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Instructional Web Conferencing Subcommittee Report
 

Instructional Web Conferencing Subcommittee Report

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    Instructional Web Conferencing Subcommittee Report Instructional Web Conferencing Subcommittee Report Document Transcript

    • Instructional Web Conferencing Subcommittee Report for the Provost’s Academic Computing Advisory Committee December 15, 2008 Executive Summary Elluminate is one of a half-dozen mission critical software packages used to support online courses that no longer has a funding source due to the contraction of the E-Learning Center TRIF budget. Elluminate is an instructional web conferencing tool that provides direct instructor- student and student-student interactions that are critical to language acquisition, clinical skills attainment, and many other active learning situations. One sub-committee member, Joe Collentine, pointed out that the SPA 101, 102, 201, and 202 courses depend on instructional web conferencing in order to achieve the required one hour a week of speaking opportunities necessary to provide an accredited language course. Without securing funding for Elluminate, or an equivalent instructional web conferencing tool, NAU would not be able to provide the four- semester foreign language requirement that a number of online degree programs require or complete specific online activities required in Nursing and other online degree programs. The subcommittee recommends finding funding for a 200 seat Elluminate license. This is the least disruptive and least risky alternative for the campus. In this option, we would request the AZ Tutor iLinc users to switch to Elluminate and apply their $5,500 IT Fee funding toward Elluminate maintenance costs. This option costs $80,000 in FY09 with an ongoing cost of $45,000 in subsequent years. There are, however, three other options that could be considered. Two of these would provide NAU with unlimited licenses. An unlimited license allows for wider adoption of the service and increases support for both instructional and even administrative use of web conferencing. This could be seen as both a green strategy and cost-saving strategy in a time of reduced travel budgets. The table below summarizes new money required to purchase four options involving three products: Elluminate, iLinc, and Wimba. We did not have time to completely verify that iLinc and Wimba will work as Elluminate substitutes. It appears these options are viable, but if Elluminate is considered too expensive then a more in-depth pilot study of iLinc or Wimba would need to be quickly conducted. Product FY091 FY10 3 year total 5 year total Elluminate - 200 seats $ 80,000 $ 45,110 $ 170,219 $ 272,411 Elluminate - Unlimited seats $ 165,000 $ 28,488 $ 238,475 $ 338,990 iLinc - 50 Hosts / 200 Viewers $ 59,649 $ 21,542 $ 102,732 $ 145,815 Wimba Suite Unlimited seats $ 75,000 $ 38,819 $ 139,745 $ 238,830 1 iLinc and Elluminate FY09 costs include one-time deals requiring a fast decision to lock in a lower price.
    • Background The E-Learning Center is charged with, among other things, promoting e-learning and identifying “best practices to take advantage of new technologies” (Northern Arizona University, 2005, p. 4). Under their mandate, the E-Learning team has successfully introduced a number of technologies new to NAU, including instructional web conferencing (Elluminate), plagiarism detection (Turn-It-In), assessment (Flashlight), and Vista-compatible test bank (Respondus) software. Each has been widely adopted and each is now well integrated into online instruction at NAU. Unfortunately, TRIF revenues have fallen and other demands are now being made on this funding source. In fact, TRIF funds were intended to be exploratory and not permanent funding for successful new technology adoptions. Each of the above TRIF-funded products is now unsustainable. The issue of sustaining these investments and instructional practices was raised in the November 17, 2008 Provost Academic Computing Advisory Committee (PACAC) meeting. Turn-It-In is the largest single cost item on this list, but the E-Learning Center has a plan for providing a no-cost substitute for this product using a combination of in-house development and a component inside Blackboard Vista. Elluminate is the next largest single cost item from the list presented; Chief Information Technology Officer Fred Estrella recommended that a subcommittee quickly form to raise this one item to the administration ahead of efforts to finalize mid-year budget cuts. Appendix A lists members of this quickly formed subcommittee. This paper summarizes work done by the subcommittee to review the current products, costs, and options related just to instructional web conferencing. On November 24, 2008 the subcommittee met and reviewed all current uses of web-related meeting software. Five products were discussed: 1. Elluminate: used for break-out sessions, synchronous lectures with whiteboards, and audio meetings; 2. iLinc: used by AZ Tutor through a tri-university consortium for online tutoring; 3. Wimba Voice: used to capture voice assignments for Modern Languages and School of Communications; 4. Microsoft Live Meeting: not currently in use, but available through our Microsoft Exchange license; 5. Tandberg system: used by Distance Learning for video classes and meetings. Instructional Web Conference Product Space The subcommittee, which included faculty and staff, quickly determined that any instructional web conferencing product to be considered for use in online courses would need to match the features offered in Elluminate and be capable of Blackboard Vista integration. Some of these features include application sharing, whiteboard annotation, audio conversations, breakout rooms, some video capabilities, and audio/visual recordings and archives of sessions. Committee members particularly discussed the need for instructors with Macintoshes to also be able lead an instructional session, the ability for students to participate in ad-hoc instructional
