Broadly, the view was that the availability of VLE allowed better communication with Tutors, as the students could post queries or read what others have said. However, they resented the fact that the college stopped giving printed class notes, which they could read while traveling in the bus. They also pointed out that not all students have a personal laptop, and often it is too expensive for them to print the notes outside.
Excerpts from transcripts Of Student Focus Group
There were some divergence of views in the Group: One Course Administrator felt that the ‘VLE has done a lot and could do a lot more if the Tutors were using it more’, the Tutors generally felt that the students are not interested in using the VLE and that the forums bear evidence of the same.
Two semi-structured interviews were set up with Tutors primarily to discuss and validate the key observations from the Focus Groups. The tutors agreed that the VLE is not being used to its ‘full potential’: They thought the system is too restrictive, and they are not able to adapt it to the way they would like to approach a subject as this can’t be easily done. They thought one needs to be sure about copyright issues, where they want to share an article or some web-based material to their students, which they could do easily print off. They also thought that the college should clarify their stance on the tutor materials shared on the VLE: If they are reassured that this material will not be used for any other purpose other than the course they are teaching, they would be far more comfortable sharing the same.