VLEs have a huge range of functionality, a lot of criticism often laid against the VLE is that some users are not aware of those functions.
There is often too much information about the VLE for new users who may not understand many of the concepts or have the skills to fully utilise the functionality of the VLE.
Upload to the VLE the course resources, handouts, assignments, scheme of work and links.
Now this is something that is often laid against VLEs as why they don’t work as they are merely used as respositories of materials. However practitioners who are unfamiliar with the VLE often need a starting point. To throw the full functionality of the VLE at a practitioner who may be apprehensive about using the VLE and unsure of the benefits, is similar to throwing a learner driver onto a Formula One racetrack!
Add more content try and put up new content at least weekly.
So then you’ll get asked what content should you put up. Well a lot depends on how the practitioner delivers learning, but could include:
- All the pages from IWB sessions from the classroom;
- Videos, either embedded, or uploaded, very easy to embed videos from services such as YouTube or Vimeo;
- Links to e-Books in the virtual library or online libraries;
- Audio recordings, these could be by learners or by practitioners, an overview of the lesson, topic or subject;
- Learning objects from Jorum or the NLN.
- Images and photographs.
- RSS feeds that learners could subscribe to.
- Photographs of paper based exercises, if you for example use flip charts for brainstorming sessions, taking photographs of them with digital cameras and uploading those images can make it easier for learners to remember what they did.
- Don’t forget text!
Add interactivity to the course through the use of quizzes and feedback. Quizzes are often part of the core VLE system, sometimes external quizzes can be uploaded.
Add engagement by learners through the use of discussion forums. Online discussions can engage learners in a variety of learning activities.
By stage five usage of the VLE will be pretty much embedded into the delivery of the course. It will be much easier for the practitioner to offer the course through a blended approach and be more able to deliver learning in times of closure (say through snow).