    • activities from a standard personal computer, and the ability to assign groups to break-out rooms. During the meeting, the Tandberg system was eliminated from consideration as an instructional web conference tool as it did not have the required web conferencing features. Subsequent research also ruled out MS Live Meeting since the product does not have the ability to lead sessions using a Macintosh and the NAU license is missing break-out room capability. Also, this product is not yet installed on campus (see Appendix B for details on MS Live Meeting). The subcommittee review also found that iLinc is functionally similar to Elluminate and that NAU owns a small 25-user license to support the tri-university AZ Tutor initiative. This license costs $5,512 annually and is paid for out of the IT Fee. AZ Tutor allows NAU and ASU students to share online tutors. Tutors and students find each other through an interface written and supported by NAU, but tutor sessions are held online using iLinc. The subcommittee views iLinc and Elluminate as essentially duplicate products and recommends that the AZ Tutor activity and funding be folded into a central instructional web conference solution. ILinc is an Arizona company and they have a state contract that appears to offer some cost savings over the Elluminate option. While iLinc seats are the most affordable, it should be noted that they do not offer an unlimited use license option. Wimba Voice is a tool used to capture voice assignments. This is a functionality that doesn’t exist in Elluminate, but is required for language and communications courses. Distance Learning currently pays $9,625 annually for Wimba Voice. Wimba offers two other products: Wimba Classroom and Wimba Collaboration Suite. Wimba Classroom appears to have the required instructional web conferencing features needed to support NAU courses. The Wimba Collaboration Suite includes both Wimba Voice and Wimba Classroom and is an unlimited license. Adopting Wimba would allow NAU to combine two functions into one vendor product, but it only saves money when compared to an Elluminate unlimited license. It is important to remember that Elluminate was chosen by a committee in 2005 At that time, most of the products had severe accessibility problems and problems maintaining audio quality over low-bandwidth network connections. Elluminate was chosen in large part because a) the company demonstrated an interest and commitment to solving ADA issues, and b) the product had technologies in place to optimize audio quality under variable network conditions. The subcommittee notes both iLinc and Wimba now make stronger assertions about accessibility compliance and audio quality has improved generally on the web since 2006. However, Elluminate is a known quantity that is performing well. Switching products entails a risk and a study of the issues or problems inherent in changing products would be highly recommended. Cost Analysis While Wimba’s price structure appeared to be the most straight-forward, it was surprisingly difficult to get clear cost estimates out of iLinc and Elluminate. Each vendor sells their service slightly differently and it took many iterations to achieve comparable estimates. The following represents the best comparison we could develop using the best available quotes and promise from each vendor. Sizing the concurrent license counts required some creative estimation. We know we have exceeded 100 concurrent seats using the current Elluminate product. We believe, but cannot
    • verify, that 200 concurrent seats would suffice to meet instructional needs for the next three years. However, an unlimited license would allow a more aggressive roll out and provide non- instructional options for web conferencing. Each of the estimates below is simply an increase in an existing software license and, therefore, should not require an RFP. Each option, we believe, is immediately available and could be secured in a timely fashion. Our current license will end in June, but plans for sustaining Elluminate or an alternative need to be made now since June will be far too late for FY10 budget planning given our current budget situation. Note there are costs not listed in the table below. First, if we do not stay with Elluminate then there will need to be a large campus retraining effort from instructional designer and help desk workers to professors and course instructors currently using Elluminate. If we switch AZ Tutor to another product, then there will be a similar, albeit much smaller, effort needed to retrain their tutors on a new product. The following summary table reflects applying the $5,512.48 iLinc license to another chosen product (Wimba or Elluminate). Wimba’s costs are further reduced by the $9,625 paid currently by Distance Learning. In all cases, the amounts shown are the amount of new money required rather than the total cost of the licenses. See Appendix C for details on these calculations. Product FY092 FY10 3 year total 5 year total Elluminate - 200 seats $ 80,000 $ 45,110 $ 170,219 $ 272,411 Elluminate - Unlimited seats $ 165,000 $ 28,488 $ 238,475 $ 338,990 iLinc - 50 Hosts / 200 Viewers $ 59,649 $ 21,542 $ 102,732 $ 145,815 Wimba Suite Unlimited seats $ 75,000 $ 38,819 $ 139,745 $ 238,830 Recommendations The subcommittee makes the following recommendations: 1. Sustain a viable instructional web conferencing tool—the alternative would be extremely disruptive and would require revisiting the viability of a number of online programs. 