Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lots of little Davids trump a single Goliath?

Virtual Learning » Downside of the small pieces model: "Of course institutional sites go down too - but it’s our business to keep them working and at least if services are hosted in-house we can pull out all the stops to ensure they’re fully functional" (Niall Sclater, Director, OU VLE Programme)

Would that be why some of the OU's systems have been down for most of the last 24 hours with no messages communicated about why there's any extended delay? Too busy pulling out all the stops to communicate with the 1000s of students and staff who depend on their services to get their work done?

Funnily enough, if Blogger is down for the day... I can still use my e-mail. I can still use social networking sites. I can still access the internet in general. I can still take notes online. I can use online referencing tools. I can still access my RSS feeds.

If the VLE is down for the day. Bye bye work.

Maybe using lots of web 2.0 tools is a bit too free range and disorganised. Maybe it invites in difficulties regarding privacy and identity when institutions and individuals come together... but oh the redundancy which gets built in to your online experience when you don't put all of your eggs in a single VLE basket.

Yes... I can see the benefit of a single institution beavering away to keep the systems up and running... ermmm...


  1. Hi Sarah, Yes the timing of this couldn't have been better given our debate. I almost suspect Tony of crashing the system :) I agree about the VLE being an all your eggs in one basket - I made a similar point about spreading risk: http://nogoodreason.typepad.co.uk/no_good_reason/2007/11/loosely-coupled.html
    I was completely shut out of work yesterday, couldn't send email, access the intranet, look at my calendar. But I could use typepad, fb, google reader, etc.
    How's it in Brizzy anyway?

  2. Hey Martin - a shut out from the OU's systems certainly shows what everything else is capable of.

    Oh, and Brizzy - good! Bit manic sorting out various bits and bobs, but a bit of sunshine and surf goes a long way to calming any frazzled nerves. Did you enjoy your Aussie stay?


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