The VLE it creates has a number of useful features.
- A messaging function which allows registered users to send personal or group messages to others registered on the VLE (this can be configured to forward messages on to email addresses if the user so chooses)
- A conferencing function. This acts like a bulletin board where threaded discussions can be created around tasks or topics.
- A link sharing resources where the tutor and / or users can post and share and annotate links to external sites. This can help to focus your students’ use of web resources.
- Document publishing. This can be used by either tutor, to publish course materials, or students to publish their work.
- The tutor has access to administrative functions that will allow them to configure the degree control they retain over these features.
- The tutor can also set up and schedule tasks for their students to complete within specified deadlines.
Why I like it
This is a really good simple and free solution for any teacher that wants to start exploring online or blended learning. It’s very safe as only registered users have access. Users can only add text, as it doesn’t support picture formats. It enables teachers to create a forum for online communication even for younger learners who don’t have access to things like email.
Because the VLE is text only, it makes it very quick to move around within the environment even if users are accessing the site through a dial-up connection.
The features of the site are integrated so you can set up a task within the conferencing section, provide the resources within the link sharing section and get students to submit completed work and publish it within the document sharing section.
Here are some tutorial sheets showing you how to create your own classroom and manipulate the various features. These tutorials were developed for a workshop presentation that I delivered in Cordoba Argentina. This wokshop was sponsored by the British Coucnil in Argentina
- How to create your Nicenet classroom (319Kb pdf)
- How to add and share links (169Kb pdf)
- How to use the messaging feature (203Kb pdf)
- How to create conferencing topics (300Kb pdf)
- How to get you students registered (247Kb pdf)
I hope you find this tool as useful as I have. Good luck with your online teaching.