WebLearn, built on Sakai software, has been Oxford’s virtual learning environment (VLE) for some years. To find out if it still meets the University’s needs today or if an alternative solution should be considered, a VLE review is being carried out.
During Michaelmas and Hilary terms, students and staff across the collegiate University were consulted, including people who do not currently use WebLearn. Over 1000 staff and students responded to the VLE Review survey, and approximately 100 participated in a workshop or interview. In addition to these activities, other research was carried out, including understanding what approach other universities took when recently carrying out their own VLE reviews. we are now using the findings to investigate how best to meet Oxford's VLE requirements.
The User Group, which includes representatives from across the University, has been closely involved in the important task of prioritising requirements. The next step will be to evaluate the potential of WebLearn to be enhanced to meet future requirements, against ‘benchmark’ information obtained from leading VLE suppliers. If the result is a decision to procure a new VLE, a shortlist of suppliers would then be evaluated by the VLE Review Project Board and User Group. Detailed planning for the delivery phase of the project will then take place, to ensure a highly coordinated and supportive transition, and the Education Board will be asked to approve this approach in Michaelmas term 2017.