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Thursday, December 15, 2005

VLE - Survey in HE & FE in the UK

A longitudinal perspective between March 2001, March 2003 and March 2005 for higher education in the United Kingdom

This is the thrid in a series of surveys over the last 5 years looking at the uptake and use of Virtual Learning Environments in Higher and Further Education in the UK.

The conclusions included:
Uptake of VLEs has continued to increase, with HE colleges now on a par with pre- and post-92 institutions.

The number of VLEs in use at a given institution is beginning to decrease, but with pre-92 universities still displaying the greatest diversity.

Blackboard and WebCT continue to dominate. Other proprietary software is declining but there is an increase in in-house and open source approaches.

Post-92 universities demonstrate the biggest increases in use by both students and staff.

Access to course material continues to account for the greatest VLE usage, but particularly in post-92 universities, there is increasing usage that is not merely supplementary (i.e. optional for students). Usage is conspicuous across a very wide range of subjects.

Learning and teaching activities are consolidated as the primary drivers for considering using a VLE. Specialised support such as that required for distance learners and students with special needs are identified as significant factors but have as yet had little impact on the character of resource provision.

Availability of funding is now the primary stimulant to VLE development, and a small percentage of this is still as project funding, though assured institutional funding now dominates.

Perceptions regarding the use of career enhancement as a means of encouraging VLE usage are very low, but there is an increase in expectation that VLEs will be used by staff.

Standards are neither seen as supportive nor as barriers, indeed, they have negligible influence.

Most institutions are not yet using innovative technologies such as wireless and mobile phones, though post-92 universities are most active in this area.

The requirement to implement Personal Development Planning is beginning to have a small but noticeable impact on VLE usage. The development of e-portfolio capabilities is an emerging concern for HEIs.

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