Useful Hints on the V2L Platform Tutors need to give their Learners

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This page is for adding hints to help our students avoid falling into some of the bearpits which waste their and our time, and act as barriers to learning for them. Please feel free to add other subpages or headings --Ian Hulin~~~~

The Vision2Learn Platform from the Student's Point of View Edit

The Vision2Learn platform is actually quite a complex environment, and it can be quite daunting for learners, particularly if they're starting their first course using the platform, or if they're not very IT-savvy.

The V2L platform is a distributed, networked application operating on a large number of computers. In some ways it's like a swan swimming up-stream on a river, there is a lot activity going on beneath the surface that belies the calm vision you see above the water-line.

These are some of the things the platform does:

  • Allows our students to access the course materials
    • Guides the students into the assessment document from withing the course
  • Allows tutors to provide feedback to assessments which is tracked by the V2L platform
  • Holds a database of completed student assessment and tutor feedback documents
  • Holds a database tracking all students' progress
  • Provides an interface using a web browser to access all this stuff (also known as "the platform")
    • one is for students
    • one is for tutors

The platform does all of these things by holding documents and information on a number of servers across the UK.

So how do students get their assessment answers back to the platform? This is where things get a little more complicated, as the student needs to understand two important distinctions:

  • one is the difference between working in a web environment like the V2L platform and performing activities on his/her local computer,
  • they can be working on the course, and as a result start an assessment: their work on the assessment can, and sometimes has to be done as an independent activity from working through the course.
  • they may need to use using multi-tasking: i.e. have the V2L platform running in their web browser, which then starts an assessment, the student leaves the platform and works on the assessment, then returns to the platform to submit the assessment. If the student is working on a short assessment, the web browser session on the V2L platform could be left running in the background while the assessment is completed.

The explanation below should help with some of the technical points and jargon.

  1. Typically students are guided into an assessment from within the relevant course using their Internet browser. The student will find themselves in a word processing session (normally Microsoft Word) containing the assessment questions.
  2. They need to save this document in a sensible place on their local computer even if they don't actually answer the assessment questions at this stage.
  3. The student needs to edit in the answers to the assessment document, and save it to a local drive on their computer.
  4. They now work on their local copy of the assessment document, probably in a session outside of the V2L platform, and save their work.
  5. The student now goes back into the Vision2Learn platform and goes to their My Study page.
  6. They select the appropriate assessment title and click on the Send... button (if it is a resubmission, this button will be titled Resubmit....
  7. The student will now see the Send Assessment page. This is similar to a 'normal' v-mail page, but with some modifications.
    1. At this stage they need attach their local copy of the assessment by clicking the Browse button next to one of the attachment windows at the top of the window.
    2. They now can attach any other files needed in addition to the original assessment document (e.g. a spreadsheet, database file, or files containing screen prints)
  8. The student now adds anything they want to the message body.
  9. They now click on the Send Assessment button

The V2L platform now leaps into action, and uploads all the attached files over the web from the students computer to the server in sunny Newcastle. It then does its stuff, and notifies the tutor by popping up an entry into their own My Study page.

The point here is that we need to ensure the student has the skills to cope with working with

  • downloading material from the Vision2Learn platform,
  • working on it locally on their own computer, and then
  • correctly uploading it back to the platform, having done the assessment work in the meantime.

Where Students most often need help Edit

This page provides information on some of the extra help students typically need when starting on a Vision2Learn course when using the platform. The major ones are covered in the sections below.

Assessments and the V2L Platform Edit

We could give students the information in this article above, but it would almost certainly be a case of 'frightening the horses', particularly if the student is just starting in a First Steps in IT course or similar.

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