What are your pet-peeves about how your VLE is used – are you the culprit or is this what you see others do? Is it the technology at fault or how we / you / ‘they’ use it?
Come on, let’s have your examples of the things you’ve seen in your VLE that leave you in despair. Please leave your examples as comments below … we’ll see what we get.
Here’s a couple of examples I’ve seen over the past 5 years or so …
- Learning resources and files loaded as simply ‘click here’ or ‘week one’ without any explanation. Try introducing the file with an appropriate name (‘Week one resources: [topic title]‘) as well as some brief text about what the file is and what it contains, how the student should use it (read, discuss, activity, wider research, etc.), and what the learning outcome is – put the resource in the context of the learning and / or subject and / or timetable.
- Well structured and detailed navigation … but empty folders. Even if you are using ‘adaptive release’ and the materials are loaded but not available yet, you could at least put a ‘holding’ message to say the materials will be available on or after specific dates – if it’s empty the student thinks you’ve either not done anything or it’s something they’ve done wrong.
- Announcements on the home page / welcome screen … but there haven’t been any, either use it or don’t display it, an empty area can only cause confusion for students (see above).
I plan to collate the responses and comments into a fuller list (that’ll be part 2) which I’ll blog about in a month or two or when there’s a good range of comments. If you’d rather remain anonymous then please email me (‘david’ at ‘this website address’) and I’ll publish it minus your name.
Image Source: Naughty Funny Kids
When trying to find things for work and to try and help other people I often come across some really good articles or web pages. In this instance I was trying to find something to help me demonstrate to a reluctant user that a Wiki can be used effectively for an item of coursework, and still be assessed.
I found this:
What I pulled out of this resource for the academic were the following passages (pages 10-14), intended to outline the advantages of a ‘wiki in education’ for someone new to the idea/technology.
(The emphasised text is my emphasis, not from the original piece)
“The strength of a wiki is the ability for numerous interested readers and users to express ideas online, edit someone else’s work, send and receive ideas, and post links to related resources and sites. As a result, wikis go a step further and allow for greater collaboration and interactivity. Wikis have been found to have value for educational purposes, and their use has begun to be integrated into a number of university courses, in particular.”
“Wikis are useful for education in that they help to promote student participation and also a sense of group community and purpose in learning. Indeed, an important element of this is the relaxed sense of control over the content, allowing students to have a greater role in managing its focus and direction.”
“The (educational) emphasis therefore is on teamwork, continuous review and testing, and the development of conversational sharing. Inherent in the workings of wikis is support for an open, collaborative environment, where many people can contribute to the development of knowledge instead of being limited to a set of “experts.” It appears that conversational knowledge acquisition and management are appropriate for wikis. As for educational applications and KM, a study … examined the use of a wiki to help encourage and support collaborative activities in a knowledge management course. More specifically, using wikis in the course helped to encourage openness and better sharing and updating of knowledge bases. Many-to-many communication is supported, and the persistence of the created pages formed the basis of a knowledge repository. In short, the impact of easy page creation and improved updating and editing, together with effective maintenance of knowledge histories, were seen as positives.”