Though we talk about embedding digital technologies into practice, the reality is what we want to do is to undertake practices differently, and one way of doing this is through the use of digital.
So if you want to increase use of the VLE, we approach the problem by thinking how we can get people to use the VLE, use it more and use it in different ways.
By looking at things differently, using the VLE stops being the problem you are trying to solve, but the solution to a different problem.
The challenge can be that learners want to have access to a range of materials, resources, activities and conversations at a pace, time and place that suits them on a device of their choosing.
How do you get those resources and activities to the learner?
Well you could post them the printed resources, however you may not know which specific ones they want, so you would need to send them all! They would also be all in printed format, no video, no audio just print!
You could create conversation opportunities in specific rooms (or off campus locations) at a time and place that suited you, some learners, but not all.
You could determine when and where learning activities should take place, but give no flexibility to the learners about their circumstances or choices.
If we go back to the problem
…learners want to have access to a range of materials, resources, activities and conversations at a pace, time and place that suits them…
Then the VLE starts to become part of the solution to the problem of access, inclusion and flexibility.
An online space like the VLE can be used to store all the resources, the learner can choose which ones they want to access when (and where).
An online space like the VLE means you can do more than just text, you can have video files, audio recordings, even interactive content.
The VLE or other online spaces allow asynchronous conversations to happen, allowing discussion at different times and places for different learners. There are also opportunities for synchronous live conversations too, which can be combined with other resources and activities.
The VLE isn’t the problem, it’s part of the solution.