CMS Review Concept Paper


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CMS Review Concept Paper

  1. 1. Course Management System Review Proposal September 6, 2006 CONCEPT PROPOSAL 1.0 TITLE OF INVESTMENT: Course Management System Review A Course Management System is an integrated software application designed for the secure delivery and management of instruction over the Internet for completely online, hybrid and traditional face-to-face classes. Features include, but are not limited to, content delivery, collaboration tools, assessment tools, and integration with other campus systems. 1.1 ORIGINATOR: The Course Management System Review Advisory Committee, organized by the Distance Learning Council as directed by the Instruction Commission and Information Technology Planning Group with SBCTC support. See Appendix A for Advisory Committee members and representation. 1.2 DATE: September 6, 2006 2.0 DESCRIPTION OF INVESTMENT: The Course Management System Review Advisory Committee, a system-wide group with broad representation from commissions and councils, has been asked to research and evaluate course management system (CMS) options for Washington community and technical colleges. This review is to include commercial products and services (e.g., Blackboard/WebCT and Angel), open-source (e.g., Sakai and Moodle) and internally developed or “home-grown” systems. The work includes researching and evaluating functionality, system architecture, costs and funding, and will result in findings that colleges can use to develop their local course management system strategy. The Course Management System Review Advisory Committee requests $44,750 to help fund a project manager and to pay other costs of the review project. The Advisory Committee is aware of other system Collaborative Development Projects, initiatives and would welcome the opportunity to partner with those initiatives on project management. With the assistance of the project manager, the Committee will follow the Collaborative Development Process piloted by the ePortfolio project and produce the following: • System boundary document with requirements • Request for Information (RFI) document • Analysis and recommendations based upon results of RFI Analysis will include a decision support tool for colleges to use in planning their course management system strategy, including products, architecture, costs and funding. We are currently seeking funding from the system to complete the work to this point. 9/13/2006 Course Management System Review 1
  2. 2. Course Management System Review Proposal September 6, 2006 The goal of this project is to get information about this very important matter. Based on an analysis of the RFI results, further activities might include a Request for Qualifications and Quotes (RFQQ) or Request for Proposal (RFP), followed by additional analysis and recommendations. The RFI analysis should be completed by September 2007. That timeline will allow colleges to use the review information in their internal budget development processes and for the State Board to use the information in a possible 2009-11 biennial Legislative request for technology funds. 2.1 Mission/Goals Investment Supports: Course management systems (CMS) are critical to the delivery of e-learning. System strategic plans, such as those below, emphasize the importance of e-learning in providing enhanced access and learning opportunities for all students (See Appendix B for Alignment of Project Goals with System Plans) • Instruction Commission’s Cornerstones • Information Technology Planning Group’s (ITPG) Cornerstones document • State Board for Community and Technical College’s (SBCTC) Strategic Direction (in draft) • Workforce Education Council’s (WEC) Environmental Scanning Trend and Strategic Plan Documents • Washington State Student Services Commission (WSSSC) Technology Strategic Plan Demand for online classes is illustrated by their enrollment growth. Online enrollments grew 17.29% last year, while general enrollment remained flat (SBCTC 2005-06 AYR Report). Furthermore, CMS tools are increasingly added to traditional face-to-face classes. These changed classes are being called hybrid, enhanced, supported or blended, and colleges report that they are growing at an even greater rate than fully online classes. In addition, CMSs are increasingly used for • support services, such as tutoring and advising • access to library resources and information literacy instruction • student government functions, such as elections and clubs • staff development • campus work groups and committees • enabling internal college communication and administrative activities Students, faculty and staff now expect to have CMS tools available; however, costs continue to grow. Colleges report spending over $3 million per year on licensing, hosting and support (2005-06 Distance Learning Council Survey of Colleges’ CMS Expenses). 9/13/2006 Course Management System Review 2
  3. 3. Course Management System Review Proposal September 6, 2006 Online learning enrollments have increased 257% in the last five years, growing from 3,480 FTEs in 2000-01 to 12,434 in 2005-06. As noted above, online enrollments grew 17.29% last year. In total 13.2% of all students are enrolled in classes that are predominately online (SBCTC Distance Learning Enrollment Reports, ). At the current rate of growth, online classes will account for more than 21,000 FTE in 2010-11 (See Appendix C). In addition, colleges are using Course Management System tools for face-to-face classes, support of administrative activities, college committees, tutoring, access to libraries, and more. 2.2 Existing Structure: Currently, all 34 community and technical colleges use a Course Management System (CMS) either through their own contracts, through WashingtonOnline (WAOL), or both. CMS technology has quickly become mission critical and core to good instruction. Increasing student expectations for on-demand learning are driving colleges’ requirements for more integrated and sophisticated technologies. The course management system market is changing. Blackboard, with the purchase of its nearest competitor WebCT, now supports 90% of the national CMS market, and has 95% of the market share in WA State. Other products are growing and maturing. Alternatives include commercial products (Angel, Desire-2-Learn), open source software (Moodle, Sakai), and an effort by three system colleges to develop CMS functions in association with the Higher Education Solutions Collaborative. As previously mentioned, colleges are spending over $3 million per year on licensing, hosting, and support for current use levels and functionality. Licensing costs are paid primarily from student fees. Costs will further increase with additional users, integration, support and enhanced features. This increase will be felt system-wide, but since colleges are currently spending at differing levels, costs for each institution will increase at different rates. 