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University of Edinburgh

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Stage: Initiation

Project Proposal
2007/2008

Next Generation VLE

Teaching & Learning

New

Project Sponsor: Jeff Haywood


Author (Business): Jeff Haywood
Author (Apps): Stephen Vickers

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Project Proposal Template - Revised December 2005


University of Edinburgh
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Date: 15-Aug-07

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Project Proposal Template - Revised December 2005


Initiate: Project Proposal

Contents

1 PROJECT DETAILS .............................................................................................4


1.1 Summary .......................................................................................................... 4
1.2 Business Objectives ......................................................................................... 4
1.3 Deliverables and Limits .................................................................................. 4
1.4 Timing and Multi Year Projects .................................................................... 5
1.4.1 Timing ..................................................................................................................... 5
1.5 Risks.................................................................................................................. 5

2 PROJECT CATEGORY AND JUSTIFICATION ...................................................5


2.1 Category ........................................................................................................... 5
2.2 Justification...................................................................................................... 5

3 PROJECT BENEFITS AND COSTS ....................................................................6


3.1 Five Year Benefits ........................................................................................... 6
3.2 Other Funding and Staff Resources to be secured....................................... 6
3.3 Detailed Benefits and Costs Worksheet ........................................................ 7

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Initiate: Project Proposal

1 Project Details

1.1 Summary
A VLE has become an essential tool within the teaching and learning activities of a University.
So much so that it can no longer be seen as a system separate from other University processes
but has significant dependencies upon others such as Library, communication, multimedia and
authentication. At present there are several VLE environments operating within the
University. With no central provision across these, then economy of scale benefits are limited.
In addition the experience for the students varies depending on which VLE they are currently
using. In seeking to move to a more widely adopted VLE service the university would be able
to direct resources towards enhancing this provision to better meet the expanding needs of
teaching and learning. There may also be benefits to the research community since many of
the tools required overlap.

The purpose of this project is to put in place the framework that will enable the University to
successfully deliver an integrated VLE experience. Whilst this is intended to be a long-term
strategy it is recognised that a regular review will be required but any solution proposed should
be for the period at least until 2013/14 (5 years from when the current WebCT Vista contract
expires). The main purpose of the project will be to identify the needs of the University
community and then to identify the best approach to delivering those needs.

Currently the University uses WebCT Vista as its centrally managed VLE. This will be first
port of call when establishing the gap between the needs and the approach. If WebCT cannot
meet those needs then a further gap analysis will take place with Sakai and Moodle. The
output of this phase of the project will be a report containing a recommendation of the future
VLE strategy with a plan for how users would transition to the selected solution.

1.2 Business Objectives


Objective Objective Description
Number
1 Identify the needs of a VLE to deliver an integrated solution that will be enterprise wide and
be sustainable for the long-term (at least until 2013/14).
2 Identify the gaps between the output of the needs analysis and the offering within WebCT
Vista.
3 Identify the best approach to delivering the outputs of the needs analysis with Sakai and
Moodle.
4 Identify the needs of a virtual research environment capable of being supported by a
teaching VLE

1.3 Deliverables and Limits


Deliverable Deliverable Description
Number
1 An analysis of all the different VLEs in use within the University including details of their
scale of use, the perceived benefits over WebCT Vista, limitations which impact the current
use or expansion of these systems, what would make them change to using a centrally
supported service
2 A framework report of what the next generation VLE should be able to do
3 An gap analysis of WebCT in relation to the framework report for the next generation VLE.
4 A review of Sakai and Moodle in relation to the framework report.
5 A recommendation for the future VLE service provision within the University. This will
include costs for the transitioning as well as service provisioning.

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Initiate: Project Proposal

1.4 Timing and Multi Year Projects

1.4.1 Timing
This project must be completed in time for a procurement exercise to be conducted in
line with the completion of the current WebCT Vista contract in July 2009, albeit a
transition phase may be used if required.

