My role at Hull is to coordinate eLearning activities across the University. I have a small team who support staff in their use of eLearning, which naturally centres on the use of the VLE. My real interest is in how we manage to support our staff and how we continue to provide a system that matches their teaching and learning needs into the future.
With open source most people would immediately recognise the benefits of receiving the source code and being able to change or add code to suit their own needs without having to create a system in its entirety. For me, the real value of adopting Sakai lies in its teaching and learning (T&L) community. The T&L part of the wider community is very active with groups working on a variety of different things, two examples being documentation and a group focussing on distance learning. There are also groups looking at future developments of a number of specific tools. All of these groups are open too, anyone can contribute or lurk as they see fit. If you have any questions relating to teaching and learning someone on one of these groups will have an answer, even if you are not using Sakai! In addition to the open groups there is an increasing growth in open educational practices whereby Sakai folk are actively sharing their teaching and learning approaches, activities and content. This community truly enriches our experience of Sakai. We are able to share our learning with our teaching staff and as a result our students have a better experience.