VLEs and the democratisation of e-learning Martin Weller.

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  • VLEs and the democratisation of e-learningMartin Weller

  • OutlineWhere are we?How did we get here?Where are we going?

  • Where are we?

  • What is a VLE?

    The principal components of a VLE package include curriculum mapping (breaking curriculum into sections that can be assigned and assessed), student tracking, online support for both teacher and student, electronic communication (e-mail, threaded discussions, chat, Web publishing), and Internet links to outside curriculum resources. the components in which learners and tutors participate in "on-line" interactions of various kinds, including on-line learning LMS = a software application or Web-based technology used to plan, implement, and assess a specific learning process. MLE = The whole range of information systems and processes of an institution (including a VLE if appropriate) that contribute directly, or indirectly, to learning and the management of that learning

  • VLE as toolsetConferencingContentTrackingAssignment handlingAssessmentSynchronous toolsBlogsWikisPodcastingSocial bookmarkingEportfolio

  • VLE as pervasive technology94 percent of American colleges and universities use at least one type of electronic courseware for distance education and/or as a supplement to the traditional classroomTwothirds of faculty members who initially use an LMS continue to do so for future courses86% of respondents from UK HE institutions have VLE and 70% of UK FE colleges.

  • The VLE choicesIn-house developmentCommercial VLEOpen SourceService oriented architecture

  • Current state of playOECD/OBHE 2004 survey in 13 countriesAll had VLE37% have institution-wide VLE90% expect to have single VLE in next 5 years52% use commercial systemRest use combination of in-house and open sourceNo institution had just OS 31% had portal6.6% had CMS

  • Expanding HE1900: 500,000 students globally 2000: 100,000,0001990s the number of worldwide students grew by around 3.9% a yearRate of increase was markedly greater in the developing world than the developed world.In America, the numbers of students in higher education institutions who are over 24 years old has already overtaken the number which is between 18 and 24 The global turnover, in financial terms, of Higher Education = $550 billion per year.The UK government have committed themselves to a target of 50% by 2010. That would imply an increase of around 250,000 students by that time.The Chinese govt. aim for a 15% enrolment rate by 2010 implying around 16 million students.HEFCE:2002 to 2010 there could be an increase in demand of between 180,000 and 250,000 students.

  • So= A lot of people using the same technology

    And using technology for learning is different from other uses

    VLE = a proxy for changes in higher education(?)+

  • Democrats vs revolutionaries

  • How did we get here?

  • Plant succession

  • Technology successiontechnological environments are not merely passive containers of people but are active processes that reshape people and other technologies alike (McLuhan 1962)

  • That Blackboard patentWhy software patents are dangerousYou have a system that is organized by courses. The system can be accessed by different users from different computers. Users can access multiple courses and can have different access privileges assigned to each course based on the roles of student, instructor, and/or administrator.An instructor can create and edit pages in a course space.Courses have an announcements page where announcements can be created and edited by the instructor. (Michael Feldstein)Attempt to prevent succession

  • TrendsTechnologies are not developed for use within education There is a move towards socially focused tools and away from content-focused ones Technologies move from niche to mainstream in a short time frame The tools occupy a specific communication niche

  • Changing times

    Nearly all institutions had moved to an institution-wide system. Few institutions operated an in-house solution. The VLEs will be divided equally between commercial and open source solutions. Specialization and localization will occur through the use of services.

  • Where are we going?VLE research directions

  • Democratisation of the MLE space

    Feature annexation

  • Democratisation of the MLE space 2

    Feature annexation Competitive systems

  • Democratisation of the MLE space 3

    Feature annexation Competitive systemsDifferent configurationsE.g. Portal as central component

  • Democratisation of the MLE space 4

    Feature annexation Competitive systemsDifferent configurations Portal as VLEAppropriate metaphors

  • Web 2.0Both an approach and a set of technologiesWeb as platform Harnessing collective intelligence Evolutionary developmentLightweight programming models This time, though, the clash isn't between a platform and an application, but between two platforms, each with a radically different business model: On the one side, a single software provider, whose massive installed base and tightly integrated operating system and APIs give control over the programming paradigm; on the other, a system without an owner, tied together by a set of protocols, open standards and agreements for cooperation

    users add value and the technology or site needs to be set up so that it encourages participationUsers must be treated as co-developers, The open source dictum, release early and release often in fact has morphed into an even more radical position, the perpetual beta, in which the product is developed in the open, with new features slipstreamed in on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis.

  • VLE 2.0How would a VLE 2.0 be constructed? Service orientedTools tested and releasedStandards basedUnique configurationsIncorporate external toolsLocalized configurationsPersonalisedWhat does web 2.0 education feel like?Students as co-creatorsReuseLess rigid boundariesSocial

  • Personalization A benefit of e-learningTools that promote itData miningCreation of suitable contentPLEsPrivacyLoss of common experienceImpact upon behaviourImpact upon pedagogy

  • ReuseLearning objects creation, impact, success factors, experienceSoftware componentsLearning designsGranularity of reuseOpen content

  • Education business models Content as (free) commoditySupport modelsLicensing contentPartnershipsAccreditationUnbundling of university functions

  • E-learning pedagogy Effectiveness, student experienceInfluence of tools and technology Costs Learning design

  • Shifting boundariesClassroom and externalFormal and informalTools and contentBetween institutions

  • Affordances

    Do we instinctively communicate differently with different technologies?Can we capture all the affordances in a learning experience?Develop a suite of tools that have different affordances

  • Known unknowns

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