WVU- Secure OnLine Environment is a portal for online education
The realm of online education has expanded by leaps and bounds and several universities have online portals for courses which can be accessed by students who have registered. The West Virginia University (WVU) has one such educational portal which has been designated as SOLE which stands for Secure OnLine Environment. It is accessible through a web based tool where students and courses instructors can login and use the system for different study modules. It can be developed and maintained by the teachers such that the students can utilize the educational material provided. It is an open ended course system and is managed by the HSC Information Technology Services.
As the name suggests it is a secure virtual world where everything related to a particular course can be found. The access is through a single point entry system and all the activity in a user’s profile is through a singular channel. This can include any application to a new course, accessing the course material as well as interaction with a faculty member for clarification of doubts. The portal offers the choice to an individual to personalize their interface. The navigational system between the different modules, courses and any other relevant applications is well designed. It is categorized based on an hierarchical view where the creator of a particular piece of content is clearly indicated as well the constant updates on that course or module.
To make the courses as comprehensive as possible through an online education system, the courses are designed with suitable material which is easily available to the students. There are periodic assignments, reviews as well as forums to discuss the course material or any other clarification as required. The idea behind this all inclusive mode of dissemination of information is to make the entire process of learning as interactive and holistic. The journal articles are made available as and where necessary and the course material are distributed in an organized and timely manner.
There are several benefits of the SOLE system for both students as well as the faculty. The system is so designed to cater to the needs of both groups of people who frequently utilize this portal. The major benefits for instructors include easy to use templates for the course construction, simple web editor to enter content into pages, simplistic access through single point entry and can be accessed through the internet from anywhere. The instructors can communicate with students via email and course announcements can be sent out as well. There is a grade book feature which can be used to mark assignments and exams.
The advantages for students include a personalized page where they can track their courses and upcoming tests as well as grades from previous assignments. There is option to contact the instructor in case of any problems. The library as well as links to other useful study material is also posted for their convenience. The navigation on the portal is very simplistic and easy to use.