Being a user of Moodle as a student on this course and as a moderator on the CertICT course, I can identify with Weller's descriptions of common VLE tools most of which are still current even after 7 years. I find particularly interesting his description of 3 dimensions: institutional, academic and learner and how these clearly apply to the academic sector but which are not acknowledged despite their being a reality in the private sector, which makes use of the same and sometimes even better resources. Along the same lines I would argue that the boundaries between these dimensions are somehow blurred in other contexts such as mine, that of a private school part of an international organisation where some of those institutional roles fall within the academic realm or do not exist altogether e.g. in my own context I am the 'technician' and trainer at the same time. I also find that A'Herran's 4 perspectives, in my opinion, while trying to clarify Weller's 3 dimensions create some unnecessary overlap. Now, from the ESOL teacher trainer perspective I wonder why the approaches offered do not include Test Teach Test or Presentation Practice Production or even Task-based Learning which can also be supported by the different VLE tools available. Certainly being conversant with any approach (knowledge and comprehension) would allow the tutor to analyse the possibilities at hand and apply them to task design. In turn, evaluation of their effectiveness would lead to creating or reformulation of new tasks completing a higher order thinking skills cycle applicable to any VLE offering the tools described and not confined to the Complex Learning approach mentioned.
Finally, I agree with Weller in that pedagogy is not the only factor determining VLE course design and believe that this applies, unfortunately, to all institutions across the board. For instance, in my own context competition and innovation along with host service provider prices were the initial driving factors which led to the writing of a blended version of a legal English course for busy lawyers in Catania.
Weller, M. 2007 Virtual Learning Environments: Using choosing and developing your VLE. Routledge: London and New York. Online at http://moodle.nottingham.ac.uk/mod/resource/view.php?id=1017666 [accessed: 31 Oct 2014]