Developing a Web Registration and Course Management System for Staff Development Information Systems Technology Training (ISTT) Northern Arizona University Microcomputers in Education Conference March 15, 2005
The Information Systems Technology Training Team (ISTT*) was organized to facilitate formal technology training opportunities for staff and faculty in classroom and online environments.
* Part of NAU Information Technology Services
ISTT Areas of Training
Web Development Tools & Technology (Dreamweaver, Flash, HTML, CSS, SQL, FrontPage, etc.)
MS Office, Publisher
Other ITS Supported Applications
ISTT Team Members
Steve Sorden – Team Lead M.Ed. Ed Tech, Ed Leadership
Dave Berz – Senior Trainer M.Ed. Educational Technology (in progress)
Rub én Vásquez – Online Developer M.Ed. Educational Technology
Chris Montague – Trainer M.Ed. Educational Technology (in progress)
Stephen Montague – Trainer
Overview of Presentation
RegisCM Course Management System
Rationale for developing our own system.
Team process for developing RegisCM.
Tools and technology used in development.
Demonstration of RegisCM features.
Roadmap for future development.
Provides a single entry point to ISTT
Organizes and manages training schedule
Offers a user-friendly way for staff & faculty to register & withdraw from classes
Displays training by subject, so clients see all training, not just lab classes
Tracks attendance & course evaluations
ISTT Needed a New System
Old system was five years old and looked dated
It was limited in features
It was written for a platform that we had moved away from (Cold Fusion & Access)
It was becoming increasingly hard to maintain the old system
Expensive ($10,000 and up)
Restrictive licensing clauses
Took control away from us and placed it in the hands of distant vendors
Still didn’t do what we needed
NAU uses PeopleSoft as our ERP system
PeopleSoft training module did more or less what we needed, with modifications, but we couldn’t get the modifications
Open Source Systems
We spent a lot of time looking at open source systems
We even considered modifying Moodle LMS at one point
After an exhaustive search, we couldn’t find anything that came close to what we needed
Reluctantly, we decided that developing our own system the only viable option.
The problem was that the team had limited programming skills. We were instructional designers, not programmers.
We began the project in August of 2004.
We started by meeting to brainstorm what features we wanted to maintain from the old system, as well as new features needed.
We created an extensive wish list.
We developed story boards for different views and passed them around for team discussion & suggestions.
We created a checklist of the most practical features for initial development
Main areas were divided up between team members to develop:
Team had limited experience. We purchased lots of books and used Web resources extensively.
On-the-job training for all
Project started August of 2004.
Development proceeded as time permitted.
We asked for and received permission to eventually release RegisCM as open source.
Conducted usability testing with clients.
RegisCM successfully went live at NAU in December of 2004.
Tools & Technologies
Used Moodle as a loose guide for how to structure Regis
All settings are contained in two files
Email addresses and messages
Colors used in application
CSS & Themes
Long and short names
Tools & Technologies
Dreamweaver MX 2004
PremiumSoft Navicat MySQL Client
Concurrent Versions System (CVS) http://www.cvshome.org http://cvsdude.com
Cascading Stylesheets (CSS)
Macromedia Captivate for Tutorials
DotProject Project Management System
Allows developers to work on code from different places at different times.
Mediates conflicts when two developers have changed the same code.
Evaluations Team Lead receives an email of each evaluation.
Tutorials in WebCT and SCORM
Add reporting capabilities
Complete Instructor/Admin Capabilities
Backup MySQL Database
Automate Functions (Using cron jobs?)
Developing a Web Registration and Course Management System for Staff Development http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~sds3/mec2005