I believe that from my research, the use of VLE's has followed a path down from Further Education / Higher Education and is now increasingly used mainly within Secondary Schools whilst Primary Schools are also starting to take advantage of what a VLE has to offer?
Therefore I would appreciate it if as many people as possible would care to share any thoughts / contributions on the above issues. Primarily this research focus' on UK schools with an emphasis on Primaries, although Secondary input will also be welcome.
Possible areas to consider may be are there any problems with how schools currently use lesson materials / content. Is there anything wrong with teaching at present which you feel should be improved? Also reasons for using moodle and people have made use of it within their school environment would also be of utmost help?
Having just been awarded my MBA in Educational Management (with distinction), I've recently uploaded my dissertation on Moodle's effectiveness in primary education, which may be of interest, although this is a fast moving field.
Best wishes, and good luck,
The dissertation includes a case study of how we implemented it for maths teaching in Y5 and Y6 back at my old school over a one year pilot.
Learning platform is, I think, a term of art that Becta came up with to include a range of different ways of facilitating e-learning, including that of a VLE, which was the older term used extensively in the HE/FE sector.
The language is interesting -
platform: one dimensional space on which objects are delivered,
environment: three dimensional space in which interactions occur.
Also coincidentally through my University resources I had come accross the publication 'Primary Platform' but for some reason the University web link was unsuccessful, then by chance I was reading through your publications when out of the blue I recognised the title, cross checked the author and true to life it was you!
Even through all my current research there still seems to be a vagueness about what is needed from the platform and functionality on offer, even down to teachers only just getting to grips with what a platform actually is in addition to VLE etc.
Though the research is exhaustive there isn't anything which discuss' how schools function at present and how things stand right now; maybe looking at any present problems / issues, areas that need addressing in relation to teaching, learning and content etc. The only information available is essentially a need or want to continually integrate ICT within teaching and learning and provide better facilities all around, and also use ICT to help improve both teaching standards and the quality of content currently being produced? Would this seem correct?
You'll have already seen Becta's list of functional requirements for VLEs, yes? These are only requirements for those tendering for the framework agreements, but they give some feel for what Becta expect of the technology.
I think you're very perceptive as to the lack of evidence about the present requirements of schools - much of what's being done is technologically determined rather than designing functionality to meet the needs of schools/teachers/pupils (which is where Moodle has a big advantage, thanks to open source development). Part of the wider agenda is 'persnoalisation', which worries some of us who favour a more social approach to learning. Becta did commission a survey of the state of play last year, but have kept the report to themselves. Some of the findings did make it through into the 2006 Annual Report.
Indeed it does seem as though all these plans, thoughts, ideas have been made but with limited consultation with teachers and heads of schools etc. They just seem to be waiting for this list of vendors to be announced in Jan and then let the LEA's take it from there and go with the flow to to speak. I do think that the idea of personalised learning will also bring a social aspect as well .
Further to my initial questions and also your implementation of Moodle may I ask about the current situation as a whole within schools from a primary teachers perspective; this could relate to teaching standards, material / content issues, methods of teaching, catering for different ability students etc?
I'm also trying to get hold of teacher opinions about what they may want a VLE to do, what it could contain and its functionality etc.
May you be able to further assist with any of these areas?
There are a number of LA wide Moodle implementations, which might be a useful source of evidence for your study - Buckinghamshire (Ian Usher), West Sussex (Mark Granger), Cumbria and Lancashire, and a few in Wales - Cardiff, Swansea and Newport, I think.
As to "the current situation as a whole within schools from a primary teacher's perspective", you might like to set-up an online survey (perhaps in Moodle...) to explore this, as well as what teachers want from a VLE - this latter area would be a very useful bit of research!
The Becta comissioned study that I referred to above has in fact now been published - you can download a copy from http://partners.becta.org.uk/page_documents/research/educational_change_and_ict.pdf
As for the other suggestions, indeed I agree these are good ideas but at present I have from now until April to compete the 12,000 word dissertation plus an implementation side of the project. Therefore thus research time to use Moodle for both isn't fully on my side . Indeed research and getting in contact with teachers and other eeucational people has been very time consuming and still to no avail.
Going back to your Buckinghamshire and West Sussex LA implementations, are these just concerning Primary School development?
Fair point about time. There are other (fairly straightforward) survey tools out there - surveymonkey.com is probably the best known. Your university may be able to help.
Bucks and West Sussex both have primary and secondary schools involved. Also, one of the UK moodle.com partners, schoolanywhere, specialise in the primary sector: they might be able to help.
Would it be possible to ask you a few question about some issues that form part of my research which may relate to both yours and your teaching colleagues experiences and involement with primary teaching concerning the use of ICT? If this is acceptable I would be very grateful as your knowledge in this area may be very useful and helpful.
Would it be feasible for me to e-mail please?
Thank your for uploading your study. I have just formulated my topic for my Phd dissertation and wanted to know of any other studies with Moodle as VLE or LCMS. I am proposing a strategy for my region/ examining body with a gear towards Secondary education.
I am still trying to fine tune the title but so far i have
Moodle: An Asynchronous Open Source Learning Content Management Environment for independent learners within my region.
I have to decide on a methodology for gathering data. I will also make use of case studies.
Best regards for the future
is there a problem with this file? tried to download it but it said file damaged. If so could you please upload again - not heard much about moodle or VLE's in primary schools.
Hi Michael. I am the Moodle admin for my school in Kent. I also run my own Moodle site here. I am happy to answer a few questions about my own experiences with Moodle in a secondary school.
e-mail me directly (should be on my profile)