Outsourced, Insourced,

Tech Therapy – Episode 48: Why Not Outsource E-Mail? – Chronicle.com.

Bruce Maas of the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee says “This isn’t [necessarily] the right question.”  His emphasis is on requirements, “rather than jumping to solutions.”  Their first requirement was an integrated calendaring environment for students, faculty, and staff.  They also wanted to have an enterprise-hosted solution to respond to requirements for protecting privacy and intellectual property for faculty and staff.  They found that the marginal cost of adding students to the enterprise-hosted solution was more than offset by the added benefit of a single integrated system.

Meanwhile, at my institution, Microsoft’s Live@Edu has just been rolled out for students, primarily to avoid the expense of adding students to the locally-hosted Ecchange system used by faculty and staff.

While I’m not in a position to judge the economics of the situation, it seems to me that a common communication and calendaring system is a great opportunity for building learning communities, and separate systems for faculty and for students can’t help but hinder the learning process.

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