Breaking off from my previous train of thought....
A VLE is like a gym membership - bought for show and only properly used by a handful of hardy souls.
For a few years now the Virtual Learning Environment is a must have for any self-respecting educational institution. For HEs, it's a behemoth of a walled garden where integration with registration and administrative systems takes more time and effort than the teaching and learning integration it's supposed to be about. The use is patchy at best. It's like a gym membership. Both are purchased with the best intentions. There is recognition that change is necessary for proper and fulfilling use. However, this recognition is tacit at best and romantic at worst. Realisation and readily to change the culture of your organisation or the way you live you life is often lacking. When the turmoil of such change comes into view the hard decisions are shied away from and the status quo continues with minor aberrations.
This metaphor just about works, but what's the point of it. It's useful to think about how HE is approaching the use of learning technologies. Where this metaphor is useful is that it highlights how institutions like to play up their use of technology without really understanding or intending to enact the changes necessary to realise what they say is happening or will happen.