Maximising the use of your VLE for language learning and teaching

Date: 8 February, 2012
Location: Coventry University
Event type: Practitioner Workshop

Location map | Programme

EVENT TIMINGS : 12.30 - 17:00

Presenter/facilitator : Marina Orsini-Jones (Coventry University)

VLEs (Virtual Learning Environments) like Blackboard or Moodle have received negative reviews in the HE UK sector. Peter Hartley (2007), talking about VLEs as one of the ‘learning zones’ that HE students now inhabit, refers to them as ‘museums’ that students tend to find boring but useful. However there is also literature (Lyne and Scott 2005; Orsini-Jones 2010) that highlights how VLEs can be utilised to enhance language learning and teaching in a creative way. As many UK HE institutions now have a university-wide VLE, this workshop aims at providing participants with examples of how a VLE can be used to develop task-based language learning activities both for university-wide language programmes and main language degree programmes. It also aims to illustrate how assessment and other tools can be embedded into the VLE. Finally, it aims to stimulate a discussion and exchange of ideas amongst participants on the best use that can be made of VLEs for the purpose of language learning and teaching.

This workshop will be of interest to:

  • Language teachers in higher education
  • Academics interested in e-learning and in teaching through technology

The main outcomes of the workshop are:

  • To learn how to use VLEs to develop task-based language activities
  • To illustrate how tools can be embedded into VLEs
  • To discuss the best uses that can be made of VLEs in language learning



  • There is a charge of £95 to attend this event.
  • Please note that we reserve the right to retain the fee of £95 if you do not notify us by Thursday 2 February 2012 that you are unable to attend.
  • Full details of our charging policy are available.
  • Tea and coffee will be provided.

Provisional programme for 8 February 2012
Time Session
12.30 - 13.00 Arrival, registration, coffee and light refreshments
Languages Centre (GE Block - see link above) and room GE 507
13.00 - 14.00 How can we maximise the use of our VLE?  Some theory and some practice (hands on in Moodle)
GE 305 Marina Orsini-Jones, Coventry University
14.00 - 15.00 RSS Feeds and Twitter with your VLE
GE 614 Billy Brick, Coventry University
15.00 - 15.30 Break
15.30 - 16.30 Innovative assessment with your VLE with the e-portfolio Mahara
GE 614 Teresa MacKinnon, University of Warwick
16.30 - 17.00 Discussion and close