The college’s virtual learning resource (VLE), is one of the stand out successes of the last year, with user numbers at 11,000, 90% of the student population.
The VLE receives almost 10,000 visits a day – nearly double the same period last year – showing how students are embracing the resource. A number of them were even active on the site on Christmas Day.
More than just an information area, students have their own logins to the virtual learning environment which can be accessed by any device. Within the site there are timetables, course information and project submission systems. The VLE also has a jobs’ board and areas in which students share ideas and resources or take part in subject-specific debates.
There are also library resources so students no longer have to carry around books, interactive resources from tutors, e-learning tools and on-line revision material which is constantly being developed for a wide range of courses.
Elaine Bowker, Principal at The City of Liverpool College said: “Virtual Learning is one of the stand out success stories of the last year. At The City of Liverpool College, we have always been committed to virtual learning but we have really improved our offering in the last 12 months, creating a system which is acting as the benchmark for educators. It is now playing a pivotal role in how our students communicate and access the resources they need to learn and excel in their studies.’
Amanda Parker, Learning Resources and Technologies Manager, added: ‘Our students are familiar with the virtual world and our investment in new technologies brings this to the heart of teaching and learning, providing essential resources and a mobile-friendly flexible approach to learning.”
As well as delivering the flexibility for students to learn from anywhere, at any time, The City of Liverpool College hopes the virtual learning environment will boost students’ independent learning skills, better preparing them for the world beyond college, in work or Further Education.
“With tutors interacting with students and students themselves forming a learning community within the Virtual Learning Environment, collaboration and independent research become commonplace,” said Amanda.
“Through this, our students are building the skills and developing strategies they need for the future in order to be successful in the world of work.”
The City of Liverpool College’s ground-breaking approach to virtual learning has seen them collaborating with other institutions and sharing best practice.
In addition, with students working on the software development, gaining vital work experience and skills, The City of Liverpool College has been engaged by information systems champions Jisc to develop BTEC software which will be shared with other colleges across the country and it is developing online learning activities for national training provider First4Skills.