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Virtual Learning Environment. A computer based education system in which learners and tutors interact to facilitate learning.

A VLE is normally web based, being accessed via a browser, and will typically consist of tutorials and assessments both of which may be interactive (for example assessments could be completed on-line or downloaded and submitted off-line).

A VLE provides a virtual environment for learning, it is the environment which is virtual (since there is no requirement for a physical classroom) and a VLE can be said to provide a virtual classroom for learning. Whilst VLEs were originally developed for distance learning, they are becoming more common in classrooms as an aid to traditional teaching methods.

There are a number of VLE software packages available on the market. Whilst the capabilities provided by each may vary a VLE will in general provide:

  1. some form of access control, so only students and teachers may access the VLE and only relevant parts of the VLE.
  2. e-learning content (the virtual classroom).
  3. communication mechanism to allow students and tutors to communicate with each other.
  4. various administration functions, for example the creation of course content, user management etc.

For more information see: