What is a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)?
A Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is a system that allows both teachers and students to access, produce, and exchange educational content. VLEs give participants tools for communication, assessment, collaboration, and progress tracking.
Virtual Learning Environment in education
A Virtual Learning Environment can be applied to various educational objectives. They can be used to manage and plan lessons, to explain projects or exercises, to access online educational content (such as videos, questionnaires, and articles), to submit classwork and quizzes, to grade students and assess their development, to facilitate debates, and more. In summary, the goal of a VLE is to make the administration of education as smooth as possible, so students can focus on their studies.
These are the main advantages of a Virtual Learning Environment:
- Accessibility: By allowing all users to design and upload content and communicate freely, class material becomes more generally accessible.
- User friendliness: VLEs are designed to bring efficiency to online learning, making content easier to absorb.
- Engagement: With communication, assessments, and collaboration assisted by digital technology, students can immerse themselves deeper in the class.
At the same time, Virtual Learning Environments also have their limitations. First, the implementation of a VLE requires resources that many educational organizations will not be able to invest. Second, eLearning tools like VLEs are part of a relatively new field, so the resources and studies which concern them are somewhat scarce. Lastly, the quality of communication between class participants can decrease as the elements of face to face communication are lost.