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Lise Carlsen Aug 17, 20214 min read

University Digitalisation How can a VLE make a difference?

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In the world of higher education, digitalisation has never been more important than it is today. With the teaching environment now able to extend far beyond the four walls of a university campus, today’s students expect to be able to utilise a range of technology as part of their learning experience and have a much more flexible approach to their studies.

With this in mind, in our latest article we explore the key elements that CIOs and IT staff should consider as part of their university’s digital strategy – read on to find out more.

The key aspects of a digitalisation strategy

Universities look to digitalise for a number of reasons, and having an effective digitalisation strategy in place is key. When making decisions about implementing technology and introducing digital initiatives, there are some key things that should be considered to ensure that a university digitalisation strategy is as effective as possible.

These include:

  • Ensuring that the strategy correctly aligns with the university’s learning goals and objectives.
  • Making it clear that the technology will need to scale and grow as learning needs change in the future – it should be fully adaptable.
  • Ensuring that there is an effective implementation strategy in place and that both teachers and students feel fully supported every step of the way.
  • Ensuring that the edtech solution correctly integrates with any existing digital tools and programs that the university already has in place.
  • Recognising that the technology should facilitate both collaboration and communication between teachers and students, as well as students and the rest of their cohort, and ensuring that the selected edtech solution will allow this to happen in the most effective way.

By considering these elements, CIOs and IT staff will help to ensure that a digitalisation programme gets the desired results for the whole of the university community.

Why is a VLE key to make this strategy happen?

An important scenario in which any university looks to digitalise is when it comes to implementing technology on campus, such as a virtual learning environment (VLE). A VLE provides an online environment for teachers, students and administrators to connect and interact as part of the digital learning experience. Rather than just requiring teaching and learning to take place in a physical lecture theatre or seminar room, a VLE (also known as a Learning Management System or LMS) allows teaching staff to expand the learning environment so that students can study remotely in a user-friendly and streamlined way.

As its primary purpose, VLE software allows for teaching and digital learning to be improved across a university’s campus, ensuring that it is aligned with their learning goals and objectives. With this in mind, it is important for CIOs to establish the pedagogy that should be leading the implementation of the technology, in order to ensure that learning outcomes for students are as beneficial as possible.

What are the edtech expectations of teachers and students?

university students

For teachers, there are a number of expectations to consider. Firstly, a VLE provides an effective way to support teaching and learning by acting as a central hub for standards, courses, and assessments. Curriculum management is an essential service that is provided, allowing teaching plans and materials selected easily and student performance to be assessed in an effective way.

In addition, the chance to offer students a flexible, personalised elearning approach is also a key benefit of edtech such as a VLE. By offering them the chance to showcase their understanding/knowledge of a particular topic in a variety of ways, such as creating a slide presentation or video, teachers can allow them to achieve the best possible learning outcome.

Being able to improve efficiency is another key benefit of a VLE. Teachers’ time is stretched enough these days, and a VLE can allow them to more easily create, deliver and review assessments, meaning they have more time to spend with their students directly as a result.

From the perspective of students, it is important for a university to establish that their chosen VLE will be able to meet the ever-changing demands of the learning environment, and maximise the ability to improve their educational outcomes. This is best achieved by ensuring that collaboration can take place as easily as possible and that students are able to share ideas and documents both in and out of the seminar room. As a result, this will help to ensure that every student can fully succeed as they are equipped with the tools that they need to achieve their goals.

At itslearning we will assist your university with top-level digital strategy and detailed project plans as part of the implementation of our VLE. If you would like to realise your vision for education excellence at your university, get in touch with our team today.