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Development of a computer-aided ODL Course Development Tracking System

Development of a computer-aided ODL Course Development Tracking System



Constant emphasis and close attention paid to Quality Assurance in the production of Open Distance Learning (ODL) course materials at Wawasan Open University (WOU) had necessitated that the whole ...

Constant emphasis and close attention paid to Quality Assurance in the production of Open Distance Learning (ODL) course materials at Wawasan Open University (WOU) had necessitated that the whole process of course materials development be clearly defined and tracked systematically. Although a Standard Operating Procedure already exists, yet its implementation by way of manual tracking could not always guarantee that the work delivery timelines are diligently tracked and crucial inputs from all key stakeholders in the course development team are received in a timely manner. There was also a need to ensure that Schools and their academics (course coordinators), the Registry, Educational Technology and Publications Unit, IT Support Services and Learning and Library Services could track the developmental stages of any named course at any specific time.

A new software application had been developed in-house at WOU which enables all the key stakeholders to keep track of all stages of the course development chain from start to end. The application, built on the Microsoft .NET framework using a centralized MS SQL Server database, serves as a central repository of all the information relevant to the course development cycle as well as manages the archiving of all the documents. The application can generate (i) course development status report for ongoing development, (ii) the complete course development report for the courses which have been completed and (iii) summary reports of the progress of any on-going or completed course development for management purposes by the Deans and Directors of the relevant academic support units.

A pilot study was conducted involving participation of a small group of selected key stakeholders. It provided valuable feedback which had helped the software development team to further fine-tune the application before the system gets deployed in July 2010.

This paper describes the development process and the workings of the Course Development Tracking System (CDTS). It discusses the implications of implementing the system in a real world environment.



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    Development of a computer-aided ODL Course Development Tracking System Development of a computer-aided ODL Course Development Tracking System Presentation Transcript

    • Development of a computer-aided ODL Course Development Tracking System (CDTS) By Ishan AbeywardenaSenior Lecturer, School of Science and Technology and Ho Sinn Chye Professor, Chancellory 27th October 2010 AAOU2010 International Conference Vietnam
    • Talking Points  Introduction  Development of the Course Development Tracking System (CDTS)  CDTS Architecture  Features of CDTS  Testing, Training and Implementation  Advantages of using CDTS  Future Challenges
    • Delivery of ODL at WOU Course material & Face-to-face Textbook tutorials (Self-directed study) Blended MethodOnline tutorialsFacebook Support Groups WawasanLearn(LMS)
    • Key stakeholders of an ODL Course at WOU  Course Coordinator (CC)*  Course Writer (CW)*  Instructional Designer (ID)*  Graphic Designer (GW)*  Library and Learning Services (LLS)*  IT Support Services (ITS)*  External Course Assessor (ECA)*  External Examiner (EE)*  Tutors  Students* Members of the Course Development Team (CDT)
    • Stakeholder involvement inthe lifecycle of a course
    • The Course DevelopmentTracking System (CDTS) Schools RegistryDevelopment Library and LearningQuality Control CDTS Services Revision Educational Technology and Publishing Unit Information Presentation Technology Services WawasanLearn Feedback (LMS)
    • Why (CDTS)? Is the development of this course on Schools schedule? Any unexpected delay? How is the course assessed? Any pre- Registry requisite course?Library and Learning What is the reading list for this course? Services Any e-book recommended? Educational When is the next unit arriving for Technology and editing? Are ID’s comments already in? Publishing Unit Information Which software applications will be usedTechnology Services in this course? Do we already have them?
    • Course DevelopmentProcess Chain
    • CDTS Architecture WOU Local Area Network (LAN) Onsite Document Storage Server / Update ServerPCs with CDTS Offsite Backup Server Daily Scheduled Full Backups Onsite Database Server
    • Features of CDTS Progress Snapshot (Team, deadlines, current progress) Progress Update (Progress tracking) Progress Chart (Graphical representation of progress) Deadlines (Tracking deadlines) (Scheduling, Minutes keeping) Meetings (Units, type, assessment, reading Course Details lists)
    • Features of CDTS CDT Composition and (Team member details, role allocation) Roles Comments & Feedback (ECA comments, CDT comments) Document Management (Chronological archiving) Reports (Generation/archiving at each stage, compiling final reports) Access Control (Defining layers of control for system access) Help (User manual, training video)
    • ProgressFeatures of CDTS Snapshot
    • Course DetailsFeatures of CDTS
    • CDT CompositionFeatures of CDTS and Roles
    • Progress ChartFeatures of CDTS
    • DeadlinesFeatures of CDTS
    • MeetingsFeatures of CDTS
    • Comments &Features of CDTS Feedback
    • Features of CDTS Documents
    • Features of CDTS Reports
    • Testing, Training andImplementationPilot testing of the beta version:20 participants (ultimate users)  The necessary protocols for system installation  Technical limitations of the system with respect to use and implementation  Technical and infrastructure requirements for the deployment of the system.
    • Advantages of using CDTS Having easy access to course information and CDT information Being able to keep track of deadlines and scheduled deliverables throughout the developmental phases of the course Efficiently compile and share notes, comments and feedback received from the CDT Track the progress of the course development against the SOP and schedule
    • Advantages of using CDTS Manage and archive all the related documents for easy access including meeting minutes of all the interim CDT meetings Generate all the interim reports guided by the system Access the system from your own workplace.
    • Future ChallengesThe next move is to enhance theCDTS to turn it into a web-enabledsystem which can be securelyaccessed by authorized users viathe WOU staff portal.
    • Thank you Questions?Ishan Abeywardena: ishansa@wou.edu.my Ho Sinn Chye: scho@wou.edu.my www.wou.edu.my