An evaluation of Virtual Learning Environments and their learners: do individual differences affect perception of virtual learning environments

Julie Richardson


A wide−reaching, student−centred evaluation model was designed, aimed at appraising the quality of students learning experiences after the introduction of a virtual learning environment in two UK institutions. A central part of the model was to examine the individual differences of students and how these interact with their perceptions of this new way of working. The individual differences chosen for exploration included motivational orientation, cognitive style, time management practices, and IT ability. This paper explores the findings of the evaluation with respect to these individual differences and their interaction with perception of learning through VLEs. In this aim, it is divided into 3 parts. First, a summary of the evaluation model and a rationale for including the selected individual differences is offered. Second, details of the data collection process and results are discussed. Finally, the implications for future use and curriculum development are considered.

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