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Ouch: Virtual Learning Environments are Expensive and Ineffective

Wow. According to the BBC, Ofsted have produced a hard-hitting assessment on the costs (high) and benefits (err, very few apparently) of the VLEs that we are all supposed to be purchasing.

Some of the quotes:

  • The use of online materials to help students with their lessons has been "slow to take off".

  • In many schools and colleges VLEs are still on a "cottage industry" scale.

  • The benefits to learners are so far "not yet obvious".

  • "Despite expectations", dating back some 3 or 4 years, the arrival of these online support services for learners are "still in the early stages of development".

Here at Radley, we bypassed a formal VLE and went for a simple school-wide wiki - using CourseForum software. Much simpler. Surprisingly powerful. And it works.

BBC Education

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