VLE Report 2015/VLE design

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This is part of the VLE Report 2015.

What we learned about VLE design[edit | edit source]

High level issues[edit | edit source]

  • Involved are content, design and technical support. A VLE project therefore probably requires teamwork.
  • The design required is twofold, namely graphical design and instructional design. The advantages of a VLE include a system that supports instructional design natively.
  • An aspect of the VLE from Moodle 2.6 onwards is the existence of a badging system, based on Mozilla Open Badges. A discussion with Doug Belshaw of Mozilla brought out the point that the analogue of instructional design, in other words setting up badges with a purpose linked to education, is the dominant issue. WMUK was awaiting the Mozilla badge editor (for graphical design) before getting involved. Wikimedia Sweden has set up a system for its Education Programme.
  • The content will be a wasting asset unless some maintenance is factored into the plan.

Desiderata[edit | edit source]

The desired outcome is, or should be, a VLE with:

  1. Outline corresponding to a definite audience (stated in a brief).
  2. Consistent design across the site.
  3. Granularity of pages set at mobile phone screen size.
  4. The most relevant study resources available as external links.
  5. Videos targetted on the most suitable topics for teaching by demonstration.
  6. Internal linking and navigation under close control.

Structure and syllabus[edit | edit source]

  • A conventional VLE is also a Course Management System. The division of material into course units assumes extended study, and is not designed for easy reference. Search and random access are not typical, and so navigation, including categorisation, is at a premium.
  • A VLE can default to the structure of a book with chapters. Thinking of it in terms of an outline rather assumes a linear ordering: but you can't assume these days that people study anything from soup to nuts.
  • Syllabus work for "Wikimedia knowledge" does assume an audience, and "Wikimedia syllabuses" differentiated by audience are not yet well understood. Talking about the "general reader" can default to teaching beginner wikitext as an end in itself. Actual motivation should provide structure.
  • Courses for Wikimedia knowledge were not common in 2012 when the VLE was proposed. Typical was the introduction in 2013 of Peter Forsyth's course. It was in effect a lecture course.

Quiz content[edit | edit source]

  • In online education asking a question is the major prompt to active rather than passive learning.
  • Questions need to be differentiated into at least the types: tests comprehension; tests intelligent search; tests reasoning with new concepts. Positioning questions within a lesson is a major facet of instructional design.
  • Quiz questions about Wikimedia matters are too rarely asked: they have great advantages over the frontloaded or "knowledge dump" way of imparting information.