2.3 Benefits: The CMS Review Advisory Committee expects to gain efficiencies and leverage by working as a system. By collaborating on a review process, the system performs work that a single college might not be able to complete alone. The project builds the foundations to deliver services collaboratively and presents colleges with an opportunity to work as a large and united client to prospective vendors and potentially gain cost advantages. The in-depth research and analysis will create a decision-making tool that colleges can use to develop and support their local Course Management System (CMS) strategies. The tool will include data about integrating a CMS with other technologies such as a 9/13/2006 Course Management System Review 3
  4. 4. Course Management System Review Proposal September 6, 2006 single sign-on, the Student Management System (SMS) & Financial Management Systems (FMS) administrative systems, library systems, podcasting, instant messaging, streaming video, wireless access, multi-tasking, blogging, financial transaction systems, etc. The analysis will allow colleges to match their needs and their markets with an appropriate CMS tool, a suitable support structure, or with a system initiative. The decision-making tool will also include an analysis on costs and funding. This initial research and analysis will also provide the college system with the groundwork to determine if a competitive bid process should be initiated. 2.4 Warranted Investment: The project will produce a decision-making tool to identify efficient, cost-effective and instructionally sound Course Management System (CMS) options. The review process will explore these possibilities: • Efficiencies in online program development, CMS vendor contracting and CMS management and administration • Cost and benefits of collaboration • Level of control over the features included within a CMS • Standards for content portability, sharing and reusability (SCORM compliance) • Integration with other campus support services, e.g., SMS, library, FMS, single authentication, etc. • Resources that can be shared across disciplines and colleges to respond to diverse student needs, including diverse ways of presenting material, increased flexibility, convenience, and expanded access • High availability, e.g., available for use during a disaster, 24x7x365 uptime • Scalability based upon individual colleges’ needs • Hosting strategies for local/on-campus servers or Application Service Provider (ASP) contracts for local or consortium support • Technical support for students and faculty that might be local, contracted, or consortium • Training for end-users and CMS administrators 2.5 Funding: The current scope of this project is to review course management systems by setting requirements, creating a system boundary document, analyzing vendor responses to an RFI, and recommending further action. In order to complete the project in a timeframe that will make it useful work for the system, and based on the experience of the ePortfolio project, the Committee requests funding of $44,750 for a .5 FTE Project Manager for nine (9) months. This will take the project through the RFI review and recommendation. 9/13/2006 Course Management System Review 4
  5. 5. Course Management System Review Proposal September 6, 2006 Salary and benefits $37,500 Travel 5,000 Five student focus groups 1,000 Facilitator for focus groups 1,250 Total $44,750 The Advisory Committee is aware of other system Collaborative Development Projects, and would welcome the opportunity to partner with those initiatives on project management. Project Timeline • Concept Document for ITPG and CIS Exec: September 06 • Hire Project Manager: Fall 2006 • Complete Initial Steps of Collaborative Development Process: Fall 06 through Spring 07 o System Boundary Document Vetted & Completed: Fall 06 o Matrix of Requirements Vetted & Completed: Winter 07 o RFI & Analysis Completed: Spring 07 Future steps, if indicated from the RFI analysis: • RFQQ or RFP o Request Extension of Project Manager (6 more months): end of Spring 07 o Develop RFQQ/RFP: Summer 07 o RFQQ/RFP Results Completed: Fall 07 (for end of current contracts and possible budget request) o Contract(s) negotiated • If software development is proposed from the Spring 07 Analysis, then a request for the necessary resources and timeline will be developed and presented for consideration. 9/13/2006 Course Management System Review 5
  6. 6. Course Management System Review Proposal September 6, 2006 Appendix A Course Management System Review Advisory Committee The Advisory Committee is still actively recruiting members from several critical Commissions and Councils, and welcomes recommendations. Distance Learning Council Sara Frizelle Everett Distance Learning Council Marc Lentini Highline Distance Learning Council Jerry Marshall Green River Distance Learning Council /Information Frank Roberts Skagit Valley Technology Commission State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Distance Learning Suanne Carlson State Board Office / Information Technology Planning Group State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Distance Learning Connie Broughton State Board Office / WashingtonOnline Instruction Commission Laurie Clary Grays Harbor Articulation and Transfer Council Margaret Turcott Bellevue Articulation and Transfer Council Karin Hilgersom Spokane Library Media Directors Council Myra Van Vactor Bellevue Workforce Education Council Brendan Glaser Lower Columbia Information Technology Commission Dennis Colgan Highline Business Affairs Commission Ray White Whatcom Continuing Education Council Gale Woods Highline Public Information Commission Kate Holestine Big Bend Advising and Counseling Council Bonnie Ellis Cascadia Information Technology Commission Terrance Hsaio Cascadia Information Technology Commission Kevin McKay Edmonds Information Technology Commission Kim Reed Seattle Washington State Student Services Commission Recruiting Human Resource Management Commission Recruiting Washington Association for Research and Planning Recruiting 9/13/2006 Course Management System Review 6
