) Platforms such as
Second Life, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Tel: 01299 405719
Mob: 07792 569415
LMS VLE PLE SLE
The institution needs....
...to keep score of learners' work / progress in a single place ++ + + XX
...to avoid the hard grind of marking tests. ++ + + +
...to provide a distance learning “classroom” + +++ ++ +
…institutional branding ++ ++ ++ X
...a Virtual Classroom Assistant ++ + + X
…to capture their teachers' knowledge and expertise for posterity + ++(+) ++(+) X
...to establish a quality-controlled curriculum ( “currere” + +++ ++ + X
“industrial model” for schooling – see Graham Attwell on this topic
…to protect the e-Safety of their learners for legal reasons ++ ++ ++ XX
...low infrastructure costs ++ ++ ++ +++
...low training costs + + ++ XX
LMS VLE PLE SLE
The teacher / trainer needs....
...to deliver learning at a distance ++ +++ ++ ++
...an effective vehicle for social construct / mediation XX ++(+) +++ ++
...to be able to easily convey and check understanding of a sequence ++ +++ ++(+) +
of concrete learning objectives
...to make content available to those who missed a class +++ ++ ++ +
…to be able to produce portable digital content which they + ++ +++ +
themselves can move between institutions
...to be associated with the material they create XX X +++ ++
...an easy way to create their content X X ++ +
LMS VLE PLE SLE
The learner needs....
...an easy way to create their content XX X +++ +++
...portability of their own content XX X +++ +
...the right to control who gets to see what, when XX XX +++ X
...a distinction between platform purpose (Facebook & Second Life +++ +++ +++ XX
are for socialising with friends – XX Creepy Treehouse XX).