The VLC began as the Computer-aided Learning Laboratory in 2001. Its aim was to enhance computer literacy among medical students, and to create a virtual learning environment in the Faculty of Medicine. The CAL Lab was upgraded with funding received from the IDA-World Bank funded IRQUE project, and re-opened in 2007 as the Virtual Learning Centre. The unit has 70 computers with a wireless network. The Language Lab shares 20 of our computers. The VLC is in the process of establishing a Virtual Learning Environment with a Learning Management System for medical students. We use an open source LMS known as Moodle, and the commercial learning material development platform Articulate Studio to develop and host interactive multimedia learning material.
Examples and screenshots can be viewed here. Our aim is to use the richness, diversity and interactivity of multimedia to enhance student learning, while making learning entertaining and interesting. A lot of the groundwork has been done, and there is a lot more to do. We have run several training workshops to train academic staff in development of multimedia material. We are in the process of setting up a Learning Material Production Unit, to be housed in the 1st floor, Pathology Building–this would enable staff members to produce high quality multimedia learning material. A repository of Re-usable Learning Objects is also being established.
We would like to thank the numerous people who contributed to the establishment of this unit. Our sincere thanks go to the Vice Chancellor Prof Tilak Hettiarachchi, The Dean Professor Dulitha Fernando, the former Dean Prof SP Lamabadusuriya, Dr Suresh Dissanayake, Former Chairperson CAL Lab, Professor Rohini Seneviratne, Director, Local Technical Secretariat of the IRQUE project at the time, Professor Chandrika Wijeratne and Dr Sisira Pathirana, Coordinators, IRQUE Project, Faculty of Medicine for their guidance and continued support. The Directors and Coordinators of the IRQUE project gave us their support and guidance throughout. We have immense support and interest from numerous members of the academic staff. Two of our former pre-intern demonstrators, Dr Shehan Hettiarachchi and Dr Suranja Gurusinghe did an enormous amount of work to establish the unit at its inception- their names will be written in letters of gold in the history of this unit. I would also like to the staff of the Local Technical Secretariat-Mr Lal Nanayakkara, Mrs DT Malalgoda, and Tharangani, Nadeesha and Thilini, and also the administrative staff-our SAR Mr PMS Bandara, SAB Mr Kolitha Bandara, Registrar of the University Mrs Hussein, Bursar Mrs Bandara, and the former engineer Mr Seneviratne.
The VLC was established as an independent unit under the Dean in 2007, and has its own development fund. Income generation is important for maintaining and developing the unit, and we hire out the unit for workshops; we also undertake the development of webpages. Many other activities are planned.
The Virtual Learning Centre has been involved in e-learning activities over the past few years. We have conducted several workshops. Teaching sessions, e-learning activities. We have been involved in the production of multimedia learning material as well as relevant research and publications. Click the below links to read more about our activities.