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Lecturers and students have stringent requirements and expectations when it comes to UvA’s new virtual learning environment (VLE). A high degree of user-friendliness and intuitiveness are the key basic requirements for both target groups, according to the evaluation report on the test labs, which is available at uva.nl/tel.

Between 15 February and 17 March, six faculties launched test labs involving two state-of-the-art VLEs. The idea behind the test labs was to demonstrate to lecturers and students the opportunities offered by a modern VLE, rather than to enable them to make a comparison between different products. The results of the evaluations of the two platforms would be used to refine the statement of requirements for the invitation to tender for a new VLE.

New VLE must be intuitive

The fact that a high degree of user-friendliness and intuitiveness are key requirements for the UvA’s new VLE comes as no surprise. Users have grown accustomed to the high level of user-friendliness of the programs they work with. This result indicates that lecturers and students also expect to be able to use the (basic) functions of a new VLE without having to consult a manual. Lecturers believe that the VLE must be an environment in which they can deliver their teaching. The availability of sufficient options is a key issue here. Students are interested primarily in the interface, which must be consistent and user-friendly. 

Added value of joint tender with VU

The results of the test labs have now been incorporated into the statement of requirements and shared with the task force TEL (Future Electronic Learning Environments). This statement of requirements will then form the basis of the invitation to tender for a new VLE which is to be issued by UvA and VU Amsterdam. Whether a joint invitation to tender will ultimately be issued with VU is not yet 100% certain. What is clear however is that for the sciences and other (future) joint UvA and VU programmes there is definite added value in issuing a joint tender.