reflections on the PTLLS VLE and blog

 

As the 10 week PTLLS course is coming to an end I want to reflect on the use of the VLE and blog.

When I took over the course the VLE was already up and running from previous courses so every week I just needed to update course content. Having set up the CELTA VLE from nothing I really appreciated having this structure already in place to work from. The biggest change for the PTLLS has been the submissions of assignments. Students were told they either needed to hand in a paper copy in class or submit these through the VLE.

What this has meant for me is:

·         I had to set up each assignment on the VLE

·         I had to create a tracking sheet as students uploaded assignments at different times

·         I have had to become familiar with how the VLE assignments worked.

The ILT Dev unit people have been really helpful here. Specific issues have been:

·         How many documents can be uploaded

·         What happens to original submissions when re-submissions are uploaded

Initially I struggled with marking work from the screen and missed having the opportunity to make comments directly on the work, this was especially challenging for weaker assignments. I was reluctant to save the document to use the comments function and re-upload to the VLE as this was too time consuming and laborious. However, as time has gone on I have found having all the assignments in one place very convenient. Positive aspects of have been:

·         I could mark work anytime, anywhere. It has meant I have been able to mark work on the train to London, at home and has been especially useful as I work across two sites.

·         It has meant that students have had assignment marked faster than the 2 week agreed turnaround

·         Students have been able to submit/re-submit at their convenience.

·         It has allowed more flexibility in terms of extensions as these can be agreed mid-week rather than having to wait a whole week until the class met again.

·         There has been a reduction in paper stored within the office. A student portfolio is now partly electronic (the theory tasks) and partly paper (the practical aspects). With issues of space needing to be considered for the new build this has its advantages. A disadvantage is that we need to consider how to maintain these records for the required time as the VLE is over-written each year.

The PTLLS blog has been disappointing compared to the CELTA blog. Some of the trainees have used this to communicate with me, but there has been no real communication or sharing between the trainees at all. Compare this to the CELTA group, many  introduced themselves in the blog before the course started and since the evening course started last week there has been some sharing of resources and questions asked and answered already! The daytime course starts next Monday.

 

 

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