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LUVLE is often used by lecturers as a place to post course materials, typically lecture notes, reading lists or individual readings (pdf, ppt or doc files) and administrative announcements. LUVLE is run by the Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT).
In Michaelmas term 2005/6 the LUVLE server supporting the majority of undergraduates served an average of 5.86 gigabytes of files per day, about 10% of use is from off-campus. During the same term 9,916 different people logged in, this compares to 6000 and 8200 distinct individuals in the same term of the previous two years (not all sites require login). By volume of data transmitted the most commonly downloaded file types were: Portable Document Format (pdf), Powerpoint (.ppt), Word (.doc), movies (.avi), sound files (.mp3), compressed archives (.zip), Excel spreadsheets (.xls).
Most courses use a discussion space but they can be used in many different ways; sometimes the discussion is a forum mainly for students to provide peer support, sometimes lecturers lead the discussion by asking students to focus on a particular issue or they may split students into groups to work cooperatively on projects and presentations or to simulate real world collaboration (e.g. as a Law Practice). Student work in discussions is sometimes assessed.
Many courses make use of coursework submission (an electronic ‘drop-box’) where students can submit essays or projects which can then be electronically checked for plagiarism.
Computer Based Assessment (online quizzes) is increasingly used, sometimes to allow students to self-check their progress, sometimes contributing to final assessment.
In some courses Learning Logs are used to encourage reflection and to support supervision.
All lecturers and students registered for modules in LUSI have a private web page in LUVLE which links to all their VLE spaces, any current Computer Based Assessments and where they can make personal notes and create a personal calendar.
All current modules (whether or not they make use of a VLE space) have a page from where the module's lecturers can send email to the whole cohort, to individuals or to tutorial groups, download student information, see photos of all the students and enter notes and web links of their own for students to use. These module pages are available to students too although their options are more limited, students can link to the module short-loan lists in the Library, to Metalib and students’ own ‘e-shelf’ pages.
VLE spaces now support News feeds and podcasting. News feeds can notify you automatically when web site content is updated. To use News feeds you need a suitable web browser or dedicated news reader application on your computer. Podcasting collects audio and even video files from all your courses and lets you listen or view them off-line on your MP3 player or computer at a time that is most convenient for you. See your course VLE spaces for recommended software and instructions for using news feeds and podcasting, each course has its own news feed and podcasting web address.