So how are we using the VLE (LearnUCS) and how has this changed over the last 2 years? Time to collect the evidence …

It is that time again when I need to hide away and randomly select a statistically significant sample of VLE modules / courses to give me an insight to answer the following questions.

  1. How are we using LearnUCS (Blackboard) at UCS?
  2. What examples of good practice are there to share with staff and course teams?
  3. Has our pattern of use changed over the last two years?

The last time I ran this piece of work (2 years ago) it identified the following – although I did not a significant sample size.

“The sample included 91 Blackboard modules (8.4% of the population), which included modules with multiple units. Of the 91 courses, 84 are classified as Online Admin Support, and 7 as Online Learning (see Appendix 1 for definitions). There were no distance learning courses in the sample.

From this analysis it can be proposed Blackboard use in Teaching and Learning at UCS is as a repository for electronic information. The main focus of the teaching and learning takes place when they meet face to face. The online material is likely to include; administrative information (such as course announcements, contact information, and calendar dates), the course handbook, readings, teaching material (presentation), and submission of assignments (formative and summative)”

I’ve improved the methodology and the available resource for the project. Therefore, we’ll be able to sample the 300 odd courses we need to make it statistically significant.

The new data entry form is available from the link below and has been tweaked to our specific needs and should produce the evidence to address the questions 🙂

The data collection will be for the 2011/12 academic year, and the work should be undertaken during April / May 2013. It will triangulate with other data collection methods we use around evaluating the VLE and ensuring it is fit for purposes (meets our staff and student needs).


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