Cost is an obvious concern when choosing a collaborative tool. This consideration needs to go beyond the life of the funded projects; sustainability is very important. This is one reason why many of the trial projects chose open-source software or low cost options.
Huddersfield University chose to use Elluminate as their main collaborative tool as it was already used for learning and teaching, but then the university decided not to renew the license. The trial project re-negotiated in order that a cost-effective solution be available for the lifespan of the trial.
Apart from the use of Wimba, which is paid for by the university, the project has used either free, open source or other platforms that were not specifically intended for academic use. Our email system was Gmail, and we used Twitter, Ning, YouTube and Vimeo for communications and video hosting.
The University of the Arts