Next Generation Digital Learning Environments for Use in Higher Education
Concurrent Session 4
Whether a seasoned professional or a newcomer, this session will allow anyone who works with NGDLEs, or plans to, to share their own experiences. We will guide participants through topics such as “The difference between VLEs and LMSs” and “How do archaic VLEs and/or LMSs impact minority students?”
Integrating technology and software for learning in higher education has long been recognized as an integral part in distance education courses. As far back as 2007, Simonson defined course management systems (CMSs) as virtual education platforms that manage how learning takes place online. Simonson identified that CMS technology assisted educators and learners, though the direct impact on student achievement had yet to be determined. Simonson’s research was instrumental to Watters (2014), as traditional LMS software emphasized the instructor and subject matter, not the learner. Watters explained that restrictive learning environments existed in closed LMS systems such as Blackboard, which “reflects the technological desires of administrators. It does not reflect the needs of teachers and learners,” (2014).
As such, whether it is for academic advising, course enrollment, or an assessment, Learning Management Systems (LMSs), Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs), or Course Management Systems (CMSs) are pervasive in online education. Changes in student needs and learning styles, incorporation of data, and consideration to student retention rates has increased the need for universities and educational technology professionals to resolve the challenges to effective personalized instruction in distance education.
This session will allow for a guided discussion with professionals who have experience in VLEs and LMSs as well as those just beginning to work with them, regardless of their experience. Using the following guided questions, interaction will be channeled into a lively discussion where all levels of participants can share information or even state their own questions or concerns:
- What is the difference between Virtual Learning Environments and Learning Management Systems?
- What constitutes next-generation digital learning environments?
- How can practitioners create next-generation digital learning environments (NGDLE)?
- Why are NGDLE important for student success and retention?
- How do archaic LMSs and VLEs impact minority students in blended or online learning courses?
Moving mountains is a difficult undertaking, but in education, it is often necessary in order to reach our goals and our students’ goals. Using the right technology, and, perhaps more importantly, using it wisely, can make seemingly impossible tasks shrink from a mountain to a molehill.
Simonson, M. (2007). Course management systems. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 8(1), p. vii-ix. Retrieved
Watters, A. (2014, September 5). Beyond the LMS. Retrieved from http://hackeducation.com/2014/09/05/beyond-the-lms-newcastle-university