James Farmer gives a presentation from the HigherEd Conference. He makes several good points, starting with the current situation that many users are in, they have WebCT or Blackboard as an existing system. One point he raises, which is often overlooked I think when people compare WebCT etc., with Blogs & a more personal setting. When they were launched, most VLEs were at the “cutting edge”. Forums were new, they were making the most of that. Now things have moved on, but many VLEs have yet to really encompass that.
One thing that I really feel is the problem of “caging in”. Information can’t get out of the VLE. The student has to go there to see if there is new information. Now, students are getting increasingly used to RSS feeds etc, to bring the information to them. If more tools such as WebCT were to introduce that, and to have blogs that allowed students to have audiences outside their immediate cohort, then I think they have a future. At present, they tend to concentrate on the very small user group of the class. Which, while useful, especially when studnets are getting to grips with blogs, probably isn’t that useful long term.