BU students and staff put shortlisted contenders for a new Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) through their paces last week.
VLEs are crucial in today’s learning environment and as BU’s current platform, myBU, is up for re-tender, it offers a fantastic opportunity to choose from the most modern and exciting learning platforms in the marketplace
“Every member of academic staff will benefit from a 21st century VLE that is intuitive, inspiring and user friendly”, said Gail Thomas, Head of the Centre for Excellence in Learning.
The sessions took place on both Talbot and Lansdowne campuses and marked the start of extensive usability testing. Over one hundred academics from all four faculties, campus-based students, professional services staff and students studying remotely will rigorously test the different platforms over the coming weeks to make sure BU’s next VLE delivers what students and the staff really need.
“I wanted to take part in the usability testing because I thought it was a really nice opportunity to help shape the virtual environment that the students are going to have,” said Rachel Moseley, Lecturer in Psychology, Faculty of Science and Technology.
Participants were asked to undertake a series of tasks, assessing the potential systems for ease of use, consistency and confidence in the product.
“The VLE is essential for our particular students who work off site. I work with social workers around the country. So they rely very heavily on our online resources. They need a simple system that doesn’t take time, because they don’t have time”, said Melanie Forsyth-Smith, Lecturer in Social Work, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences.
The Vision for Learning (V4L) team expect to award a contract to one provider at the end of the year, which will be followed by full implementation of the VLE by September 2017.
Further usability testing sessions take place on the following dates:
Wednesday 5 October
Wednesday 12 October
Wednesday 19 October
Wednesday 2 November
If you would like to take part, please contact the V4L project team at firstname.lastname@example.org citing “USABILITY TESTING – STAFF” in the title.