Vula is UCT's online collaboration and learning environment, used to support UCT courses as well as other UCT-related groups and communities. The word "Vula" means "open", and refers to the many possibilities provided by Vula, as well as its Open Source origins. Vula is jointly developed with other universities worldwide as part of the Sakai Project.
Why do we call it "Open"?
We call it "Open" because this system is:
intended to open up the UCT community to networking, collaboration and learning opportunities
designed to open a space for innovation, discovery and exploration
constructed to be open and accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
What can I use Vula for?
Vula is flexible enough to accommodate many different types of sites, with varying levels of complexity.
Some examples of uses would be:
UCT course sites, with any combination of administrative, assessment, communication and resource-sharing features
Research sites (local and international) for academics with shared interests
Project or task related sites that provide a central space for collecting and reflecting on data
Vula offers a broad spectrum of features, including tools for administration, assessment, communication, resource sharing and collaborative learning. Tools are selected individually, based on the specific requirements of each site, and can be added or removed as needed.
For example, some sites may simply feature announcements, the course outline and tasks. Others may include interactive elements like a discussion forum or a rich resource directory. And even more complex sites might make use of all of the above, plus a full testing module and online marksheet. How you use Vula is entirely up to you!
Vula was upgraded at the start of 2017. To find out more about the new updates in Lessons, Gradebook and Turnitin, check this What's new in Vula article.
Many other features were also added during the previous upgrade, including:
Peer review in Assignments and an option for accepting group submissions
Tests and Quizzes has a new question type (calculated questions) and an improved layout for Settings
Uploading files in Resources is easier with new drag and drop functionality
Resources now has the option to hide a folder but still enable access to the content in that folder (great if you want the content only to be available from/within another tool, e.g. Lessons)
Lessons provides the option to enable access to items to specified groups only
Dropbox enables you to send one file to multiple students' boxes
Help documentation improved
Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching
PD Hahn Building
University of Cape Town