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The VLE is dead

August 27th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

More Alt-C conference fun. The incomparable James Clay has organised a deabte at the Alt-C confernce entitled the VLE is dead! And I am speaking at it! Guess my view (in fact i seem to recall speaking on the same subject six years ago at a meeting in Denmark where my opponent was the CEO of a company producing a then little known VLE called Fronter!).

Here is the line up (as told by James):

“Josie introduces the session and the ways in which the audience can contribute. I would like to take a poll at this stage too and some initial comments from the audience.

The first panel member, Steve Wheeler, will argue that many VLEs are not fit for purpose, and masquerade as solutions for the management of online learning. Some are little more than glorified
e-mail systems. They will argue that VLEs provide a negative experience for learners.

The second member of the panel, Graham Attwell, believes that the VLE is dead and that the Personal Learning Environment (PLE) is the solution to the needs of diverse learners. PLEs provide
opportunities for learners, offering users the ability to develop their own spaces in which to reflect on their learning.

The third panel member, James Clay, however, believes that the VLE is not yet dead as a concept, but can be the starting point of a journey for many learners. Creating an online environment involving multiple tools that provides for an enhanced experience for learners can involve a VLE as a hub or centre.

The fourth panel member, Nick Sharratt, argues for the concept of the institutional VLE as essentially sound. VLEs provide a stable, reliable, self-contained and safe environment in which all teaching and learning activities can be conducted. It provides the best environment for the variety of learners within institutions.

This then leaves forty minutes for discussion and online interaction.

Each member of the panel offers a final thought and we have a final vote.”

Th session takes place from 1340 – 1500 UK summer time on Tuesday 8 September. I bet you are all wishing you take part but cursing the Alt C fees. but you can, and for free. The whole event will be streamed live and you can take part through Twitter. As soon as I have details I will post them on this site But put it in your diary now.

And remember : the VLE is dead! Vote early and vote often.

3 Responses to “The VLE is dead”

  1. Bojan (Boyan) Milosavljevic says:

    I can not agree with the statement that VLE is dead, as long as we need formal learning to obtain social status. But I strongly support Mr Clay’s opinion for VLE to be “the good starting point involving multiple tools that provide for an enhanced experience for learners”, as well as for all types of centralization and formal assessment needed. So I would rather say that we need some sort of VLE 2.0 tool that would do all the centralization things and has each and every PLE integration tools possible. I expect such a benefit will have been provided by the new major version of VLE Moodle (version 2.0)…


  1. […] Pontydysgu – Bridge to Learning » Blog Archive » The VLE is dead – view page – cached Website of Pontydysgu ltd., a Welsh educational research institute. — From the page […]

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    A National Survey fin Wales in 2017-18 showed that 15% of adults (aged 16 and over) in Wales do not regularly use the internet. However, this figure is much higher (26%) amongst people with a limiting long-standing illness, disability or infirmity.

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