ERIC Number: ED443394
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
A Framework for Pedagogical Evaluation of Virtual Learning Environments.
Britain, Sandy; Liber, Oleg
Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) are learning management software systems that synthesize the functionality of computer-mediated communications software and online methods of delivering course materials. This report focuses on how to evaluate the properties, capabilities and orientation of different systems from an educational perspective, and how to determine whether the new technology can be embedded into the teaching and learning context of an institution. Two different models are explored--one from education, the other from systems modeling--as a basis for constructing a pedagogical evaluation methodology for VLEs. The report concludes that among factors slowing the integration of VLEs in higher education institutions is the lack of a coherent framework within which to evaluate both the pedagogical benefits and the organizational changes required to effectively implement it. Another factor includes the extent to which VLEs can currently interact with other existing systems. VLEs are inevitably designed with a pedagogical model in mind that is not usually made explicit. The evaluative strategies in this report are intended to reveal these implicit characteristics, to help educators choose a software system that reflects the way they wish to teach. An appendix provides a summary of the features of several current systems. The Virtual Learning Environments Questionnaire is also provided. (AEF)
Descriptors: Computer Mediated Communication, Computer Software Evaluation, Computer Software Selection, Computer Uses in Education, Courseware, Educational Environment, Educational Technology, Evaluation Criteria, Evaluation Methods, Higher Education, Instructional Effectiveness, Online Systems, Technology Integration
For full text: http://www.jtap.ac.uk/reports/htm/jtap-041.html.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: This report was produced as part of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) Technology Applications Programme, which is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Further Education Funding Council, the Scottish Further Education Funding Council, the Welsh Funding Councils, and the Department of Higher and Further Education, Training, and Employment.