The University of Huddersfield decided to review their provider in 2016 after research discovered that alternative VLE solutions could potentially meet their needs better. They wanted to move away from something that felt like a content repository to an active online learning environment where staff and students could engage with content more easily.
They decided to go to tender, and established 17 working groups, who together created a list of over 2000 requirements for the new VLE provider. Time and cost were key factors when considering implementing a new VLE, and so longevity was a key requirement, as they wanted to have the new VLE provider in place for at least the next 10-15 years. “We were looking for a company that we could work in partnership with, someone who would help to drive the project forward and listen to what we had to say and not just accept that what they thought was best—we wanted to build a two way relationship instead”, explains Dr Sue Folley, Academic Development Advisor at University of Huddersfield.
Functionality, usability, and mobile responsiveness were also of vital importance, as they wanted a system that would be easy for both staff and students to use. “Lots of students use their mobile phones as part of their learning experience. The feedback on our previous VLE was that it was not easy to access on mobiles or tablets, and so it was really important for us to ensure that our new provider would be easy to access in this way.” Dr Daniel Belton, University Teaching Fellow, University of Huddersfield