“Alternatives to the ‘monolithic’ VLE, including public domain and open source VLEs, are emerging strongly. Some, such as ‘blogs’ and ‘wikis’, are completely different avenues to electronic publishing and collaboration and can be relatively inexpensive. Although UK universities seem to be surprisingly reluctant to spend less rather than more money on technology solutions, one can envisage a point where universities can ‘afford’ to dramatically reduce the space and budget allocated to on-campus computer laboratories, for example.”....

The long-term intellectual and practical viability of designed and indexed ‘learning objects’ in higher education and within VLEs has yet to be proven, despite the massive effort and energy of some very high calibre academics and support staff. The culture of higher education remains amenable to assemblies of learning assets that are much more informal in nature and akin to ‘bricolage’.

Clive Holtham and Nigel Courtney quoted by Seb Schmoller in his recent mailing

Bricolage (noun) Something made or put together using whatever materials happen to be available.

L?©vi-Strauss The Savage Mind was the book that brought the French word bricolage into the English language. Several passages in the book explain the activities of a French village handyman.

Seb Schmoller is quoting 10 bullet points from a report by Professor Clive Holtham and Dr Nigel Courtney called Virtual Learning Environments: Practitioner Perspectives on Good Practice on this fortnight’s mailing page. The VLE has always been seen as a 100% solution by some managers (not all). Open Source VLEs such as Moodle allow smaller teams in institutions to ‘assemble’ technological support for students – along with blogs and wikis. I am myself using a blog page as a ‘jumping off’ page for students logging into a Moodle supported course.

The report is HE based – FE Colleges, in my opinion, can benefit from putting what resources they have into a small number of key systems and supporting those systems properly. We shall see how things pan out…

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