Potential VLE research

As part of my new job, I’m responsible for the VLE (Virtual Learning Environments) within the college. Most of my duties are administrative, keeping pages up to date and so on. But I also feel like the job is a great opportunity to put some of the MA topics we’ve been doing into practice, specifically reearch into how the use of VLEs could be improved.

Source: http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/InfoKits/effective-use-of-VLEs/intro-to-VLEs/introtovle-intro/introtovle-tools – click this link if you want to know what a VLE is

Many of the students don’t use the VLE much. Tutors mostly use it to post course materials (powerpoints from classes, handbooks etc). I was thinking about researching how to make the VLE better. Key questions to start from could be something like “What do you like about the VLE?” / “How do you think it could be improved?”

Not many people read this blog (my stats say about ten to fifteen people a day), but I thought I’d ask those of you who do if you have any ideas for topics you would like such a piece of research to investigate. Also, would you find it more useful to get quantitative results (“30% of students said XYZ”) or qualitative results (taking a smaller sample size and interviewing them with open questions)?

Comments appreciated.

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3 thoughts on “Potential VLE research

  1. key questions for me:
    – what do you think a VLE is?
    – what is the/are the purpose(s) of a VLE?
    – how could a VLE be used in relation to ‘real’ classroom life?
    – what kinds of things do you think VLEs are helpful for?
    – what kinds of things do you think VLEs are not helpful for?
    Comparing the opinions of VLE advocates, implementers, teachers and students would be interesting…

  2. Try and use a mix of quantative and qualitative. I find that often I need to spell things out for people as they don’t understand the questions I am asking. But you also need to give them space to free write….what would help you, is there anything else you would like to say, etc.
    Would be interesting to find out if there is any data previous.

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