Tag: moodle

A VLE as an information repository? Surely not!

I recently discovered a simple article titled “7 ways to improve uptake of your VLE“. The article points to seven simple ways to enhance a VLE to be more appealing to students and staff. Pleasingly most of suggestions are actions I have done, or I am doing in my role but a few stand out as being slightly irrelevant. I really passionate about “Bite Sized Learning” and it’s relevance to modern learning, but as part of a VLE?

A VLE is a great way for staff or students to look up facts and check information which is readily available through an easy-to-use and effective search engine. This is called “Just in Time” learning. Encouraging students to seek out information themselves is a great way to encourage independent learning. (schoolanywhere.co.uk)

A VLE is for me not a place for storing vast amounts of information. Obviously it should contain course materials (assignments/project briefs), but not rafts of reading material and answers… the big wide world (www) is out there for that! If I need to know something, what do I do? I google it. Typically I read the first few lines of a wikipedia article or glimpse a youtube video and that’s it. If I need to know more I look further and if I really need deep understanding, I read a book (or even a ebook). The same goes for  our students., and they know where to look.

Google has even taken this further due to demand from searches to allow the search engine to provide the answer without even having to visit a linked website. The “answers” system is a new google feature which is continuing to develop. The screenshots below show a few of the searches and the resulting feedback.

With answers so readily available where does this leave “proper” research? Firstly what is “proper” research? I recently asked a librarian, who defined it as “academically certified, and not user generated”. In this modern world with answers so readily available it is not surprising the world of books seems increasingly insignificant. It seems even more strange to think about making a VLE a place to “look up facts and check information”. Surely it’s better to encourage students to smartly use the wider internet. The information on VLEs will age quickly and from experience most teachers don’t have the time to update it. VLE’s are great, if used correctly.. but as an information repository? No thanks.

  • Author:Tom Andrew
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E-learning tool Review- Blubbr.tv

Blubbr – Triv – User View
Blubbr – Triv – Editor
Update: 2017 – This post is for archived use. The website and tool mentioned below no longer exists and thus can no longer be recommended. 

In this post I would like to share a tool I have recently discovered following a recommendation from my Jisc Regional support contact. Blubbr.tv is a tool designed to blend Youtube videos and a Quiz activity. The site uses a web based interface to allow any user to create quizzes by collecting together Youtube videos in what they call a “Triv”. The videos will automatically play when viewing a Triv and at set points will pause to ask the viewer a multiple choice question. The question is set by the creator along with the possible answers. Users have twenty seconds to make their choice, and points awarded if they answer correctly. The “Triv” awards more points the faster a viewer answers correctly. In each Triv a running leaderboard is kept and users are encouraged to share their score via social media.

I really like this activity format as it is very interactive and fun. In terms of accessibility (in reference to Salmon’s Five Stage Model) it is intuitive to user and takes cues from television quiz shows (like Who wants to be a millionaire) and quizzing apps. From an educational standpoint a good tool doesn’t make good learning, and that is very true here. Most of the Trivs already created are for fun, with titles like “Goal or no Goal”, “Which Radiohead song?” and “Disney Trivia”. However when used as a recap tool it can be effective. In my demonstration (above) I have attempted this, so encourage the viewer to pay attention to key details of the recipe. I can also see this resource being used by learners to create quizzes about a topic being studied. By designing a quiz the learners will have to ensure their questions are correct and source appropriate videos. This is essentially research knowledge and comprehension packaged together in a product (application).


  • Author:Tom Andrew
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