  7. 7. Course Management System Review Proposal September 6, 2006 Appendix B Alignment of Project Goals with System Plans Instruction Commission Cornerstones This project is begun under the direction of the Instruction Commission and is based on their educational technology plan. Cornerstones: A. Access is our heritage. System-wide themes: A1. Expand Distance Learning A2. Develop Statewide Portal B. Affordability is our mandate. System-wide theme: B1. Develop Statewide Purchasing Processes C. Learning environments are our specialty. System-wide themes: C1. Develop Information Literacy Programs C2. Conduct Technology Training D. Infrastructure is our advantage. System-wide theme: D1. Develop Online Resource Warehouses E. Quality is our trademark. System-wide theme: E1. Determine Best Practices ITPG Cornerstones Access: Colleges use of course management systems provides flexible and convenient access to community and technical college education in adult basic education, workforce education, and in academic transfer courses. Learning Environments: Course management systems can allow students to utilize all of the different ways that they learn. Colleges can put education within a familiar online environment for students who have grown up with that technology and use it regularly. Services: Course management systems are being used and will increasingly be used for tutoring and advising activities. CMS softwares are also being used internally as a management tool to support functional college units. Business Processes: The course management system can be connected with administrative processes related to registration, payment, and bookstore purchases. 9/13/2006 Course Management System Review 7
  8. 8. Course Management System Review Proposal September 6, 2006 Infrastructure: Depending on the findings of this review, the course management system may be hosted by the CTC system, requiring an investment in bandwidth, servers, and technical support staff. Collaboration: The course management system review advisory committee has enlisted representatives from the commissions and councils to be a truly collaborative process. A high level of give-and-take communication across the system is a goal of this committee. Quality: The course management system review process is seeking the highest quality product or products to meet the college systems needs for e-learning through the collaborative establishment of requirements through an RFP, if indicated. Accountability: The course management system review process is about doing the research for the best product(s) as a system with an eye on using that information to lead to a CMS contract(s) and to possibly seek legislative funding. This is a much more efficient and effective process than doing this work as individual institutions. CMS Review will provide a resource for colleges and the system as a whole to implement critical software in a strategic manner. SBCTC Strategic Direction Document (DRAFT) Innovation Ten Year Goal: Utilize innovation, technology and collaboration to accomplish these goals. • Use technology to improve the relevance, convenience and quality of learning for students. Community and technical colleges are currently the largest provider of distance education in the state, serving 75,000 students, 80 percent on-line. Use technology to improve students’ access to on-line learning resources, student transcripts, progress towards degrees and university transfer. • Provide a continuously renewed technology infrastructure that will support well informed, timely decisions and adjustments to the changing needs of students and communities. WEC Strategic Plan and Environmental Scan Documents Core Trends - Technology Technology is the impetus for on-going institutional change with respect to the delivery of educational services, driven by the respective needs of students, business, industry and the community. (, page 5.) Core Trends - Educational Competition Online training and education continues to expand rapidly. (, page 8.) Goal - Promote and support faculty development for the use of multiple teaching strategies and technologies. (WEC Draft Strategic Plan, August 2006, pending approval.) Goal - Create and share resources and innovative practices between and among community and technical colleges to anticipate and respond to industry needs. (WEC Draft Strategic Plan, August 2006, pending approval.) 9/13/2006 Course Management System Review 8
  9. 9. Course Management System Review Proposal September 6, 2006 Washington State Student Services Commission (WSSSC) Work Plan— Technology Planning and Implementation The Student Services Commission’s current work plan lists goals that relate to services that could be offered through a course management system. Technology Planning and Development: • Continue to refine and develop an integrated student services technology plan; align plan with framework approved by ITPG. • Attend to emerging technology issues and best practices - E-Portfolio, common course numbering, smart card technology, enrollment management tools, advising system, web admissions, web registration, FA direct deposit, SB5135, course reciprocity - and activate work groups as appropriate. 9/13/2006 Course Management System Review 9
  10. 10. Course Management System Review Proposal September 6, 2006 Appendix C Washington Community and Technical Colleges Growth in Online Use 2000 – 2011 Online FTE Growth with Trendline 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0 2000-01 2008-09 2009-10 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2010-11 Online Learning FTE Linear (Online Learning FTE) ] 9/13/2006 Course Management System Review 10