Out of class—out of mind? The use of a virtual learning environment to encourage student engagement in out of class activities

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    With increasing student numbers and a diverse student body, it is crucial to consider a range of methods to engage students in learning and teaching activities. This project was used to encourage 1st‐year undergraduate students to engage in out of class activities between taught sessions. The project used a virtual learning environment (VLE) known as Wolverhampton Online Learning Framework (WOLF) to encourage collaborative working within learning sets. The central aim was to investigate the potential to improve communication and mutual support between students and also to encourage students to make links between taught sessions. They were given weekly tasks that needed to be completed within their learning sets and they then posted the work in folders within WOLF by a set time. This allowed for timely feedback from the tutor and it facilitated sharing of resources across the sets. The final element involved students using their new knowledge to peer‐teach the whole group in short presentations at the beginning of the next taught session. Feedback was collected in three ways, including focus groups, module feedback forms and a short questionnaire about the use of the VLE. Overall, the students' feedback was positive and they commented on gaining a number of skills including, using technology, group working and presentations. In addition to this, the overall pass rate for the module was higher and the average student grade had also increased.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)70
    Number of pages77
    JournalBritish Journal of Educational Technology
    Volume40
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2008

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