Study of MLE activities across UK FE an FE. This study reported in August 2003.

Study of MLE activity

Background and content

JISC’s Managed Learning Environments (MLEs) Lifelong Learning programme is looking at Building MLEs across FE and HE and has funded several major projects to explore the issues related to developing learning environments to support the seamless movement of the learner between and across sectors and institutions.

This study has been undertaken to develop a more coherent picture of the level of MLE activity in the UK Further and Higher Education sector outside the JISC-funded programmes.

The research

This Study was commissioned by the JISC and UCISA in August 2002 from a consortium of research organisations led by the Social Informatics Research Unit at the University of Brighton. The research methods adopted were an extensive literature and web review, consultation with key informants throughout the sector, a national survey of all FE and HE institutions attracting a 51% response, and a series of in-depth case studies.


The survey found significant levels of MLE development activity across all institutions. Over 70% of institutions in the sector are currently engaged in some kind of MLE development activity.  83% of the responding institutions, however, report that they currently use some kind of virtual learning environment (VLE) and 44% of the respondent institutions report that they already have an institutional portal.

The two most common strategic models for managing MLE development within the institution are now ‘predominantly centrally managed activity’ (40% of responding institutions); and an institution-wide initiative with responsibilities devolved to departments and units within the institution (27%). This indicates a significant move towards more strategic developments, shaped by institutional and policies and sectoral-wide initiatives. Further details of this extensive study are available in the final report below completed in August 2003. 

Project Final Report and Case Studies


Documents & Multimedia

Start date
1 July 2002
End date
31 May 2005
Funding programme
MLEs for Lifelong Learning: Building MLEs across HE and FE
Project website