The last ten years have taught us that virtual learning environments are here to stay. But are universities getting the VLE right? And why is it so important?
In this digital age, where even your fridge can talk to you, VLEs now have limitless potential. As discussed by Thomas Worthington from our in-house Bloom VLE team, it is important that universities now have a plan for their virtual learning environment rather than just 'pushing it along'.
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A VLE has the opportunity to do something incredible: increase learning engagement and learning outcomes for students.
Logging onto a VLE should grab the attention of a student and throw them into learning to ensure their academic performance will be maximised.
VLE's can now avoid student disengagement through a range of multimedia and personalisation options. Students should be able to log on and see content which is engaging and personalised to their study progression. Thomas Worthington confirms that due to sophisticated online tracking of VLE's, universities can also pick up signs of student disengagement early, to stop them from falling through the cracks and eventually dropping out.
Another reason why we need to get VLE's right is that HE is expensive both in the UK and worldwide. We have to ensure that students are seeing value in paying for their education experience and to do this, it should be on par with their other paid (commercial) experiences.
With the introduction of Tef, where student satisfaction is the measure for quality, improving digital learning is becoming more and more important. Having a positive, engaging VLE, instead of a 'file dump' system may become an integral part of higher education in the near future.
This means aiming for digital best practice experience (for example, investing in more personalisation akin to the likes of Netflix).
Thomas Worthington says that the way for universities to get VLE's right for their students is to plan, invest, and integrate their VLE with the wider HE landscape.