College invests in new Virtual Learning Environment

City of Glasgow College is making a major investment in a new Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to replace its current learning platform, Moodle.

The pandemic prompted a dramatic shift to online teaching and learning, and the aim for the new VLE is to enhance and take forward the college’s digital approach.

Dr Claire Carney, Vice Principal for Student Experience at City of Glasgow College, said:

“The new VLE represents a substantial financial and human resource investment that will transform our online digital learning environment. It aligns with our college’s strategic direction, as set out in our student academic engagement strategy, and our commitment to providing the best quality online learning experience.

“A phased approach to this significant project will see the initial roll-out take place from August, with staff receiving support and guidance in transitioning to the new platform. With an integrated, intuitive and mobile friendly VLE, we are putting in place a system that will benefit our students with a richer, more interactive learning experience.”

Joe Wilson, Head of Digital Skills at the College, explains that while blended learning has been around for some time, the past year pushed it to the forefront and now everyone is more aware of what can be achieved digitally.

“This will ensure that both digital and face-to-face teaching is more effective,” explains Joe. “Moodle was developed almost 20 years ago now and online requirements have moved on massively, so our new VLE will meet current online capabilities while future proofing our delivery.

“We are at the test stage and have test environments, or sandboxes, which are being made available to staff and students to explore and provide feedback along with some initial evaluation.

“We are working closely with our students on this project as their insight is essential to ensuring the new VLE is responsive to their requirements. Along with what is required in terms of lecturers talking to learners, the new system should enable students to talk to each other, as this is an important aspect of learning,” said Joe.

The college’s new platform will be cloud based, easier to use, and provide a more efficient online system for learning, assessment, and collaboration. Among the platforms being considered are Canvas, Brightspace (or D2L) and ItsLearning. Each will give teaching staff more control in terms of designing and uploading courses, while maintaining college standards.

Further information and regular updates on the project can be found on MyConnect under Virtual Learning Environment Futures.