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VLE Review


Staff engagement

The primary objectives of the project as set out in the Introduction of this document have all been achieved, both on time and within the set budget.  Academic staff engagement take-up has exceeded expectations, the change to a new platform has engaged academic staff at the University to look at how they can make better use of the Online Learning Environment.   The project has enabled academic staff to ask themselves how they want to use the technology, to move away from a Course Administration model where the previous platform had been used as a document repository.

There have been 430 unique lecturer accounts logging in during November (1-27 November), up on October, and over 4500 unique student accounts also logging in, as seen in figure 1 below.

We can also see from the data available that these unique logins are not simply logging in to access a document and then logging out again.  These users are accessing many of the tools available in Brightspace, we can start to look for trends in the data to know what tools are and aren’t being used.  Figure 2 below shows the wide breadth of tool usage, which is a huge success of the project at such an early stage in the platform use.

Budget savings

It was hoped that savings could be made whilst providing a modern, fit-for-purpose learning environment, whilst the latter is very much true, the project has managed to lower the annual licensing.  

Success and challenge: capacity

A major success of the project has been the delivery of all objectives by such a small team.  This has also raised a number of challenges, with the roles of project manager, implementation lead and training lead all being fulfilled by one person, whilst still managing a business as usual approach to other departmental work.   Other members of the department have offered support where possible which has been invaluable.

A number of challenges have been faced where work was required from other University departments, where they have their own workloads and deadlines.

Success: sharing across external networks  

The project implementation and parallel project on the development of blended-delivery degree apprenticeships has been shared and used as examples of good practice across a range of external events. These include:

  • showcase at the HEA PVC Network meeting (May 2018)
  • participation in a University Business live webinar panel (October 2018)
  • Advice and guidance provided to University of Surrey, University of the Highlands and Islands, University College Dublin.
  • (Future – June 2019) presentation to Advance HE Regional Change event