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Journal Article

Suitability of a Virtual Learning Environment for Higher Education  pp23-32

Marileena Koskela, Piia Kiltti, Inka Vilpola, Janne Tervonen

© Jan 2005 Volume 3 Issue 1, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 81

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Abstract

The number of virtual learning environments (VLEs) is increasing. Already a few case studies claim that VLEs are more effective as a learning method than traditional lecturing. Many of these case studies are in the area of information and communication technology (ICT). Therefore, the good learning results are not surprising. The aim of this paper is to examine the suitability of a VLE for higher education by comparing learning with a VLE and learning in a traditional lecture on an occupational safety engineering course. We will compare the learning results and the students opinions of their learning process The results show that the VLE students outperformed the lecture students. On the basis of these results and previous case studies, the VLE is su itable for higher education. Nevertheless VLEs should be used with caution in higher education. They should add extra value to a course. One possible value would be to use the VLE self‑study method to evaluate ones learning before a final exam.

 

Keywords: virtual learning environment, occupational safety engineering, higher education, comparison of learning

 

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