The VLE as a Trojan Mouse: Policy, Politics and Pragmatism

Authors

  • Mark Brown
  • Shelley Paewai
  • Gordon Suddaby

Keywords:

Moodle, learning management system, policy, leadership, institutional culture

Abstract

This paper argues that selecting a new Learning Management System (LMS) is a strategic decision about the future direction of your institution. However, the development of a robust methodology for the selection of a new LMS is particularly challenging given the fluidity of the elearning environment. This is especially so when both quantitative and qualitative factors are overlaid by institutional requirements involving political considerations. Selecting the technology is only part of the process and the least problematic aspect. The real challenges are embedded in institutional culture. The paper reflects on the tactics, strategies and approval process involved in the decision to adopt Moodle to replace a proprietary system for the delivery of learning in New Zealand's largest university‑level distance education provider. Critical to the process was the explication of guiding principles, pedagogical criteria and identification of institutional requirements, along with politically astute alliances and allegiances to inform and endorse the selection process. Those centrally involved in the decision process draw on their experiences and reflect on the type of questions that senior managers need to ask when considering new strategic initiatives in open and distance learning.

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Published

1 Mar 2010

Issue

Section

Articles