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Virtual Learning Environment Presentation Richard Walker 27th November, 2003.

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1 Virtual Learning Environment Presentation Richard Walker 27th November, 2003

2 Presentation Aims 1. Introduction to the Learning Technologist –Background –Outline of the post –Role and responsibilities 2. E-learning: a working definition 3. What is a VLE? -What should a VLE do? 4. E-learning at York: current position 5. E-learning – goals and objectives 6. Critical success factors in a VLE implementation

3 1. Learning Technologist’s Background –Background BA, MA, PGCE (History); MMD (Management Development); PhD (Educational Technology) Academia –Cambridge University, SOAS - London University, Euro-Arab Management School, Nyenrode University - The Netherlands Business School Work Experience –Monbusho (Toride City, Japan) EFMD & EAMS (Granada, Spain), Nyenrode University (The Netherlands)

4 Contact Details Office: Room HG10, Heslington Hall E-mail: Telephone: 3850

5 Outline of the Learning Technologist’s post Based in Academic Support Office TQEF funded (July 2003 - Jan. 2004) Reporting to OLSIG Promoting case for VLE Pedagogical, not technical expertise!

6 Role and Responsibilities 1.Investigate requirements for a centrally supported VLE at York 2.Investigate conditions for implementation of VLE (2004 - ) 3.Raise staff awareness of e-learning / present case for a VLE 4.Identify and implement pilot projects with departments 5.Future tasks (2005-)

7 2. ‘Online’ & ‘e-learning’: definitions Online: synonymous with web-based learning - materials on the web & some ancillary (collaborative) discussion E-learning: represents the whole category of technology-based learning (network/wireless/satellite) “The use of technology to manage, design, deliver, select, transact, coach, support and extend LEARNING (of all kinds)” (Elliott Masie, 2001) Holistic, systemic, competence-oriented Courses, modules, smaller learning objects Synchronous/asynchronous access - distributed geographically with varied limits of time

8 3. What is a VLE? Communication tools (email, bulletin boards/ chat, whiteboard) Student tools (calendar, check grades, submit assignments, glossary, search Course information (syllabus, timetable, assessment) Course material (activities, library and multimedia resources, assignments) Self-assessment tools

9 What does a VLE do? Controlled access to curriculum - mapped to elements (or “chunks”) that can be separately assessed and recorded Tracking student activity and achievement against these elements Support of on-line learning, including access to learning resources, assessment and guidance. Communication between the learner, the tutor and other learning support specialists to provide direct support and feedback for learners, as well as peer- group communications that build a sense of group identity and community of interest Links to other administrative systems, both in- house and externally


11 4. E-learning – Current Position (a) Online Learning Strategy –Approved 2002 (?) –Learning Technologist appointed 1 July, 2003 Committees and Working Group –OLSIG – Online Learning Strategy Implementation Group –OLSIG VLE Subgroup

12 E-learning – Current Position (b) HEFCE Capital Round 3 bid –Requirements gathering Departmental audit – summer (FELT / best practices) Student survey ( – 1Dec.) WP & Careers External consultation (Oxford, Sheffield) –Two specifications being compiled Helicopter view document –Short and palatable Detailed specification –Consultation & staff awareness VLE Awareness Conference – 26 November Departmental feedback on specifications (Jan. 15)

13 E-learning – Current Position (c) VLE Experience at York –Good departmental initiatives DERS –WebCT  Nathan Bodington –Open source HYMS - Blackboard Mathematics –Moodle –Open source Social Policy and Social Work –UKeU –Masters in Public Policy and Management –Sun, TALL and BBC

14 E-learning – Current Position (d) E-learning projects (TQEF funded): –Jeanne d’Arc: an internet-enabled Special Subject module (Bbd software) (History) –Online In-sessional Support for International students in DERS (EFL) –Text-based annotation and discussion (Philosophy)

15 5. E-learning – Goals and objectives Centre and departments –Avoid: Fragmentation Duplication of effort and expenditure Information rich, information poor Support blended learning

16 A VLE could bring the following benefits to York:  Support new courses (open and distance learning) on a cost- recovery and for-profit basis  The development of shared teaching and learning resources across departments and reusable resources within departments  The development of joint courses with other institutions, providing a basis for international partnerships and strategic alliances  Flexibility in study benefits for all students, with special provision for disadvantaged groups, strengthening the University’s Widening Participation initiatives  Support for student-centred learning, with provision for new learning experiences that complement class-based activities  More efficient use of teaching space and contact time with students  A coordinated means of collecting and collating student admissions and matriculation data E-learning discussion document Dr. R. Walker, Learning Technologist, 8 September, 2003

17 Strengths Firm support from the foot soldiers Human capital Web Manager Post + Learning Technologist Post “Second mover” advantage

18 Challenges (Weaknesses) Many major projects competing for funding –Web Strategy, Online Learning Strategy, Records Management Strategy, … –New buildings –etc. Cynicism –E-learning = the latest fad –E-learning = just shovelling course notes on the web Funding –Centralised vs. decentralised –Post YIMS

19 6. Critical success factors in a VLE implementation (a) 1.Stakeholder buy in 2.Adequate resourcing –“A VLE is not just for Christmas” –Hardware and software are minor financial components –Ongoing cost of support staff 3.Consultation 4.VLE champions 5.Pilot stage 6.Data feeds  MLE

20 Critical success factors in a VLE implementation (b) 7.Training Staff Students 8.Set realistic aspirations 9.Paced rollout

21 End of Presentation Thank you for your attention



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