the vle as a transformational technology
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The VLE as a Transformational Technology. David Ball. Summary. Student use of electronic resources The e-book explosion Virtual learning environments (VLEs): challenges and opportunities. The Digital Natives. The average 21-year-old has: Spent 5,000 hours video-gaming

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  • Student use of electronic resources
  • The e-book explosion
  • Virtual learning environments (VLEs): challenges and opportunities
the digital natives
The Digital Natives

The average 21-year-old has:

  • Spent 5,000 hours video-gaming
  • Sent 250,000 emails/messages
  • Spent 10,000 hours on a mobile ‘phone
  • Spent 3,000 hours online

“ Their preference is for sharing, staying connected, instantaneity, multi-tasking, assembling random information into patterns, and using technology in new ways.” - Marc Prensky

the digital immigrants
The Digital Immigrants

Are less likely to have:

  • An iPod or equivalent
  • Posted material on the web
  • Created a blog or profile on MySpace
  • Downloaded content such as music, film
  • Taken a picture with a mobile ‘phone
student use of e resources
Student Use of E-Resources
  • Tenopir’s survey of surveys shows drivers:
    • Young users inhabiting electronic world
    • Convenience – desk top, speed, save/print
  • Health science library usage:
    • 28,000 full text downloads; 1800 uses of print
  • Bournemouth University:
    • 128% rise in full-text downloads over 4 years
    • Heavy undergraduate use of journal articles
    • 72% of nursing students’ last access from home
virtual learning environments
Virtual Learning Environments

“The components in which learners and tutors participate in ‘online’ interactions of various kinds, including online learning”

  • Controlled access to curriculum
  • Tracking student activity and achievement
  • Support of on-line learning
  • Communication between the learner, the tutor and others
  • Links to other administrative systems
vle as a transformational technology
VLE as a Transformational Technology
  • Digital natives
  • Digital learning environment
  • Interactions with lecturers, other learners and administrators will be increasingly by electronic means
  • Core learning resources created by lecturers will be available through VLE
  • Students’ expectation will be for all learning resources to be so
  • MyBU
challenges for the profession
Challenges for the Profession

Studies show little integration of library resources into VLEs

  • Infiltrate resources into VLEs
  • Exploit VLE functionality
  • Develop procurement practice
    • E-books
    • Non-traditional learning resources
  • Develop information architecture
e books
  • Existing heavy use of e-journals by undergraduates
  • Electronic medium the norm for students’ social and leisure pursuits
  • Electronic medium becoming primary in HE
  • Need for e-books
e books problems and obstacles
E-Books: Problems and Obstacles
  • Lack of a clear open standard for operating systems;
  • Fears about the protection of content and the rights of the content owner in the context of giving users flexibility;
  • Lack of appropriate content in suitable quantities;
  • Pricing of titles, software and hardware;
  • Lack of integration into the general market for books. (Herther)
e books current developments
E-Books: Current Developments
  • Google Book Project:
    • California, Complutense of Madrid, Harvard, Michigan, New York Public Library, Oxford, Stanford
    • Scan and digitise 16m volumes
  • MSN and BL – 100,000 volumes
  • Apple:
    • iPod book reader
    • Agreement on content with publisher
supc e books tender
SUPC E-Books Tender
  • Developing market place
  • Virtual Learning Environments
  • Fluid business models
    • Mimic hard-copy business models
    • Trend towards bundling/Big Deal
  • Avoid what happened with e-journals
    • Publishers determined business models
    • Price tied to historical hard-copy spend
preparing the specification
Preparing the Specification

Aim to provide agreements that:

  • Were innovative and flexible
  • Exploited the electronic medium fully
  • Focused on users’ needs not libraries’
  • Encouraged the addition of library-defined content

Two distinct requirements:

  • Requirement A – a hosted e-book service from which institutions can purchase or subscribe to individual titles
  • Requirement B – a hosted e-book service of content that is specified by the institutions
e textbooks
  • Obvious advantages for libraries: no multiple copies or SLCs, staff savings
  • BUT 80% of publishers’ textbook revenue is from individuals - not available
  • One aggregator has offered e-textbooks direct to students at 50% of list price
contract award
Contract Award
  • Requirement A: Ebrary and Proquest Safari
    • Offer innovative models, value for money, flexibility and academic content of interest to members
    • Exploit electronic medium in terms of granularity and multi-user access
  • Requirement B: Ebrary
    • Flexibility and willingness to work openly
    • Textbooks model
first six months
First Six Months
  • Impressed with both suppliers
  • Gradual uptake, due to timing of budgets
  • Student usage of collections much wider than anticipated; Ebrary functionality particularly liked
  • Good progress towards nursing core collection
    • Nearly all top publishers signed up
    • Business models for textbooks being developed
non traditional resources
Non-Traditional Resources
  • Lecturer’s/course team’s content
  • Course-pack readings
  • Course materials from other universities
    • Open access (e.g. MIT)
    • Subscribed
  • Commercial content designed for VLEs
    • Mediated by Blackboard
    • Open market
rights management issues
Rights Management Issues
  • Who owns what rights – lecturers, university, publisher…?
  • Number of courses, students, years, campuses?
  • Can you repurpose? Export? Franchise? Sell?
  • More complex than a book on a shelf, or an e-journal package
integrating into the vle 1
Integrating into the VLE - 1

Pathways to information:

  • VLE as one-stop-shop
  • Use of library catalogues/portals will decline
  • Embed/link to resources at point of need
  • Encourage use of wide variety of resources
  • Re-engineer information architecture
integrating into the vle 2
Integrating into the VLE - 2

Interaction with students:

  • Exploit VLE functionality and structures
  • Integrate into courses, units at point of need
  • Use quizzes, discussion boards
  • Virtual classroom for remote students
integrating into the vle 3
Integrating into the VLE - 3

Interaction with staff

  • Use organisations/groups to target particular staff – departments, subjects, research interests
  • Internally created resources maximised by content management system
  • Staff development

Position libraries for the VLE age by:

  • Maximising electronic availability
  • Influencing content aggregators
  • E-textbooks move us closer to completely electronic provision
  • Integrating resources and exploiting the new functionality