A Conceptual Evaluative Framework for the Management of Virtual Learning Environments in UK Universities

  • Furrkh Aslam

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Virtual Learning Environments(VLEs)/E-Learning has been adopted extensively by Higher Education (HE) in the UK and in the case study Coventry University (CU). Frameworks predicated upon pedagogic considerations evaluate VLEs/E-Learning but the evaluation of the management of VLEs/E-Learning through Knowledge Management (KM) Critical Systems Heuristics (CSH) and Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) has not been considered. Furthermore there are no frameworks that seek to reconcile the intent of VLEs/E-Learning with the resultant instantiation. Therefore, a conceptual framework to evaluate the management of VLEs/E-Learning has been derived. Action Research has been used by exposing every stage of the development of the conceptual framework to critique by stakeholders. The drivers for the uptake of VLEs/E-Learning have been identified and classified according to two schema, one schema is into people, processes and technology and the other into strategic/tactical or operational types. Existing evaluative frameworks have, on review, been classified according to a schema incorporating a purpose, theory, context, evaluative criteria, evaluative processes and management activities. VLEs/E-Learning can be considered to be a specialized computer system and therefore the fields of Knowledge management (KM), Critical Systems Heuristics (CSH) and Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) have been investigated, salient concepts extracted. From KM, knowledge appositions (know why; know-what; know who; know-when; know-where and know-how) are mapped onto tacit and explicit knowledge; people, processes and technology. From SSM, CATWOE (customer, actor, transformation, weltanschauung, owner, environment); and from CSH the concept of ‘is’ and ‘ought’ has also been mapped across the knowledge appositions. The resultant framework can be used by HE organisations as a tool for self development and also by external auditing agencies which wish to evaluate the management of VLEs/E-Learning.
    Date of Award2014
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorAnthony Olomolaiye (Supervisor)

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