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VLE Awards 2016

A summary of student comments about what they value in a VLE, featuring examples from 2016's shortlisted courses
by

Anna Ruff

on 9 May 2016

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Transcript of VLE Awards 2016

NPCG1015 Foundations of Health Sciences
HIST2096 Evolution of US counterterrorism
Essential and optional activities identified
Context and questions to consider each week
ECON1002 Principles of Macroeconomics
Study time given for each resource
Students value a VLE where they can:
"The lecturer's expectations for what we needed to do each week were very clear"
"From the beginning of the module I was able to understand the final assignment and start working on it."
"All material was posted in advance…it was possible to do background reading before the lectures which helped with understanding"
"Course content is provided in advance which enables the student to read through or watch videos in time before the lectures"
"It added an extra layer of interaction. In other modules, we were discussing only in class, but this module created a week-long discourse with one another, which was brilliant."
"[The discussion board] has been really well used to promote discussion in a more academic and considered way throughout the duration of the course."
"The use of media kept the course stimulating and provided alternative ways of learning."
"There are lots of links to external podcasts, websites and videos that really help when looking at the context of this course"
"Weekly blackboard exercises/quizzes…helped us to gain a better understanding of the content on the module whilst consolidating knowledge as we went along each week"
"Online quizzes…gave me a good understanding on what I needed to work on"
"Recorded lectures make it easy to go back over something you may need to revise twice."
"Videos of worked solutions…were fantastic to learn from if I didn't understand a topic very well yet, but also acted as good practice for those I did and helped identify where I was going wrong in questions to help me produce the best answers."
"There are links to past papers so we can start revising whenever we feel like it"
"Course journals enabled me to have a feeling of better support"
Look forward
Advance availability of materials was frequently mentioned as the reason students felt a module stood out from the others, citing courses where:
Learning objectives are clearly outlined at the start of the module
Details of the module assessment are available from the beginning
Lecture slides or outline notes are made available in advance
Short video clips or eLearning activities are used to prepare for taught sessions
Look beyond
Using the VLE to “actively enhance learning” rather than just as a repository for lecture materials was often mentioned, with courses highlighted that:
Encourage interaction and discussion of ideas through blogs or forums
Feature links to additional reading, or video clips, to extend learning
Apply learning to real-world issues, for instance using Twitter to link to key updates in the field
Look back
Students value opportunities to practise and revise learning, with many nominated courses offering:
Quizzes to help students assess their learning and identify areas to work on
Past papers and worked examples
Lecture recordings to allow students to revise content
Opportunities for reflection such as course journals
Opportunities to give and receive feedback
The aspect students mention most is simply knowing they can easily find the information and resources they need via the VLE, valuing a clearly structured site in which everything needed is included or linked.
"The content and logical signposting for resources are far superior to the other blackboard sites I have seen.."
"It has much more detail and supportive materials. I'm absolutely clear about what's expected of me and how I approach the work."
Guidance on how to use the VLE resources helps students get the most out of the course
"Handouts were perfect: not too detailed but providing an excellent framework from which to navigate through the material"
"The Twitter for the module made it easy to stay up to date with topical and relevant news that related to the course"
"Clear understanding that the online learning space was important to us as students and could aid understanding. It was treated as more than just a “dumping ground” for lecture slides."
Links to preparatory reading are given ahead of the module
"This module has been made totally accessible by the information presented on the vle giving me great flexibility over when I study. It has provided online links to all sources and support and guidance for further research as well as context for each piece."
HIST2086 Building London
MANG1016 Placement Preparation
SOES1009 The Living Earth
MEDI6119 Introduction to Human Genetics and Genomics
LAWS3059 Employment Law
MANG1020: Ideas that Shaped the Business World 1
SOES2017 Ecological Processes in the Marine Benthos
GERM3016 Language and the City
ARTD1099 Introduction to English Language 1B
MEDI2046 Nervous and Locomotor 2
LAWS3064 Intellectual Property Law
MEDI2046 Nervous and Locomotor 2
LING6019 eLearning for English Language Teaching
ENGL2063 Problems in Shakespeare
MEDI3022 Child Health 3
MATH1052 Differential equations
MSc Allergy
BIOL1020 Core Skills in the Life Sciences
ENGL2080 Queens, Devils and Players in Modern England
NPCG1014 Foundations of Nursing Practice
"The Facebook group allowed easy asking of questions and sharing of information"
Find their way around
VLE Awards 2016
Independent Learning - Soton Smart Skills
Full transcript