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Creating the strategic learning environment at City University London

Susannah Quinsee (Learning Development Centre, City University London, London, UK)
Anise Bullimore (Learning Development Centre, City University London, London, UK)

Campus-Wide Information Systems

ISSN: 1065-0741

Article publication date: 30 August 2011




This paper aims to describe the creation of a new approach to the implementation of educational technologies at a UK Higher Education Institution. Driven by changes in technology, an evaluation of the virtual learning environment (VLE) provided the opportunity to reassess the application of technology to the curriculum. However, such an evaluation and subsequent implementation is not about technology but a social process of negotiation and stakeholder engagement. The paper seeks to explore the narrative of the evaluation to offer lessons to other institutions.


The paper takes a storytelling approach as this enables greater emotional engagement with the reader as well as the description of the social and organisational aspects of such a VLE evaluation. This approach enables the difficulty of change in complex organisations, such as a university, to be addressed more fully.


Key lessons from the evaluation of the VLE and resulting creation of the strategic learning environment (SLE) are drawn, which can be of use to other institutions. The main finding is the fact that such evaluations and implementation of educational technologies are not about technical factors but about opportunities and threats presented by such technologies to the educational experience. These findings also inform future development of the SLE at the institution.


This paper will be of interest to institutions that are undertaking evaluation exercises of their educational technology provision as well as those that are implementing new technologies or considering large‐scale organisational change.



Quinsee, S. and Bullimore, A. (2011), "Creating the strategic learning environment at City University London", Campus-Wide Information Systems, Vol. 28 No. 4, pp. 275-288.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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