Part-time higher education students’ interactions with a virtual learning environment as an exploration of theories of connectivism

Steve Connolly, Karen Wicks


This article uses data from an action research project (ARP) conducted with part-time higher education (HE) students as a means of exploring the recent thinking about learning characterised by theories of connectivism. Both quantitative and qualitative data are presented to assess the extent to which connectivist theory might explain – and indeed develop – the use of a virtual learning environment (VLE) on a part-time Education degree in the United Kingdom (UK), particularly for students from non-traditional backgrounds. The article concludes by discussing what both the data themselves and connectivist perspectives on those data might have to say about VLE use in an age in which such learning platforms are but one means of accessing learning.


connectivism; virtual learning environment; non-traditional students; higher education

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