I’ve been up in Inverness as part of a panel looking at UHI’s VLE strategy for the past couple of days (I write this while delayed at Edinburgh airport – not the best place to spend your Friday night). A few things about the rather intense two day process – the first was how much it mirrored the debates we had gone through at the OU. You find yourself continually oscillating between options, which demonstrates that it is a hard decision. The second issue was the tension between what is needed or good now, and what is the better long term, strategic option. The third is the manner in which the decision making approach itself influences the outcome however much we might like to think it is a purely objective, rational process.
What was perhaps different was that with the advent of web 2.0 and portals was whether choosing a VLE was that important anymore. In the end I think getting that enterprise system in place is actually a vital step in then moving beyond it. Even if the technology was mature (which it isn’t) an institution couldn’t go straight to an open portal-based PLE type environment without first having gone through the centralised VLE stage. You have to suck everything in before you can breathe it all out.