Learning environment

Tips for creating a successful virtual learning environment

There is much in the public domain regarding the Expected growth of the e-learning or e-learning market globally. In the education and workplace learning sectors, there has been a significant adoption of e-learning over the past decade and a greater understanding of the benefits of a learning environment. Virtual (VLE) can deliver in terms of learning retention rates, learner engagement, and delivery efficiency. The pandemic has only accelerated this rate of adoption and many organizations and educational institutions now recognize that success is more than just having a VLE (also known as a learning management system). , LMS or e-learning platform), but that “the challenge is how the platform is used, rather than the technology itself”.

Jisc, a British not-for-profit company whose role is to champion the importance and potential of digital technologies and research for the higher education, higher education and skills sectors, underlined in the VLE 2020 review report that barriers to success are often related to people, practice or culture. Based on a qualitative study of over 600 academic staff, professional services staff, and learners, the report offers 3 themes or recommendations on how to get the most out of an VLE.

Obstacles and challenges

The Jisc report pointed out that most staff at educational institutions were willing to commit to working with an VLE, ​​but the obstacles and challenges of engaging were related to a lack of familiarity. or trust with the platform itself. This is exacerbated by the lack of time needed to learn how to use the platform effectively – either to attend training or to embark on a journey of self-discovery. Therefore, learners were unanimous in expressing frustration with inconsistent experiences when using an ELV due to variations in the confidence and motivation of teaching or professional staff. Learners also expressed that they wanted to be able to use the VLE to communicate and provide feedback with staff as well as with their peers.

The end result is that many organizations or institutions find their platform inadequate, but in fact the barriers to success often relate to people, practice or culture.

How to get the most out of an ELV

Through a consultative VLE review process that assesses the current state and perception of existing VLEs with academic staff, professional services, and learners / students, the Jisc report identified common themes on how to leverage the best advantage of a VLE.

  • Obtain approval for vision and strategy
    • Set up a working group comprising key members of your organization or institution’s leadership team to identify the main challenges and obstacles with VLE.
    • Develop a vision that takes into account the role of EVV – improving the digital experience for learners and designing learning and assessment in the digital age.
    • Engage students and staff in the development of the vision.
    • Agree on a strategy that sets goals for success and how they can be measured by educators, professional staff and learners.
    • Use analysis to inform your future planning.
  • Support staff development and quality standards
    • Promote examples of good practice among educators and professional staff.
    • Share evidence of good practices between departments.
    • Develop champions of good practices.
    • Place more emphasis on good VLE practices during staff development or training days.
    • Develop quality standards.
    • Include the use of VLE in staff development assessments.
    • Link to jurisdiction’s curriculum guidelines and standards.
    • Provide staff with access to a ‘sandbox’ or Test Environment.
    • Define accessibility standards.
    • To create models and standards of good practice.
    • Create “research” supports
  • Develop a policy around the use of technologies
    • Define what is in and out of reach.
    • Adopt a supportive and responsive approach.
    • Assign owners to audit stale resources and manage content.

Learn more about the VLE 2020 review report, or contact one of the Certified service providers who can work with you to transform the Moodle platform into a solution that meets the unique needs of your organization or institution.

What is an VLE?

A Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is a software platform or web space for teaching and learning. The term can be used synonymously with e-learning systems, e-learning platforms, learning management systems, LMS or e-learning platforms and describes spaces that contain courses where educators create and organize formative and summative resources, activities and assessments in a rich learning experience. . It is also a space where registered learners interact and work with each other to achieve the learning objectives of a course.