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VLE? What do you exactly mean by a VLE?

April 14th, 2008 by Cristina Costa

Have you ever been asked the odd question about “your VLE”: What VLE you use, or what VLE your institution has. Odder than that might be my expression of amazement every time someone asks me that.

Don’t take me wrong, but I have a feeling what people imply with VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) is what I understand as being a piece of software/application, a platform as we call it back home, or merely a CMS, as the techies have named it.
That is what Blackboard is; that is what I call Moodle too, and obviously I wouldn’t define DOKEOS in any other way.

But the software, no matter which one you choose to use is never the environment you might be able to create, develop and maintain. It doesn’t come in the package!
It is almost like buying a house. Just because you bought four walls and a roof, it doesn’t mean they are automatically converted into a home. It’s just a house! That is what you get when you sign the contract and pay that big bill. How you develop it into a home is up to you and to those who share that space with you.
A home is more than a building. It is the result of an ongoing effort which one puts in to construct a comfortable zone with the right atmosphere. A home, just like a learning environment, conveys a deeper meaning than that of a house. Those walls, which are mechanically put together, can simply provide you with a physical shelter, but will never be able to replace the human and the personal touch. Attached to the meaning of ‘home’ is a feeling of warmth and cosiness, a roll of interactions and shared memories which are constructed overtime. It’s those shared moments, and, of course, the people involved in it, that help transform a house into a home.

The same happens to a CMS or any other application which might be adopted to “host education”. The learning environment doesn’t come with the software, that much I can assure you. The learning environment is the world the moderator creates together with the learners, while engaging (with) them in a relevant way. The environment is thus affected by the human activity, and depends on the way educators connect to learners and learners feel touched by their guides and peers as part of multiple interactions and ways of Communicating, Collaborating and Caring (as Prof. Carneiro stated in an OEB 2007 interview)
It is how one sets the atmosphere and maintains it that makes a CMS into a effective VLE. In the end, it is how we – educators – make the difference and enable the learning relationship to work. Like in any other relationship, it is hard work, but it can be a lot of FUN too.

7 Responses to “VLE? What do you exactly mean by a VLE?”

  1. Rebecca says:

    A house is not a home… a vle is not a learning environment.
    Yes. Yes. Yes.
    This is so true.

  2. new software says:

    thanks nice text.

Tweetbacks/Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Costa has a guest posting on Graham Atwell’s blog: VLE? What do you exactly mean by a VLE? She says: The learning environment doesn’t come with the software, that much I can assure you. […]

  2. […] this interesting post on how the VLE is more about what we do online than the software it uses. addthis_url = […]

  3. […] Costa napisała niedawno na blogu Grahama Attwella ciekawy post na temat tego, dlaczego uważa, że platformy e-learningowe takie jak Blackboard czy Moodle nie […]

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