2. Adopt a 200 seat Elluminate license. This is the subcommittee’s best guess at the current demand needed to secure enough seats for the existing online usage. 3. Redesign AZ Tutor to use Elluminate and capture the $5,512 from the IT Fee to apply to ongoing Elluminate maintenance fees. 4. Consider an unlimited license under the mandate to extend support to the Solution Center and recommend Elluminate as an affordable alternative to traveling to meetings or giving presentations. 5. At the same time, continue to expand use of the Tandberg meeting rooms as another strategy to cut down on in-state travel. 6. If, as a last resort, the cost savings of switching from Elluminate to iLinc is a serious consideration (a cost savings of about $24K per year) then an iLinc viability study needs to be conducted as soon as possible. Note that iLinc would have to have a Blackboard Vista 2 iLinc and Elluminate FY09 costs include one-time deals requiring a fast decision to lock in a lower price.
    • powerlink locally developed and we would have to retrain all the faculty and develop new materials and expertise at a time when we are also facing other serious cost-saving related demands on staff time. A decision on sustaining an instructional web conference option for Blackboard Vista courses should be made in December if at all possible. Otherwise, some of the special “holiday” deals we’ve been offered will evaporate. Appendix D gives the current quotes and options available from Elluminate, iLinc, and Wimba.
    • References
    • Appendix A Team Members The Provost’s Academic Computing Advisory Committee’s Instructional Web Conferencing Subcommittee was made up of the following team members: • John Campbell, Director, Academic Computing • Don Carter, Director, E-Learning Center • Joe Collentine, Professor, Modern Language • Eck Doerry, Chair, Computer Science • Chris Gray, Team Lead, Academic Computing • Marc Lord, Director, Distance Learning • Georgia Michalicek, Distance Education Consultant, Academic Computing • Matt Minister, Instructional Technologist Lead, E-Learning Center
    • Appendix B Microsoft Live Meeting Northern Arizona University is in the midst of moving to Microsoft Exchange for email, calendar, instant messaging, and other office communication services. The Exchange product suite focuses on solving corporate business needs. Many of these needs overlap nicely with the needs of a university, such as efficient delivery and management of internal email, the ability to schedule meetings with other university employees in university-owned meeting locations, enterprise management of smart phones, and the ability to secure and limit instant messaging conversations. The most cost-effective license option for acquiring Microsoft Exchange was to add the Microsoft Enterprise Client Access License (Microsoft, 2008) to our Microsoft Campus Agreement. This suite of licenses includes Exchange Server, Office SharePoint Server, and Office Communications Server. Of the three, Office Communications services are not in use yet, but a pilot is tentatively planned to begin in spring 2009. The Office Communications Server offers a platform for multi-party audio/video conferencing using the Microsoft Office Communicator, unified messaging features (voicemail inside your email and phone call management features), as well as provide a platform to host Microsoft’s Live Meeting software. Live Meeting Overview There are three versions of Live Meeting: Live Meeting Professional, Live Meeting Standard, and Live Meeting through a local Office Communications Server 2007. The first two products require separate license agreements and run on servers hosted by Microsoft. Apparently, each Live Meeting version offers somewhat different features (Microsoft, 2007). The Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS) version of Live Meeting is missing virtual breakout rooms, a web client, handouts, and some other training-specific functionality. Application sharing with Macintosh machines is achieved by the Communicator Web Access tool, but this does not give a user all the features of Live Meeting. Live Meeting through OCS thus appears to have severe limits for Macintosh users (Garcia, 2008). Even the documentation for Live Meeting Professional states that Macintosh users, or any non-Windows machine, must run the Office Live meeting Web Access applet instead of the Windows-based client, noting “users with Windows-based computers should use the Windows-based meeting client because it offers features that are not available with Office Live Meeting Web Access” (Microsoft, 2008b).
