chapter  5
15 Pages

Choosing a VLE

At the risk of rendering this whole chapter redundant, the important thing to recognize about choosing a VLE is that it is the making of the decision that is the most significant part of the process, not the actual decision itself. As Graham Greene (1939) put it, ‘you’ve got to choose some line of action and live by it. Otherwise nothing matters at all.’ Quite. That is not to say the process of selecting a particular VLE is not important, but it often assumes too much significance in the overall process of integrating e-learning practice within an institution. There is an ‘install it and they will come’ attitude that underlies much of this as if once the correct purchase is made, all else will follow automatically. However, the reverse is often true, and almost regardless of which technical solution is chosen it is other contextual factors that will determine its success, for instance the suitability and demand from learners, the support from management, staff development programmes, staff enthusiasm, etc. Of course, the qualifier ‘almost’ is significant in the preceding sentence – if an institution has very particular needs (for example a medical school) or there is a bias towards a particular system (for instance one that has been developed in house) then the choice of system is itself a factor in the overall success.