Tufts University shares its experience selecting and implementing rSmart Sakai as its next LMS

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  • 1. Evaluating, Selecting & Implementing Sakai at Tufts Gina Siesing, Director, Educational & Scholarly Technology Services 9/29/11
  • 2. Agenda   Brief introduction to Tufts University   Paving the way for change   Strategic planning project – Q&A   Implementation and migration project   Lessons learned and tips for success   Q&A
  • 3. About Tufts University  8 Schools  3 (US) Campuses (Boston, Grafton, Medford/Somerville)  ~10,000 total students   ~5,200 undergraduate students (A&S, Engineering)   ~4,600 graduate and professional students  ~2,000 faculty  ~3,000 staff
  • 4. How did we get here?•  Tufts LMS Terrain – arich ecosystem•  Project Drivers•  Laying the Groundwork•  Project Initiation
  • 5. Before we began the project…
  • 6. Before we began the project… •  Blackboard administrator proactively recognized the need for a change in 2005 •  Research/piloting of leading LMS platforms, including ANGEL Learning, Moodle, Sakai in 2006-07 •  Blackboard replacement proposal endorsed by faculty committee and Deans •  Initial work focused on Tufts Blackboard context
  • 7. Meanwhile… •  Blended & distance learning programs burgeoning and seeking technological & instructional design solutions •  Architectural and business model analyses of TUSK to ensure sustainability into the future •  Hence, wisdom of pursuing a university-wide planning process
  • 8. Tufts Next-Generation LMS Strategy Project Charter: •  Define selection criteria based on university s goals and community requirements •  Evaluate leading LMS platforms to determine which best fits Tufts criteria •  Articulate a robust, coordinated support model for migration and ongoing service to enrich TLR at Tufts •  Recommend a comprehensive LMS strategy for Tufts University
  • 9. Strategy Project Model:•  Core Team – deepexperience with learningmanagement systems andinstructional services•  Advisory Team – multiplevantage points fromeducational to financial totechnological•  Executive SteeringCommittee – holding theuniversity-wide focus
  • 10. Strategy Project Communications:•  Letter to Schools introducingproject and invitingparticipation•  Project updates via elist andproject site•  Importance of unified projectmessage and robustcommunication with ourrespective communities acrossthe university
  • 11. Internal Project Wiki
  • 12. Community Engagement
  • 13. University Opportunities & Challenges: •  LMS is the most ubiquitous educational technology resource ( PeopleSoft of the academic world ) => unprecedented opportunity to enhance a system and service that almost all Tufts faculty and students use regularly •  Opportunity for Tufts to gain more value from same financial investment by adopting a common platform and leveraging shared expertise & common services
  • 14. University Opportunities & Challenges: •  Opportunity for more sustainable and adaptable LMS architecture that frees design & development teams to focus on Tufts-specific and discipline- specific functionality •  Opportunity to integrate instructional design and faculty development more fully with LMS support, thus enabling more meaningful use of available tools
  • 15. University Opportunities & Challenges: •  Facilitating strategic conversations and change across Schools and organizations. Value of planning toward university service with coordinated multi-School, cross-organizational approach •  Goal of continued end-user satisfaction •  Associated importance of robust communication about project drivers, intended benefits, and progress • Opportunity to address questions that arise through LMS project, but that extend beyond to broader strategic directions for Tufts University
  • 16. Big Questions for Tufts Teams: •  simplicity for most, extensibility for some •  stability/sophistication of commercial vs. configurability/sharability of open source •  next-gen paradigm vs. old silo model •  relationship to portal for faculty/students? •  planning for core educational technology production services •  mustering "army of too much help" in current economic climate
  • 17. Strategy Project Milestones:   Facilitate community requirements gathering – round out with Dental, Medical, and Veterinary Schools   Develop functional requirements toward comparative evaluation / RFP   Learn from accessibility, architecture, SIS integration, and security working groups   Structure and begin deep comparative evaluation of alternative platforms
  • 18. Strategy Project Milestones:   Finalize and send request for proposals   Introduce platforms to community via demo sites and usability testing   Complete comparative evaluation of alternative platforms   Recommend LMS strategy for Tufts University, including platform and service model scenarios
  • 19. High-level Criteria of Evaluation:
  • 20. Tufts LMS Value Statements (shorthand):   common platform   responsible investment   meaningful use enabled by faculty development and instructional design support   mostly simple, but also extensible   reliable/robust   sustainable architecture that enables integration
  • 21. Unanimously Endorsed Strategy Recommendations:   Implement & Leverage a Common Platform for Tufts   Build upon a Leading Open-source Platform (Sakai)   Coordinated LMS Service Model   Implementation Project Model (EC, SC, CT, WGs)   Professional Expertise for Implementation (rSmart)   Hosting Strategy (in-house via UIT)   Three-phased Approach to MigrationTufts Next-Generation LMS Strategy Recommendations – full PDF available on Trunk Support site
  • 22. Questions about the strategic planningprocess before we shift to implementation?
