Virtual space, real learning: an introduction to VLEs

Pettit, John and Mason, Robin (2002). Virtual space, real learning: an introduction to VLEs. In: Fry, Heather; Ketteridge, Steve and Marshall, Stephanie eds. A Handbook for teaching and learning in higher education: enhancing academic practice (2nd ed.). London, UK: Kogan Page, pp. 148–161.



Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is a world of learning populated by real people who think, read, type in their comments and questions in online discussions, laugh, feel pleased or disappointed, plan their study and occassionally fall out with each other. It is also a world that more and more learners and teachers are experiencing and not just distance education of the kind. As a result of this trend, many more teachers and learners face questions about how to orient themselves to VLEs. This chapter aims to provide just such an orientation for teachers new to VLEs, whether these are in-house environments, or commercial products such as WebCT and Blackboard

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