WebLearn is Oxford’s virtual learning environment (VLE) that offers a variety of learning, teaching and library tools for use by students and tutors. It has become an essential part of the way teaching is done at Oxford and a central platform for sharing of diverse resources.
Although the content is only available to Oxford students, tutors and collaborators, the site itself was developed from open source software. It is based on Sakai, a project that began in 2004 when Stanford, Michigan, Indiana, MIT and Berkeley began building a common Courseware Management System rather than continuing their homegrown systems or licensing software from a commercial vendor. While many such systems impose licence restrictions on the host institutions, there are no restrictions on the number of users allowed to access a service built with Sakai. It is an example of the way Oxford is using and contributing to open source.