VLE's or Virtual Learning Environments are better known as E learning environments aimed at providing appropriate learning elements for students to meet online and exchange academic perspectives regardless of time and spatial considerations. (Andriessen, J.H.E. 2002), The VLE has eliminated geographical and cultural barriers in learning and has innovated the conventional means of physical learning in class room based academic strategies characterised by the presence of a teacher with time constraints. (Andriessen, J.H.E. 2002),
Academic opinion has thus regarded this as a form of constructive learning overcoming the conventional mode of "transfer of knowledge" by a teacher based upon the focal role of computer networking across geographical boundaries. In this vein this essay explores whether the academia has actually benefited from the infusion of new technology and some legal issues presented by the activities with in the "Walled Garden". (Costa, A.C., Verburg, R., Andriessen, J.H.E. 2002).The paper also argues that the transition within the conventional modes of physical teaching will take time to absorb to this new concept of the Walled garden.
The literature has shown a redefined role for the teachers and the learners due to the introduction of the VLE's.This is particularly so as we are looking at the modern teacher as a facilitator rather than an instructor who is able to interact with the students outside the traditional class room. (Costa, A.C., Verburg, R., Andriessen, J.H.E. 2002),
The VLE is a product of the higher data transfer speed and broader bandwidths which has allowed the production of high quality multi-media communication (MMC) tools which are aimed at facilitating the student base to offer a richer media for students to interact and communicate their academic concerns. (Gaver, W. 1996).
However the use of the VLE has come with its own social and technical nuances for the academia as the professors and students alike show reluctance in accepting the technological "threat" to their traditional educational environments. (Gaver, W. 1996), For example the traditional learning systems were still unfamiliar with peer collaboration, freedom of expression and academic criticism and tolerance of different political views. Thus the success of the VLE as an educational aid is not solely based upon the sound technological infrastructures and improved interface design but upon the design of social environments which the Walled Garden aims to create. (Gaver, W. 1996), This would require careful planning ,defining of roles and regulating any chances of unpleasantness amongst the members as new attitudes and learning styles are encountered. Even though the VLEs are learner-centred environments the danger is that