This is a list of guiding principles for the use and development of the VLE.
These principles need to highlight particular fundamentals about the use of the VLE and protect it from a diversification and proliferation of roles. It also needs to highlight its distinctiveness within the institution to prevent duplication by other services. Therefore, it is defined by what it is not, as much as by what it is.
Certain developments have occurred in the past which did not follow this proposed central function, such as utlisation of the space as a deployment platform for the results notification day. The line is subtle in its distinction. For instance, programme sites became a space to display BoS minutes to students, which detail the outcomes of module evaluation. This is clearly a more managerial function, updating students on the on-going improvements to the programme. However, the VLE is also the place where students fill out their module evaluation surveys and where staff also access the results of these surveys. The distinction between them is a principle of being within the process of delivering and ‘taking’ that course, rather than at the end point of discussing the conclusions of it. Therefore, the first principle is formed around the idea of being within the moment of delivery.
Principle 1: Encompasses the preparation and delivery for the learning experience.
The VLE is a virtual space that encompasses the construct of educational materials and activities, and the process of learning from those up to the point of student module feedback.
This defines both the purpose of engagement, that of learning, and the start and end point of that process.
- The VLE does not extend beyond the point of the assessment of the learning experience and the learner’s assessment of the curriculum. This excludes processes of formally recording their record of achievement, as this is seen as being outside the process of learning. It also excludes the storage of data which does not pertain to the delivery of and engagement with the curriculum.
- This principle acknowledges that both staff and students may use the space to reflect on the learning experience through module evaluation and data on learning but the formal process of Boards of Study take place external to this system.
Principle 2: Pedagogic space for the learning experience
As custodians the TLA determine the organisation and delivery of LJMU programmes of study within the VLE, facilitating the access and connection between staff and students, and their curriculum.
To control the extent of the variety of purposes VLE learning spaces may be used and the reasons for developing additional spaces within the institution.
- The VLE is to aid teaching. This system is to support the construction, presentation and delivery of an educational curriculum. Content and activities which are not directly related to the support of emergent learning by students will need to be considered by the custodians of the VLE prior to any implementation
- Ad hoc spaces may also be constructed in order to enhance or augment the delivery of the learning experience. Without this principle, exclusions, favouritism, and inconsistency would rapidly undermine the management of information.
- The VLE does not extend beyond the point of teaching and learning and should not be used for non teaching related departmental or administrative purposes. This is to ensure that the core opertation of the VLE remains fully supported and resourced.
Principle 3: Access to spaces
LJMU staff and students will be able to access the VLE and be provided with appropriate permissions to either construct or facilitate the learning experience, or undertake programmes.
To control the access of the VLE to outside parties who are not formally members of LJMU or designated partner colleges.
- The VLE should allow designated LJMU staff to create online spaces to deliver learning to LJMU staff and/or students.
- Any LJMU staff member or designated student should be given the access rights to facilitate a learning programme if required.
- Designated partner colleges will be able to use the VLE functionality, but may not have licence to use other connected services because of particular licence agreements with those third parties.
Principle 4: Content to support the learning experience
The VLE is for the display of content which supports the student learning experience.
This principle is to prevent the VLE from being seen a communication tool for any information which the institution wishes to disseminate that falls outside of the direct needs of learners undertaking their programme of study.
- The staff or students who are facilitating the learning within the VLE are the custodians of the content with which they promote learning with their students. Extraneous information which is not directly related to this programme of study should use alternative routes to communicate with the student body.