We’ve written a lot on this blog about the benefits of using a VLE from the learner’s point of view, but another crucial aspect of implementing a learning platform is the positive effect it can have on teachers’ day to day lives.
In this post we’ve looked at five main areas in which your VLE can really benefit your teaching staff and help them deliver high quality and effective teaching.
Administration and organisation
Integrating your VLE and MIS systems can deliver significant savings in time spent on administration. The management and updating of user groups can be automated, grades are saved and retrieved directly from the VLE and registration and behavioural data can be entered directly and then accessed via reports.
MIS integration also allows staff to update data directly from the VLE, via a smartphone or tablet. This can then be made available to colleagues or parents as appropriate, often in real time.
Planning and resource management
Whilst the majority of students will have Internet access outside of the classroom, the vastness of the web can be a mixed blessing. There’s still an important role for teachers to play as curators of content and resources, providing some direction without being completely prescriptive.
The VLE provides an ideal repository for the cataloguing and sharing of resources and links in a variety of media, giving students a nudge in the right direction while still providing plenty of room for genuine research.
From a planning point of view, creating and storing lesson plans centrally within the VLE isn’t just a great organisational tool, it allows for collaboration and sharing of ideas between colleagues, and reduces duplication of work between teachers.
For each new intake, or following changes to the curriculum, it’s easy to quickly adapt and update lesson plans and collections of resources without starting from scratch each time.
Assessment and monitoring of students
Assessment and grading can be simplified within the VLE by using self marking activities which import students’ marks directly into the gradebook.
Combined with manually entered grades from more complex assignments or offline with, the gradebook becomes an easily accessible and centralised database of students’ attainment and progress.
The sophisticated reporting tools available make it easier for teachers to monitor trends across a cohort of students, spotting anomalies and dealing with potential problems before they develop further.
Parents can also be granted access to view their child’s grades, keeping them informed in real time rather than solely through end of term reports. This allows staff and parents to have a better informed conversation during face to face meetings such as parents’ evenings.
Your VLE is a powerful tool for creating differentiated learning paths, allowing truly personalised learning.
Well designed courses can be set up with conditional activities, which present different options to the student, depending on their achievement in previous tasks.
For example, having taken an online quiz, students with a low score could be directed to revision materials with the opportunity to retake the quiz later, those with median scores could be moved to the next unit, whilst those with exceptional scores are presented with extra reading on the topic or a more demanding set of questions.
Discussion, support and mentoring
For time-pressured teachers, the VLE opens up a range of channels for effective and efficient communication with your students.
On a one-to-many basis, it’s easy to send out group messages, announcements and instructions in a few clicks. To connect with individual students, web chat, forums and direct messaging can each be used to personalise your advice and guidance.
Unlike with verbal feedback, you can choose to save and make selected communications public, for example, collecting together popular queries into an FAQ, which can save time for you and your students in future.
We’re always interested to hear about the innovative ways in which teachers are making use of e-learning tools such as VLEs. If you’ve got a particular feature you think we’ve missed, or you want to learn a bit more about the different benefits discussed above, feel free to get in touch!
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