Financial Year of Breakdown of Project Stages/Deliverables


Year Project
2007/2008 1 Initial project plan
Review of alternative VLEs in use within the University
Review of WebCT functionality in relation to the needs analysis
Review of Sakai and Moodle in relation to the needs analysis
Recommend the optimum solution for the University in terms of VLEs

1.5 Risks
Risk Description
1 If a change from WebCT is proposed there may be significant resistance from existing
users
2 No single VLE is capable of supporting significant needs of different constituencies
3 The problem is not with the abilities of the VLE but with the internal commitment of
resources to integrate it with other systems within the University (e.g. Library,
streaming media)
4 VLE vision not aligned with Web 2.0 initiative

2 PROJECT CATEGORY and JUSTIFICATION

2.1 Category
Very Important The VLE service is seen as an essential and increasingly important element of the
teaching and learning process within the University. The current contract for WebCT
Vista expires in July 2009 so there is a need to consider what the University’s needs
for a VLE service will be for the period following this as the basis for a procurement
exercise.

2.2 Justification
University Goals Details of these goals and operation priorities can be found in the UoE strategic
And Operational plan.
Priorities
The on-line environment is an essential element of teaching and learning both
Excellence in
for on-campus and distance students. This project seeks to provide a new vision
Education
for providing and supporting these needs.
Many of the tools required for research environments (such as those for
Excellence in communication and collaboration) are identical to those use in teaching and
Research learning. This project may, therefore, provide benefits for the University
research community.
Excellence in NA
knowledge transfer
and
commercialisation
A single, centrally supported VLE provides greater opportunities for improved
Quality infrastructure integration with other University services with consequential efficiency gains to
users.

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One of the main aims of this project is to reduce duplication of VLE services
Quality services within the University which should allow improvements in the service provision
as a result.
Quality knowledge A VLE service lies at the heart of teaching, learning and assessment provision
management and is in a position to empower staff and students in this process.
Promoting NA
opportunity and
diversity
Developing NA
leadership and
management
Advancing A quality VLE service enhances the ability of the University to attract students to
Internationalisation attend both on-campus courses as well as enrol in distance education.
Engaging with the NA
wider community
Building effective NA
partnerships and
collaborations
Effective governance The aim of this project to better coordinate the provision of VLE services within
and ensuring the University will help to ensure their sustainability within the University.
sustainability
This project is in support of the following Knowledge Strategy Priority: research
KMS Milestone the University’s options for technical and pedagogical solutions, and develop a
project plan for presentation to KSC (ranked 5)
A VLE represents a significant investment for the University and needs to be part
OTHER
of a proper procurement exercise.

3 PROJECT BENEFITS and COSTS

3.1 Five Year Benefits


Tangible Benefits
Benefit Assumptions

Intangible Benefits
Benefit Assumptions

3.2 Other Funding and Staff Resources to be secured


Additional Funding / Resources Requirements Secured?
YES /NO

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Initiate: Project Proposal Next Generation VLE

3.3 Detailed Benefits and Costs Worksheet


5 Year Summary Support Colleges Total
IT Services Groups MIS day rate £230
Benefits External day rate £1,000
Costs EUCS day rate £230
Cost/Benefit Ratio #DIV/0! Business Area day rate £230

BENEFITS Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Total


IT Services
Support Groups
Colleges
Total

COSTS Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5


IT Services Days Cost Days Cost Days Cost Days Cost Days Cost
MIS Total
MIS BSG
MIS DSG - Dev
MIS DSG - TS
MIS DSG - SS
MIS CSG
EUCS
External Consultancy
Hardware
Software
Support Groups
Colleges

Year 1: Detailed Resource


IT Services Support Groups Colleges
Estimate by Stage (in DAYS)
MIS BSG MIS DSG MIS DSG MIS DSG MIS CSG EUCS External Business Other All
(Dev) (TS) (SS) Consult. Partner
Planning
Business Analysis
System Analysis & Design
Build / Configure
Integration
Acceptance
Deployment
Benefits Review
Total Resource
Area below here can be used for any detailed benefits costings

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