Using VLE's for On-Line Learning in 1st Years' Undergraduate Mega-Modules

H.J. Temmink (UK)


Blackboard, ICT , Mega-modules, On Line Teaching, Undergraduate, VLE.


This paper is a case study in the use of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for an Undergraduate (UG) module called: "An Introduction to ICT" (4BIM400), a core module in the Westminster Business School (WBS) at the University of Westminster (UoW) in London, England. It is our contention, at WBS, that business managers of the future require, a degree of computer literacy. Most degree courses at the WBS require students to take 4BIM400 in their first year of undergraduate studies. Students entering WBS, number about 1,500 per year. 4BIM400 has about 530 students per semester and is known as a Mega-module. Research, by means of student surveys, has shown us that students arrive with a variety of computer skills, ranging from "virtually none" to "reasonable literacy" in ICT for new entrants. This variety of skills and the huge numbers of students caused us to consider and investigate alternative means of teaching elementary ICT skills to our students. This study shows that the concept of On-Line learning, through the use of a VLE, for our students can work very satisfactorily, but requires close monitoring. Student satisfaction varied, but on the whole, students appreciated the ability to study at their own pace and in their own time.

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