Presentation on theme: "1 Using a VLE to create a community of learners studying people and place Elisabeth Skinner : Principal Lecturer School of Environment University of Gloucestershire."— Presentation transcript:
1 Using a VLE to create a community of learners studying people and place Elisabeth Skinner : Principal Lecturer School of Environment University of Gloucestershire LTSN-GEES Conference November 18 th 2003
2 Which place, what people? The VLE is WebCT The module is EL105 Community and Locality The students are diverse – Campus-based and at a distance – All ages 18 to 70 – Full-time or part-time – Experienced and inexperienced
3 Delivery offers choice Printed materials and guided reading Face-to-face sessions Active learning through field work Online group work and reflective discussion Online resources
4 The activity WebCT discussion = formative assessment (10%) in preparation for an essay – Debates published ideas on the changing nature of local communities in rural to urban environments – Challenges the concept of the rural to urban continuum – Uses published ideas to explain the nature of change in specific local communities over time
7 A single contribution In Banbury there could be people who do not fit in to Merton's definitions. What about those that are neither local or cosmopolitan, i.e those that have moved from neighbouring towns or villages? Frankenberg explains that Banbury became cosmopolitan because of the construction of an aluminium factory which brought immigrants from the Midlands and the South. Tadley has certainly become cosmopolitan in the last 50 years - the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment was built here in the 50s, bringing 1000s of immigrants form all over the country and the world.
8 Examples of insights that emerge The impact of a loss of a single industry Changes in the role of women in different types of local community over time Identifying the changing nature of rural, urban and suburban communities over time Regional differences The impact of landscape on the character of place and community
9 Benefits to students Learning about real people in real places to make sense of theory Exploring complex issues in a safe, formative environment Learning from experience and inexperience Providing mutual support Gaining added value from diversity Developing IT skills
10 Benefits for teachers Tracking student engagement Formative preparation for an assignment A wealth of insight into community and locality across the country Gripping stuff
11 Issues for students, teachers and the institution Access and technical barriers to overcome Management of time Cost of staff hours for both development and support
12 VLE offers genuine added value Experiences of people and place are shared It provides depth to the support for all students. It provides choice and flexibility of time and place for study for all students. It brings together a diverse student group (age, experience, location) in fruitful discussions. Although the option requires strategic review of resource allocation it signals significant possibilities for the future of HE.