Dr Christopher Jobling

Senior Lecturer



In this 5 minute video I demonstrate using three features of my institution’s VLE to support a practical in micro-controller code development for a group design exercise. The VLE is Blackboard Learn which we brand as MyStudies.

In the learning activity, which is an introduction to software version control, I use a feature called “adaptive release” with a structured learning activity called a “learning module” with a formative quiz and content review.

The exercise itself has been adapted from Version Control With Git which is part of an open educational resource called Software Carpentry which is open source and released under a Creative Commons Attribution License. This license allows end-users to do anything with the resource so long as attribution to the original source is given.

November 17th, 2015

Posted In: #FLble1, oer, VLE

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Hard working students studying at the Alexandria Learning Centre. Photo by Derbashi Ray (Flickr) as used by JISC.

Hard working students studying in a Learning Centre.

Activity 3.2 of #FLble1 is based around the use of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) to promote active learning. Before I embark on the accompanying exercise (my institution’s VLE), As a summary of the video, I thought I’d pick out the advice that most resonated with me:

  • “Making your course easy to navigate by organising content by week, topic, or activity can impact the learner’s experience massively.”
  • “All modules [should be] configured and organised […] according to the curriculum design and learning outcomes.”
  • “Breaking down content and avoiding excessively long pages will keep learners engaged and enthusiastic.”
  • “All material on the VLE […] is available […] 24 hours a day.”
  • “make sure that you provide materials in accessible formats and use common file types so that learners can open them and manipulate them in their own tools.”
  • “The VLE [should] not [be] a passive learning experience. Interactive activities and learner-generated content is a huge part of it.”
  • Collaborative document creation “is real world, authentic and efficient for markers.”
  • “Practice quizzes such as multiple choice questions can offer instant feedback and scoring.”
  • “Discussion forums can work well but need to be carefully planned, well promoted, and managed.”
  • “encourage learners to use a discussion forum for FAQs or course queries instead of emailing the tutor.”
  • “A very valuable aspect of VLEs is their ability to provide detailed data about learners’ engagement with materials and activities.” which can “help you support students who are struggling and flag up issues earlier.”

All quotations taken from the video transcript, emphasis mine.

Photo Credit: Alexandea Learning Centre, by Derbashi Ray, as uploaded to Flickr under a CC-A-SA licence, reused by JSIC for R&D project Learning Environments, found via Google.

November 17th, 2015

Posted In: #FLble1, VLE

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