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Carry on Talking: Developing ways to enhance students use of online discussion forums

Author(s): Crispin Dale | Andrew M Lane

Journal: Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sports and Tourism Education
ISSN 1473-8376

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 52;
Date: 2004;
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Keywords: virtual learning environments | Internet | student engagement | online discussion

There has been a large increase in uptake in the use of virtual learning environments (VLE) within higher education, including within Sport, Leisure and Tourism. VLE frameworks such as the Wolverhampton Online Learning Framework (WOLF) have become an integral part of the delivery of courses within some institutions. Encouraging students to engage with the VLE in an interactive way, rather than simply downloading material represents a challenge for lecturers. Previous research has proposed a three-tier model of engagement which progresses from the downloading of lectures to a fully interactive framework. This paper describes issues related to student usage of more interactive VLEs and proposed practical guidelines based on recent experiences. It is suggested that there is a need for more rigorous evaluation of engagement with VLEs.
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