Impact of Implementing a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) in the EFL Classroom
This descriptive qualitative research study aims at identifying the impact of implementing a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE henceforth) in English-as-a-foreign language (EFL) courses at a public university in Colombia. About 210 students and 5 teachers composed the sample of convenience for this study. As for the research instruments, questionnaires, class observation notes, quick surveys, and teacher narratives were used to gather information related to students’ perceptions and attitudes towards the use of this technology in class as well as the existing conditions for such implementation. The study shows that students feel enthusiastic and motivated towards the use of VLEs, and they suggest that all teachers should indeed include them in their lessons. Students also realized that even though they are part of a digital age in which the use of personal digital devices is commonplace, it is sometimes challenging for them to deal with some types of educational technology. On the other hand, it was found that the capacity of laboratories and computers, as well as Internet connectivity, remain as the main threats to implementing VLE. Nevertheless, when those hindrances were overcome, the technology-based learning experience turned to be satisfactory for the EFL students.
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