eduX VLE Features Virtual learning environment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is a software system designed to facilitate teachers in the management of educational courses for their students, especially by helping teachers and learners with course administration. The system can often track the learners' progress, which can be monitored by both teachers and learners. While often thought of as primarily tools for distance education, they are most often used to supplement the face-to-face classroom.

These systems usually run on servers, using one or more databases and a programming or scripting language such as PHP to serve the course to students as internet pages.

Components of these systems usually include templates for content pages, discussion forums, chat, quizzes and exercises such as multiple-choice, true/false and one-word-answer. Teachers fill in these templates and then release them for learners to use. New features in these systems include blogs and RSS. Services generally provided include access control, provision of e-learning content, communication tools, and administration of the user groups.


Similar terms

It is a computer program that facilitates computerised learning or e-learning. Such e-learning systems are sometimes also called Learning Management System (LMS), Course Management System (CMS), Managed Learning Environment (MLE), Learning Support System (LSS) or Learning Platform (LP), it is education via computer-mediated communication (CMC) or Online Education.

In the United Kingdom and many European countries the terms VLE and MLE are favoured. Becta in the UK have coined the term LP to cover both MLE and VLE as used in the schools sector. In the United States, CMS and LMS are the more common terms, however LMS is more frequently associated with software for managing corporate training programs rather than courses in traditional education institutions.



A VLE should make it possible for a course designer to present to students, through a single, consistent, and intuitive interface, all the components required for a course of education or training. Although logically it is not a requirement, in practice VLEs always make extensive use of computers and the Internet. A VLE should implement all the following elements:

In addition, the VLE should be capable of supporting numerous courses, so that students and instructors in a given institution (and, indeed, across institutions) experience a consistent interface when moving from one course to another.



Universities and other institutions of higher education are increasingly turning to VLEs in order to:

In the UK 11-16 schools are being encouraged to make use of Learning Platforms. The DfES in the UK government has published an eStrategy outlining priorities that include every learner in schools having access to an online learning space and e-portfolio.


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