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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Which VLE? in Technical; Originally Posted by A_Teacher_Of_Computing Primary or Secondary 36? Secondary....
  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by A_Teacher_Of_Computing View Post
    Primary or Secondary 36?
    Secondary.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ictstbenedicts View Post
    Like you we are looking at changing our Moodle system, for similar reasons.

    Had Frog in yesterday to show us their system and everyone were very impressed. We have looked at a different Moodle solution alongside Frog, but in terms of usability and functionality there is no competition.

    As a non-teacher, I appreciate the problems teachers have getting to grips with Moodle. The interface is so unintuitive. It's a shame resource is not thrown at developing a decent graphical user interface for Moodle. It is so 1980's.

    People love drag and drop and a visual interface, they are not going to go backwards to learn how to use an interface which hinders their creativity. The VLE must work for them, otherwise they will not use it. Whilst it is okay for us who are technically skilled and flexible because we have to use different interfaces to manage our IT systems, we have to accept that teachers skills are generally elsewhere and therefore the tools we supply should accommodate their skill-set.

    The way I see it, Moodle only works where you have an organisational structured to permanently hand-hold staff in getting the most out of the VLE. To do this costs a lot of money, as at least one person has to be paid to do the job. Going out and getting an VLE which is user friendly as well as delivering what the teachers need be it at a cost is overall cheaper and more effective than the DIY approach. Basically, yo need to see and understand the bigger picture when choosing any IT system and a VLE is no different.

    I await "incoming fire" for daring to knock Moodle and for supporting teachers ICT needs!

    I have to say that VLE's are a weird thing, and very hard to integrate successfully into the teaching and learning at schools.

    From my experience VLE's tend to be.... how to put this..... clunky. Moodle has a nice interface for most things, it isn't as slick as it could be, but I can guarantee that the sales pitches you see from these 'glowing' VLEs really arent as instantly brilliant as they may seem. They all require a huge amount of work to get into a useable state and require staff cooperation and support to get off and become a part of the curriculum.

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    Your VLE manifesto reflects my vision exactly. I started a similar threat on 6 June "selecting the right VLE". I want a single sign on system with everything available seemlessly from one place. As you say teachers and students and parents don't want or need to know apps etc they are using or even if they are an app, they just need to access everything from one place. I have looked at the Core Education offering which seems to offer the type of interface and single sign on I am after. It is based on SharePoint, which I think is the way to go and offers the one place single sign on interface I want. I have also looked at Open Hive but am not so sure this will supply everything we want - the demo was good but I want to see it in use in a School. I am also hoping to do the same for the Core system. Happy to keep you informed on my findings.

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    Iím at a school in China. There is no VLE in place and I am looking to implement one over the next year. We have poor internet speed and it seems that someone somewhere can turn the tap whenever they want to slow down data flow. Therefore, I want to host a VLE in-house and not rely on the internet connection during the working day.

    We don't, however, have the human resources to manage Moodle - which I have used before and I think is far too clunky for most teachers anyway, and not suitable to cover Secondary down to Foundation. I have finally convinced the Board to invest in Frog - and then read this thread which has the first clearly negative comments by someone actually using it.

    Is Frog really as bad as mentioned? Do the problems realistically interfere at normal teacher level? Does Frog not provide sufficient support to maintain and upgrade on the server? Any other problems?

    Any insight into the reality of implementing Frog, getting users trained, dealing with the admin side of it would all be very useful.

    Does anyone have any other recommendations for VLEs that can be internally hosted but don't need significant in-house technical support?

    Many thanks. Feel free to pvt.

  5. #35
    zag
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    Yes Sharepoint...

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    Sharepoint doesn't even begin to cover the basics of a VLE, it's a glorified repository in most instances where people call it a VLE.

  7. #37
    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butters View Post
    Sharepoint doesn't even begin to cover the basics of a VLE, it's a glorified repository in most instances where people call it a VLE.
    I think I said this earlier but as far as teachers are concerned its a perfect "VLE", they love it.

    We run entire courses on it, its just learning how to use it in an educational environment.

    We also publish all our school data such as student reports, attendance and behaviour on a sharepoint site using Capita SLG.

    Basically its what you make of it, but nothing is technically holding it back from being a great VLE.

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    How exactly do you run entire courses on it? I'd love to see the content of these courses as a file dump is in no way a blended learning environment.

    The publishing of school data is more of a portal idea rather than what a VLE is specifically used for although the two intermingle in a lot of cases.

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    Maybe I am missing something, but what is a blended learning environment? We use moodle mainly as a file repository, which it is not great at, what else is there that it can do?

    Wiki = File on a repository which anyone can edit.
    Forum = File on a repository which anyone can append to.
    Course = Folder on a repository with correct permissions.
    Gradebook = Spreadsheet on a repository.
    Multimedia content = Video and MP3 files on a repository.
    Questionnaire = Access form on a file repository.

    I am beginning to wonder why I am considering paying so much for one.

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    That's because you are applying a techie outlook to a solution that should be rooted firmly in teaching and learning.

    Blended learning is the use of multiple environments for the benefit of learning. What ends in the classroom is then picked up in other areas such as the VLE.

    The list above is a very simplistic view of the features of Moodle. Would you rather have your version where a questionnaire is an access form everyone has to login to? Pretty sure the end user would prefer Moodle.

    You might just need to see some good examples of Moodle and it also depends on your sector as Schools find VLE's far harder to integrate and embed compared to FE/HE.

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    Am happy to see a good example, but even the best I have seen in our sector (Secondary) are under used in reality in schools.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skunk View Post
    Wiki = File on a repository which anyone can edit.
    Forum = File on a repository which anyone can append to.
    Course = Folder on a repository with correct permissions.
    Gradebook = Spreadsheet on a repository.
    Multimedia content = Video and MP3 files on a repository.
    Questionnaire = Access form on a file repository.
    Yep it is a little simplistic but our sharepoint does all that with ease with only the basic webparts.

    The surveys are particularly powerful.

    I think what I'm trying to say is that not once have I ever been asked by a teacher to provide anything extra.

    We had Moodle and Netmedia running for a while but no one used it as they preferred sharepoint due to its similarity to Microsoft office. Over time its grown into a full blown VLE.

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    Wiki = File on a repository which anyone can edit.
    Forum = File on a repository which anyone can append to.
    Course = Folder on a repository with correct permissions.
    Gradebook = Spreadsheet on a repository.
    Multimedia content = Video and MP3 files on a repository.
    Questionnaire = Access form on a file repository.
    Google apps does this also but you could 'blend' it with live@ed and have the best of both worlds.

    Googles questionnaire will also create a spreadsheet with charts from all the answers given. not sure about live@

  14. #44

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    Oh how I love seeing people say that Moodle / Sharepoint / Google Apps are or aren't VLEs / Learning Platforms / MLEs / or oether buzzwords / TLAs.

    The reason the Becta Steps to the adoption of a Learning Platform was structured it the way it was, was down to it covering so many different products. When it was originally written (by an LA and a Sharepoint provider) very little work was done to make it agnostic.

    For some people and some schools certain offerings / collections of tools work better. It is rare that something *will not work* and that is frequently down to the lack of flexibility / planning / leadership / goals on the part of the school. Most of the tools do pretty much the same job, are structured and strung together differently but still work.

    You can take some of Mary Cooch's Moodle books and, with a little thought, apply them to Frog or Sharepoint. FirstClass, as it was used by the OU, was a fantastic example of flexible tools rebuilt differently to suit different courses. Moodle and Sharepoint are no different.

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