    • Live Meeting Recommendation Because we own live meeting, we should continue to look at this option and avoid a long-term perpetual license with another vendor. While it doesn’t yet appear to be a viable tool for instructional use, it may deserve a harder look when we have a pilot in place and can get some experience with the product. However, the product would have to evolve to include break-out room features and better Macintosh support before it could be considered as a true instructional web conferencing tool. Even the most optimistic estimates of Microsoft’s development efforts indicate it would take at least two years to see these changes appear in our version of the product. Further, it will take quite some time before our implementation of OCS is in place and we could begin to a serious replacement study to evaluate any use as an instructional web conferencing tool.
    • Appendix C Cost Details 1/2009-12/2009 1/2010-12/2010 1/2011-12/2011 1/2012-12/2012 1/2013-12/2013 Elluminate - unlimited Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Upgrade to unlimited $ 165,000.00 $- $- $- $- Maintenance $- $ 34,000.00 $ 34,000.00 $ 37,400.00 $ 41,140.00 Hosting $- $- $ 16,500.00 $ 16,500.00 $ 16,500.00 Current iLinc cost $ (5,512.48) $ (5,512.48) $ (5,512.48) $ (5,512.48) $165,000.00 $ 28,487.52 $44,987.52 $ 48,387.52 $52,127.52 3 year total $238,475.04 5 year total $338,990.08 Elluminate - 200 seats Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Upgrade to 200 seats $ 80,000.00 $- $- $- $- Maintenance $- $ 38,622.00 $ 38,622.00 $ 42,484.20 $ 46,732.62 Hosting $- $ 12,000.00 $ 12,000.00 $ 12,000.00 $ 12,000.00 Current iLinc cost $ (5,512.48) $ (5,512.48) $ (5,512.48) $ (5,512.48) $80,000.00 $45,109.52 $45,109.52 $48,971.72 $53,220.14 3 year total $170,219.04 5 year total $272,410.90 iLinc pricing is private NAU only pricing that isn't to be shared with any other organization at this time iLinc - 50 Hosts /200 Viewers Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Upgrade to 50 Host Licenses $ 17,700.00 $- $- $- $- Host License Maintenance $ 6,372.00 $ 6,372.00 $ 6,372.00 $ 6,372.00 $ 6,372.00 Host License Hosting $ 3,540.00 $ 3,540.00 $ 3,540.00 $ 3,540.00 $ 3,540.00 200 Viewer Licenses $ 20,407.33 $- $- $- $- View Lic. Maintenance $ 11,020.00 $ 11,020.00 $ 11,020.00 $ 11,020.00 $ 11,020.00 Viewer License Hosting $ 6,122.00 $ 6,122.00 $ 6,122.00 $ 6,122.00 $ 6,122.00 Current iLinc cost $(5,512.48) $ (5,512.48) $ (5,512.48) $ (5,512.48) $ (5,512.48) $59,648.85 $ 21,541.52 $21,541.52 $ 21,541.52 $21,541.52 3 year total $102,731.89 5 year total $145,814.93
    • Wimba Suite Unlimited Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Collaboration Suite License $ 75,000.00 $ 56,000.00 $ 56,000.00 $ 61,600.00 $ 67,760.00 Current Voice Tools License Cost $ (9,625.00) $ (9,625.00) $ (9,625.00) $ (9,625.00) $ (9,625.00) Current iLinc Cost $ (5,512.48) $ (5,512.48) $ (5,512.48) $ (5,512.48) $65,375.00 $ 40,862.52 $40,862.52 $ 46,462.52 $52,622.52 3 year total $147,100.04 5 year total $246,185.08 3 year total (w/ 3 year agreement) $139,745.04 5 year total $238,830.08 3 year total (paid up front) $128,565.43 5 year total $227,650.47
