- Effective learning and the virtual learning environment Using Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) poses important educational issues for Universities. Without addressing the issues of effective learning, their use can compound the mistakes of the past and leave the learner with a passive, unengaging experience leading to surface learning. This paper by M J Stiles
(The Learning Development Centre, Staffordshire University) points out that educators need to recognise that learning is a social process and that providing an effective learning environment which facilitates the active acquisition of subject-specific and general expertise, and addresses the need to adopt a specific subject or professional culture, requires more than electronically delivered course notes and email discussion. Quality of course design, use of appropriate tools and the context in which learning takes place are prime factors affecting success in the era of mass higher education and lifelong learning.
- Using the Internet to promote inquiry-based learning In this epaper, David Jakes and associates describe a structured approach to inquiry-based learning that uses the World Wide Web as a primary information resource. They outline an intuitive 8-step process that begins with an essential question and ends with a knowledge product produced by students, typically completed in a cooperative setting. They also discuss the skills required by both student and teacher to make inquiry-based learning and the Internet a successful endeavor.