Do you want to help inform the University’s decision on the future VLE?
The University is well underway with the review of its Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and following the in-depth consultation that has taken place with staff and students over the past 18 months, the project team have worked hard to ensure the University’s requirements have been captured in the official tender which will be published later in February.
Once we receive suppliers’ responses to our tender, members of the project team will analyse these and will initially determine which suppliers meet our mandatory (pass/fail) requirements. The project team will then score suppliers based on their responses to our highly desirable/desirable requirements.
We need your input….
The quality of the user experience is a very important element to our tender and will have significant weighting in our scoring process. We would really like both staff and students to get involved with this. During April to June, we will have access to test accounts for the systems that have met our mandatory requirements and volunteers will be asked to undertake a series of tasks, assessing each for ease of use, anticipated support required and system confidence.
It is essential that colleagues involved in this process review all systems that meet our mandatory requirements but it is not anticipated that this will take more than half a day. You will have the option of an organised workshop or completing the tasks in your own time and further details will be provided in the coming weeks.
We need representation from both academic and professional service staff with varying degrees of VLE experience from absolute beginners to expert users.
If you are interested in being involved, please complete this expression of interest form.
On behalf of the project team, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your engagement throughout the consultation period which has been crucial in getting us to the point of publishing our tender documentation. I look forward to working with you during the next exciting phase.
Another Course Build focus group took place on Thursday 2nd February at the Business School. This session was primarily attended by staff from the HaSS Faculty with representation from the Careers Service.
As with the other focus groups that have taken place over the past few weeks, many requirements were gathered and discussions covered topics such as version control, system navigation and ease of uploading content, setting up and managing groups and content availability (e.g adaptive release). Continue reading VLE Review Course Build Focus Group Update
Since my last post we have held three more focus groups to gather requirements for the University’s future VLE provision.
A group of Professional Service staff from across the University met on the 24th January and had a very productive discussion which resulted in a lot of requirement gathering. This was a more general focus group spanning all themes; course build, assessment and feedback and communication/collaboration. It was very important to hear about the features in our current provision that staff feel are essential. We need to ensure that these are not lost through the procurement process.
On the 25th January we ran the only communication and collaboration focus group as the first session was cancelled due to low numbers. Unfortunately, only half of the staff who had signed up were able to attend but we were still able to gather many requirements. A big focus of the session was on discussion boards which were seen as an essential tool within the VLE, particularly on modules that have online elements. Improving the interface and user experience across many of the collaboration tools was a common feature of the discussions.
Yesterday, 29th January, the second of the assessment and feedback focus groups took place. This was a well attended focus group with very lively discussions. The session had representation from staff who use Blackboard and staff who use the LSE, the VLE used on the MBBS programme. It was interesting to hear about the functionality currently available on the LSE and how this would be useful on other courses outside of the MBBS programme.
We are running one more Course Build staff focus group on 1st February and then two student focus groups with a more general theme on the 15th February and the 21st February. Please encourage your students to sign up by sharing the links below:
There will be free pizza!!!
The next stage of the consultation phase will be to invite suppliers in (March-April) to present their product to us based on the outcomes of the survey and focus groups so look out for invites to these events soon.