  • 23. Pivot between Strategy Project Culmination (April 2010) &Implementation Project Launch (Nov 2010):   High-level cost estimation   Funding model for Phases 1 & 2 and ongoing service   Project Plan   Contract with rSmart for implementation services and 2nd- and 3rd-tier support during first 18 months   Recruitment for LMS positions   Formation of implementation project teams
  • 24. Implementation Project Model: •  Same Executive Committee •  Implementation Steering Committee with university-wide representation and opt-in flex by phase •  Cross-organizational Core Team and Working Groups for Phase 1 (Academic Technology, Libraries, IT training & documentation, et al.) •  rSmart implementation support •  Coordinated Trunk Support & Technical Teams for ongoing service at Tufts + rSmart 2nd- and 3rd-tier support
  • 25. High-level Implementation Project Timeline: •  Phase 1 (Nov 2010 -> Sept 2011): –  University LMS infrastructure & coordinated service model implemented and available –  Migration from Blackboard to Sakai for Course Sites –  Project Sites rolled out for full university community •  Phase 2 (Oct 2011 -> June 2012): –  Migration from ANGEL Learning to Sakai –  Course Evaluation functionality for university –  E-Portfolios piloted and service model defined •  Phase 3 (to be defined this year) – Integration of TUSK with University LMS
  • 26. Implementation Project Internal Wiki:
  • 27. Project Communications: •  Communications officer dedicated •  Plans developed in dialogue with Core Team and working group leads •  Multi-pronged approach for faculty, students, staff •  Time-released communications •  Trunk Support site with targeted information for Phase 1 community •  Internal project wiki
  • 28. Naming & Branding the Tufts Platform: A.  Trunk B. Option 2 C. Option 3
  • 29. Trunk Support Site:
  • 30. Early Education for the Community: Three Pillars of Sakai Software Platform Community Project/Foundation
  • 31. Sakai as Software:•  Open source (ECL 2 license)•  Open architecture•  Feature rich•  Fully Scalable•  Widely adopted•  Constitutes a contemporary / next-generation paradigm beyond the traditional LMS
  • 32. Sakai as Project & Foundation:•  Project launched in 2003 (Michigan, Indiana, Stanford, MIT, Berkeley)•  Initial funding from Mellon Foundation•  Sakai Foundation chartered in 2004•  Sustaining funding from in-kind grants and Sakai academic partner memberships (e.g., Tufts)•  Leadership - Sakai Board of Directors, Executive Director
  • 33. The Sakai Ecosystem:   Sakai Board   Foundation Staff Executive Director, Ian Dolphin, Product Manager, Clay Fenlason Product Council Sakai 3 Project Director Administrative Staff   Partner Schools   Commercial Affiliates   Individual committers, users
  • 34. Sakai as Community: •  Open •  Active •  Innovative •  Participatory •  Meritocracy •  Collaboration is key
  • 35. Sakai Platform Demo:
  • 36. Training and Support for Instructors: •  Support site: http://sites.tufts.edu/trunksupport/ •  Quick Start Guide in every mailbox •  96 Workshops and open labs beginning May 16, 2011 •  “Getting Started with Trunk” •  Advanced Trunk workshops (Discussion Forums, Gradebook & Assignments, Creating Content, Copyright & Library Resources) •  Content Migration: 314 requests + self-service option •  Email, phone, and drop-in support for Trunk (1150 support tickets resolved thus far)
  • 37. •  565 people have attended workshops; ~88% completed the evaluation•  Primary affiliations: Faculty; Staff; Student; Other (TA/misc)•  School: A&S; Eng; Fletcher; Other (Central Admin/Boston)
  • 38. Training and Support for Students: •  Support site: http://sites.tufts.edu/trunksupport/ •  Workshops •  Email, phone, and drop-in support for Trunk •  Quick Start Guide and FAQs
  • 39. About Trunk adoption thus far:  1070 course sites (SIS fed, published by instructors)  307 project sites (self-provisioning)  8750 unique users  871 concurrent users (max. thus far)
  • 40. Tracking & Prioritizing Potential Trunk Enhancements: 1.  Review options for distributed administration roles and mechanisms and for handling sections 2.  Define and implement Mobile Trunk (beyond OOTB) 3.  Trunk Math Editor 4.  Trunk TurnItIn Integration 5.  Trunk Adobe Connect Integration 6.  Kaltura Implementation 7.  CALT-Trunk Integration 8.  Trunk MediaMarkup Integration 9.  Trunk iClicker Integration 10.  Sakai for Administrative Training for Staff & Faculty 11.  And the list continues to grow….
  • 41. What else has worked in our context? •  Weekly project calls with rSmart •  Trunk project facilitators (steward, PM, service owner, core team, infrastructure, support, and training teams) meet weekly and frame steering committee meetings with care •  Steady flow of communication from us, Deans, department chairs – snail mail, email, in-person… •  Peer institution connections. •  Several of us attended the Sakai Annual Conference in June •  Sakai User Group – initiated by Hannah Reeves via NERCOMP. Next meeting 11/10/11. •  Informal conversations ongoing. •  Several Tufts delegates attended the AAEEBL World Summit in July with focus on Sakai-based Portfolios. Will be an institutional host in 2012.
  • 42. Encouraging Lessons:   We can work across organizations in a highly decentralized institution   Communication will never reach everyone, but most people appreciate a thoughtful process and the opportunities to learn and participate   Leverage students – “Content Migration Engineers” and “AT Fellows”
  • 43. Celebration!
  • 44. Questions? Thoughts? gina.siesing@tufts.edu