Virtual Learning Environment – Instructional Platform

During the last decade, things have dramatically changed in the field of learning and teaching. New technology driven technologies such as cell phones, personal digital assistants, interactive whiteboards, classroom response/voting systems, rapid e-learning authoring tools, and more, have shifted the traditional, class-based, face-to-face environment of teaching to blended e-learning environments. Currently, there are people who have grown up with these technologies and those who have not, but yet are forced to adopt them during their learning cycle. Nowadays, technology is in need to close the gap between these two parties.

A Virtual Learning Environment is a software system that works over the internet, and is designed to supplement teaching and learning through a collection of tools such as communication, lecture notes uploading, student work submissions, assessments, grade organisation etc. It can also be described as a Content Management System with an educational and pedagogical wrapper.

We deliver our courses through Moodle, a Learning Management System (also known as Course Management System, Virtual Learning Environment, and Learning Content Management System). As a learning context, Moodle instantiates social constructivist theories; learners can actively interact with content, and with others throughout the learning process, in order to understand and apply knowledge in the designed situation.

Our designs support agency for participants, positioning them both as teachers and as learners. Moodle supports this type of instruction, as learners can connect with each other, addressing their personal needs. At the same time, the instructor takes up the role of the facilitator, rather than of the authenticity. Overall, the pedagogical value of the platform is fortuitous for effectiveness in learning, when combined with constructivist instructional design approaches.