Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thoughts on the broad VLE, from VTE to open groupspace

Conference lunches are a great place to develop ideas. Here at Online Educa Berlin I had a lunch with Robert Jan Simons and Wilfred Rubens and we discussed the demands on a VLE at Utrecht University. My position is that we need a broad solution, as offered at Wageningen University. On the one end a classic VLE for teacher use (I suppose you could even describe it as a Virtual Teaching Environment, a VTE) which offers teachers the control they need to offer instruction. On the other end we need an open groupware environment which will offer students the room to learn, accumulate and share knowledge. Which of these extremes you wish to use depends on the pedaogical model in use in the course. In fact I know courses in which both models are used in the same course but at different points in time. Through api's (webparts building blocks, etc) the classic VTE/VLE and the groupware environment can be connected. Additional external web2.0 tools could also be integrated in this groupware environment which offer connections to the outside world. This is essential in creating an open environment for knowledge sharing.

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