    • Appendix D Vendor Quotes Elluminate unlimited seats w/ discounts SCHEDULE “B” – SALES ORDER PRODUCT SCHEDULE: Product Code Product Name Type Qty Unit Price Total Price EL-EE-FTE-PERP-AN AA6 - Elluminate Live! Perpetual (One 19,500 USD 9.5555 USD 165,000.00 Perpetual Server - Unlimited Time Charge) Seats EN-PERP AB2 - Elluminate Next! Perpetual (One 1 USD 23,600.00 USD 0.00 Perpetual Time Charge) (waived) EL-BPL-UNL-HELM Blackboard PowerLink for Vista ASP Service 1 USD 2,500.00 USD 0.00 4/CE8 Integrations Unlimited- Subscription (waived) Hosted ELM Total License USD 165,000.00 Fee*: Annual Overage Disk Included Disk Storage for Recordings: 3.00 GB Storage Fee $150 per GB # of Add’l 250-Call Support Included Support Calls Per Year 250 Packs None FTE of Licensed Institution: 19,500 Date License Begins: 12/31/2008 Payment Terms & Schedule: Payment Terms for License Fee: Net 30 Invoice Date: Perpetual One Time License Fee: $165,000* due 01/31/2009 (net 30) Payment Terms, Annual Maintenance Fee 2 yr term: $33,000 due 12/31/2009 (2nd year) nd Maintenance breakdown beginning 2nd year 12/31/09: 1) $29,700 Elluminate Live plus 2) $4,300 Elluminate Next = $34,000 Date Maintenance Begins (for Perpetual Licenses): 12/31/2009 (2nd year) SPECIAL CONDITIONS: 1. All special pricing and savings incentives are valid if signed Sales Order Addendum is received by December 31, 008. 2. Upgrade current 100 concurrent perpetual server license to an unlimited campuswide perpetual server license. Also, as a special incentive if purchased by 12/31/08, Elluminate Next is being bundled in for the same special price. List price on a perpetual unlimited license of Elluminate Next is $23,800. 3. LMS Integration Adapters: Blackboard PowerLink Vista will continue to be provided with this upgrade (as with previous contract). 4. As a special incentive, Elluminate Next which consists of Elluminate Plan and Elluminate Publish is being bundled in at no additional cost, if locked in by December 31, 2008. 5. Please note that in NAU’s previous agreement, Elluminate provided 18 months of ASP hosting which expired December 23, 2007, which Elluminate has continued for a grace period until NAU is ready to insource on their own server. As an added incentive, Elluminate will extend ASP hosting for another two years, through December 31, 2010 with this upgrade to a perpetual unlimited license. The regular hosting charge of 10% of the license fee, or $16,500 x 2 years, or $33,000 total is being waived with this upgrade. 6. *As a final incentive, the license fee of $192,000 will be reduced $27,000 to $165,000 if locked in by December 31, 2008.
