Masterchef often gets me thinking. How do all the contestants keep their food warm when they are standing around waiting for John and Greg to judge the others? Why does it never seem to be on at the same time (or even the same day) each week ? How do they manage to give such a long assessment based on one spoonful of food? Why do people constantly try and cook soufflés when they surely know it will lead to their demise? I could go on…
Today, it got me thinking about ‘Virtual Learning Environments’.
If I strolled onto Masterchef and confidently asserted I would be serving a pan fried fillet of gurnard, octopus pease pudding and mollusc ragoût, that would be exactly what the judges would expect. Anything less would be a complete failure. After all, surely I could deliver on three items? If the mollusc ragoût were missing, I would be lambasted for failing to deliver what I had promised. If the octopus pease pudding and the mollusc ragoût were missing, I would merely have served a pan fried fillet of gurnard.
#2 (the same but introducing price)
If I owned a fine dining restaurant and on the menu I advertised a rose petal masala-spiced halibut served with minted pea caviar and salted potato crisps, that would be exactly what my customers would expect. If the minted pea caviar were missing, not only would I be lambasted for failing to deliver what I had promised, I wouldn’t be expecting the customer to pay for their meal either. Equally, if neither the minted pea caviar or the salted potato crisps turned up, not only would I have merely served a rose petal masala-spiced halibut, I would be expecting the customer to publicly denounce the restaurant on tripadvisor as soon as they got home on.
#3 (this is where the VLEs come in – you may have seen this coming…)
If I travelled the world with my company selling Virtual Learning Environments, that would be exactly what my customers would rightly expect. If the ‘Learning’ were absent from the package, not only would I surely be lambasted for failing to deliver what I had promised, I wouldn’t expect my customers to pay for what they had received and I wouldn’t be overly surprised if they publicly denounced my product across the world.
So why do schools so often turn a blind eye to the fact that their Virtual Learning Environments don’t deliver on ‘Learning’ in most cases? Why do schools so often choose to pay over-the-odds for ‘Virtual Environments’?