Engaging professional learners using the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE): a case study from social care

Davies, Christine and Harris, Lowri (2016) Engaging professional learners using the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE): a case study from social care. Wales Journal of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, 1 (1). pp. 60-65. ISSN 2396-7285

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Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) constitute an important resource for learners in Higher Education (HE), but data on the engagement of learners with VLEs is limited, particularly in the case of part-time, distance learners, and student engagement with VLEs may be lower than anticipated by institutions (Hopkins, 2011). This paper described a case study of a large group of WIWBL part-time, distance learners studying aspects of social care. A quantitative approach is taken to assess engagement with the Moodle VLE based on ‘page views’. 72% of enrolled students viewed one or more of the resources within the VLE ‘course’, and all resources present were viewed. The highest number of page-views was observed for resources such as ‘essential documents’ which are required for mandatory assessment tasks, whilst the lowest number of page-views appeared to be associated with information that students had received via other routes. Patterns of usage associated with demographic and achievement data are discussed. The paper considers reasons for the trends in engagement which may include the relatively high level of tutor contact and workplace support on this module. However, many part-time, distance learners do not have support of this type, and may display study behaviour which is even more strategic in terms of study approaches. The needs of such learners in relation to the effective use of VLEs and other appropriate technology is discussed, and recommendations are made for further study.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social care, Professional learners, Virtual learning environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Institute of Management and Health > Wales Academy for Professional Practice and Applied Research
Depositing User: Christine Davies
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2020 08:20
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2023 14:17
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1309

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