sVirtual learning environmentExecutive SummaryThe report will provide a critical review as well as comparison of three open source and propriety VLE software platforms. The report will provide an explanation of what each platform entails. The report will also provide the functions, advantages, disadvantages of each platform. The similarities and distinctions between the three will also be provided. It will endow with a deeper understanding of how the three platforms are essential and how they contribute to the welfare of the learning environment. IntroductionA learning platform or Virtual learning environment is an education system that is based on the web.
It is a social platform where teachers and students interact through chat or threaded discussions. The environment includes teachers and students meeting online through an application that is web-based and synchronous. Teachers present lessons through chat, PowerPoint or video. Students can talk with teachers and other students as well as an answer and pose questions and also collaborate with each other. The main platforms that are being used include frontier, Moodle and blackboard. Finding AnalysisBlackboardIt is a learning system developed by Blackboard Inc. It is a web-based server software that features customizable open architecture, convenient course management, and scalable design.
All these features allow authentication of protocols and integration with student information systems. It has a purpose of adding online elements to courses that are delivered traditionally. It is used by more than 70 per cent of colleges and universities in the United States (Bradford, Porciello, Balkon and Backus 2007, p. 2). The products are offered to over 2000 learning institutions and in more than 12 languages. It provides easy to use and powerful systems for educational instruction, assessment and communication.
It has two major product lines; the blackboard academic suite which provides a learning system and online educational assistance. Another is the blackboard commerce suite used for commercial purposes. AdvantagesThe potential benefits include quick feedback, increased availability, tracking, improved communication and skill building. Increased availability- the software is available on the internet anywhere and at any time. This means that students can retrieve any information they need. They can also submit assignments and exams whenever they are complete (Bradford, Porciello, Balkon and Backus 2007, p. 2).
The most appealing aspect is its accessibility. Quick feedback- students are provided with automated feedback and faculty-initiated feedback (Bradford, Porciello, Balkon and Backus 2007, p. 3). Instant grading, as well as, instant feedback is what students are provided with. Improved communication- several features are available to allow communication of students. The options available include email, discussions, virtual classroom and announcements. The options ensure that students are current and hence it minimizes administrative work for any academic institution. Tracking- the software tracks usage of posts and courses by students and results are then in the course statistics area.
Statistics on individual students and also all students can be obtained by instructors within the course (Bradford, Porciello, Balkon and Backus 2007, p. 3). The grade book allows students to track their own progress. Skill building- other skills promoted by the use of the software include time management and organization. The skills help students carry on with their assignments efficiently.