Until recently I was working in an institution where a top-down decision was made to compel almost all teachers (all those teaching courses at a certain level and above) to meet a minimum standard of use of the VLE (aka CMS). Understandably this created some resentment or tension - often not based on the perceived value of doing so, so much as the time factor and ICT literacy / training issues.
I currently work in an institution where some departments extensively use the VLE, and some barely at all, and in the main, individual teachers decide to use it, or not. Fine, you might say, just the ones who are interested will use it - it's certainly easier to work with people who want to be helped.
Put this way: should using the VLE be compulsory? I am inclined to say... well... no.
On the other hand, if we ask: is e-learning just an optional extra? Or do we think this is an essential requirement of studying in the 00s? I would say it's essential.
I'm not trying to oversimplify this question by collapsing 'VLE' into 'e-learning' - I know there are other forms of e-learning that go on. (Arguably mostly by people who already have their course online to some degree, but that aside...)
I'm interested to know what people think about whether making it compulsory to use the VLE, at least at certain levels or for certain programmes, is a good thing, or a bit too big brotherish. Have you worked in both types of institution?
cheers - Leo