    • Elluminate 200 seats w/ discounts SCHEDULE “B” – SALES ORDER ADDENDUM PRODUCT SCHEDULE: Product Code Product Name Type Qty Unit Price Total Price EL-AE-100-SERV-PT AA7 - Academic Ed – Adding Perpetual (One- 1 USD 80,000.00 USD 80,000.00 100 seats - Server - Perpetual Time Charge) EL-EE-FTE-PERP-AN AA6 - Elluminate Live! Perpetual 18,000 USD 9.5555 USD 0.00 Perpetual Server - Unlimited Seats Special Pilot EN-AN AB1 - Elluminate Next> Annual Service 18,000 USD 0.2333 USD 0.00 Subscription Total License USD 80,000.00 Fee*: Annual Overage Disk Included Disk Storage for Recordings: 3.00 GB Storage Fee $150 per GB # of Add’l 250-Call Support Included Support Calls Per Year 250 Packs None FTE: 18,000 Date License Begins: 12/31/2008 Payment Terms & Schedule: Payment Terms for License Fee: Net 30 Invoice Date: Perpetual One Time Upgrade Fee: $100,000* due 1/31/2009 (net 30) Payment Terms, Annual Maintenance Fee (Year 2 & 3): $38,622 due 12/31/2009 (2nd year), $38,622 due 12/31/2010 (3rd year) Maintenance breakdown beginning 2nd year (12/31/09): $34,422 Elluminate Live plus 2) $4,200 Elluminate Next = $38,622 Date Maintenance Begins (for Perpetual Licenses): 12/31/2009 (2nd year) SPECIAL CONDITIONS: 1. All special pricing and savings incentives are valid if signed Sales Order Addendum is received by December 31, 2008. 2. Upgrade current 100 concurrent perpetual server license adding 100 concurrent perpetual seats to expand to a 200 concurrent perpetual server license. 3. A prorated credit of this $80,000 license fee will apply towards an upgrade to an unlimited perpetual license for $185,000 as follows: January 1 – March 31, 2009—100% credit ($80,000), April 1 – June 30, 2009, 50% credit ($40,000). After June 30, 2009 the prorated credit will expire. 4. Maintenance will be locked at $38,622 for year 2 (due 12/31/2009) and year 3 (due 12/31/2010). At the end of this term, there will be a maximum 10% accelerator cap for the maintenance. 5. Along with this upgrade, a special free annual unlimited license pilot will be provided for free through 12/31/2009 to promote usage. 6. As a special incentive, Elluminate Next which consists of Elluminate Plan and Elluminate Publish is being bundled in at no additional cost for the first year, if locked in by December 31, 2008. 7. Please note that in NAU’s previous agreement, Elluminate provided 18 months of ASP hosting which expired December 23, 2007, which Elluminate has continued for an added year grace period until NAU is ready to insource on their own server. As an added incentive, Elluminate will extend ASP hosting for another year, through December 31, 2009 with this upgrade. 8. As another savings benefit, 6 months of free maintenance is being provided, extending the annual maintenance renewal date from 6/24/09 to 12/31/09 with this upgrade, a value of $31,222/2 = $15,611 additional maintenance savings. 9. *As a final incentive, the upgrade license fee of $100,000 will be reduced $20,000 to $80,000 if locked in by December 31, 2008.
    • iLinc - 50 Hosts /200 Viewers double click the page to open the license (.pdf)
    • Wimba Suite Unlimited Wimba Collaboration Suite LICENSING PRICING (CLASSROOM,VOICE, PRONTO AND CREATE): Year 1 Pricing: $ 75,000 Year 2 Pricing: $ 56,000 Year 3 Pricing: $ 56,000 Years 4 and 5 might be subject to standard price increases ( no more than 10% per year expected) Wimba Classroom LICENSING PRICING : Year 1 Pricing: $ 59,000 Year 2 Pricing: $ 48,000 Year 3 Pricing: $ 48,000 Years 4 and 5 might be subject to standard price increases ( no more than 10% per year expected) 3 Payment Options: • Annual license Agreement, 1 payment per year • 3 year agreement , 5% discount applied to total, 1 payment per year due • 3 year agreement , payment upfront , 8% discount on all 3 years University Wide Access to Wimba Voice, Wimba Pronto, Wimba Classroom based on 19,500 FTE Hosting and Set up fees included Onsite training and Implementation 24 x 7 Technical Support for students, faculty and staff and Administrators Unlimited Access to Online Training via Wimba Online Workshops Unlimited Access to Distinguished Lecture Webinar Series for Professional Development Professional Services Manager dedicated to NAU Persistent Rooms – no need to schedule times to use Wimba Classroom – available 24/7 Unlimited Content/Presentation Storage Documentation Integration with your CMS ( Blackboard Vista 4.3 or current) Single Sign on for Registered Students, Faculty and Staff