Evaluating Open Source Software in Higher Education

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Open source projects do not advertise, demo in the exhibit hall, or answer RFPs, making it difficult for institutions to evaluate and procure these solutions effectively. This session presents the comprehensive findings of an industry study capturing proven methods to successfully identify, evaluate and procure higher education open source software.

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  • Evaluating Open Source Software in Higher Education

    1. 1. Best Practices to Evaluate and Procure Open Source Kim Thanos Principal Thanos Partners June 16, 2010
    2. 2. The Project What is the greatest inhibitor to the growth of our communities? 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 2
    3. 3. The Project 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 2
    4. 4. Addressing Procurement Obstacles 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 3
    5. 5. Addressing Procurement Obstacles Option B • Gather data • Challenges • Solutions • Research • Share • Print • Webinar series • Repository • Inform strategy 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 4
    6. 6. Research Participants • 31 institutions • 19 business process owners • 53% VP or AVP Finance • 18 technology decision-makers • 65% CIOs • Directors of IT • Directors of Academic Computing 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 5
    7. 7. Business Officer Results 1. There is a lack of understanding of open source software models among executive leadership and governing bodies. 2. Institutional processes and skills are challenged by the additional complexity involved in evaluating open source software. 3. Shortcomings of the evaluation process prevent effective consideration of open source software. 4. There is a perception that open source software lacks support models and requires skilled staff. 5. There is a perception that open source software cannot meet institutional needs. 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 6
    8. 8. Tech Leaders - LMS 1. It is difficult to find information to evaluate open source learning management systems effectively. 2. There is a perception of increased risk, particularly concerning sustainability. 3. Evaluation processes do not support selection of open source. 4. Switching costs prevent change. 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 7
    9. 9. Tech Leaders - ERP 1. There is a perception of risk associated with project maturity. 2. There is a perception of risk associated with long-term sustainability. 3. Evaluation processes do not support selection of open source. 4. There is an absence of information for effective decision-making. 5. Institutions feel locked-in to their current systems. 6. Institutions lack understanding of the support models. 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 8
    10. 10. Tech Leaders - Digital 1. There is a lack of institutional strategy for digital media. 2. Institutions have a limited understanding of their needs and options. 3. Lack of understanding of sustainability models. 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 9
    11. 11. Tech Leaders - Middleware 1. There is a perception of risk associated with complexity. 2. There is a perceived lack of support services and expertise. 3. There is a perception of risk associated with high switching costs. 4. There are concerns about compatibility with established technologies. 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 10
    12. 12. The Top Issues 1. There is a lack of understanding of open source software models among executive leadership and governing bodies. 2. Institutional processes and skills are challenged by the additional complexity involved in evaluating open source software. 3. Shortcomings of the evaluation process prevent effective consideration of open source software. 4. It is difficult to find information to evaluate open source systems effectively. 5. There is a perception of risk associated with project maturity. 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 11
    13. 13. The Top Issues 1. There is a lack of understanding of open source software models among executive leadership and governing bodies. Approach A Approach B Approach C University of Washington Small, Elite Private Lehigh University Kuali Student Comprehensive (Sakai+Kuali) Kuali OLE Founding Investment: $6.25M, 5 years Partner Create executive whitepaper Align with Trustee subcommittee • Current state of system • Adoption data Philosophical alignment • Project overview • Maturity mapping with cabinet • Strategic imperatives • Education on approach • Project match • Peer participation “We ask for innovation, • Successful consortial efforts • Detailed cost comparisons creativity and excellence in • Vendor comparison every aspect of our • Cost academic mission. Our •Organizational capacity technology strategy cannot •peer comparison rest on waiting for someone else to hand us something that is good enough.” 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 12
    14. 14. The Top Issues 2. Institutional processes and skills are challenged by the additional ? complexity involved in evaluating open source software. Do you have a model to articulate the range of options from consume, to customize, to develop? 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 13
    15. 15. The Top Issues 3. Shortcomings of the evaluation process prevent effective consideration of open source software. Traditional Approach What is the best LMS for me? Open Source Approach Create brainstorm feature list Identify need Issue an RFP Try it D2L Bb Sakai Moodle Adopt or discard Select a commercial product 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 14
    16. 16. The Top Issues 3. Shortcomings of the evaluation process prevent effective consideration of open source software. What is the best LMS for me?What is the best LMS for me?What is the best LMS for me? Create brainstorm feature listDefine strategic priorities Define strategic priorities Issue an RFP Select path - open or comm Select path - open or comm D2L Bb Sakai Moodle Issue an RFP Select Moodle or Sakai Select a commercial product Sakai Moodle Issue an RFP Select open source LongsightrSmart Unicon Select service provider 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 15
    17. 17. The Top Issues 4. It is difficult to find information to evaluate open source systems Brian Moyhihan, UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine An academic research approach to the LMS Evaluation with focus on Sakai http://brianmoynihan.com/files/Moynihan- UC SantaSakai_Thesis.pdf components of LMS selections and Cruz reviewed key deployments across the UC System. http://ic.ucsc.edu/services/learning_management_system/ lms_assessment/documents.php Tufts has completed a very comprehensive review of Sakai and Moodle, with some helpful artifacts publicly available. http://wikis.uit.tufts.edu/confluence/display/TuftsLMS/ Tufts+LMS+-+A+New+Platform+for+Teaching%2C +Learning%2C+and+Collaboration First implementations of Kuali Financials from rSmart. http://www.rsmart.com/kuali/keys-to-success 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 16
    18. 18. The Top Issues 5. There is a perception of risk associated with project sustainability. Recommendation: 1.Moving toward transparency in open source project financials 2.Creating apples/apples comps with public companies 3.Define and openly discuss the range of sustainability models quantifying: • Grant funding - role and dependence • Institution project-based investment • Commercial investment and contribution • Foundation membership fees and membership benefits Conference - June 15-17, 2010 11th Sakai 17
    19. 19. Next Steps Project results will be captured at: http://acquireoss.wordpress.com/ With feedback, suggestions or contributions, please contact me directly. kim@thanospartners.com 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 18

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