Monday, 6 October 2008

Cousin on the VLE

Here are some interesting extracts from Glynis Cousin's chapter relevant to our discussion of VLEs:
.. unless [...] experimentation is encouraged, VLE environments tend to be skewed towards the simulation of the classroom, lecture hall, tutor's office and the student common room. […]Another clue to the resonance VLEs establish with the old world can be found in their brand names or symbols: Blackboard and First Class are two obvious ones and in the case of the WebCT logo we have the image of a little white, male professor complete with mortar board and gown, clutching the sturdy medium of paper. (Cousin: 2005 p.121)

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Though the online medium can allow forays into unchartered territory, there is a level at which the VLE pulls up the drawbridge, enclosing the student and tutor within a familiar university building. [...] … the identities encouraged by VLEs derive from a protectionist view of the university as the centre and controller of knowledge production. (Cousin: 2005 pp.122-123)

... it may be best to regard VLEs as transitional objects, enabling academics to work with the new and the old simultaneously. (Cousin 2005: 127-8)

... the declining use of any media which have played a part in our identity formation is understandably experienced as loss. For some this loss prompts a luddite yearning for the apparent safety of the past. p.120


References

Cousin, G. (2005) 'Learning from cyberspace' in Land, R. and Bayne, S. (eds) Education in cyberspace. London: RoutledgeFalmer. pp. 117-129

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