Using the VLE more

The problem with the VLE sometimes is that practitioners often use it merely as a glorified content repository and not much more.

So how do you get practitioners to use the VLE more?

Well you could use a model approach or grade use of of the VLE.

These can take time, and time is sometimes not always available.

One way is to get the practitioners from a particular curriculum area to attend a session on features of the VLE. This session should be not too long, a hour is certainly practical. Within the session various functions of the VLE are demonstrated and a short explanation on a learning or administrative problem that it solves.

All the practitioners then choose at least one feature that they will use with their learners on one of their courses. Features could include voting, feedback, discussion forum, photo gallery.

They will then report back (say in a team meeting) on the impact and outcome of using this functionality, before choosing the next feature, and so on… They may want to involve their learners in this process too.

This is about moving the responsibility of using the VLE to the practitioner, and their continuing personal development in the use of the VLE.

7 thoughts on “Using the VLE more”

  1. Too often the VLE is used as a stick to beat practitioners; too often disempowering. Whilst this isn’t always the case, another model would be to ‘pave the shortcuts’ and expect practitioners to use *something* that does xyz.

    I know you’re aware of Thom Cochrane’s work: http://prezi.com/kr94rajmvk9u/mlearning/

    So yes, better use of VLEs FTW, but:

    Better use of wider range of tools + empowered practitioners = #epicwin

  2. Too often I go into schools and see resources and equipment underused. Nine times out of ten this is due to poorly sustained training and support. Training on resources like the VLE need to be sustained and I absolutely agree that teachers and practitioners should be guided and supported in the applied use of the VLE after initial training. This way staff are given the opportunity to see the value of a resources without being left out on a limb, as well as reflect on and share the experience with other practitioners.

    Saying this, Dougs point is a good one. Staff should be free to choose the tool that is best for the job, not cajoled into using something that may not work for them or their students.

  3. Thanks for commenting.

    Probably better to read this post in conjunction with my blog post on cheese

    http://elearningstuff.net/2010/02/22/cheese/

    Using the VLE is one part of a wider strategy in increasing holistically the use of ILT in our college to enhance and enrich the learning process. It isn’t nor has it been about using JUST the VLE it’s about using the available technology to solve problems and improve the learning experience.

    Also read yesterday’s post too.

    http://elearningstuff.net/2011/02/02/focus-on-the-technology-or-not/

    James

  4. I think what’s essential is plenty of support during the early stages when it seems “harder and more timeconsuming” than doing things ‘the old way’.

    It’s only once you’ve reached a certain level of competence that it actually lives up to being ‘better’.

    I like the idea of picking out one feature to use. To some extent it barely matter which feature that is because the choice of what’s ‘best’ for any particualr activity/course/learner/teacher is fairly involved and abstract.

    One of the challenges of Moodle is that you don’t really see it at it’s best until you’re using it regularly — and if you can’t see it at it’s best it’s harder to sustatin the motivation TO use it regularly.

    So… Getting people over that intial hump is the key…

    Have you seen the “how to be an expert” chart — that’s the kind of thing I mean. http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2006/03/how_to_be_an_ex.html

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