Blackboard at Blackboard – Swinburne’s LMS migration
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Blackboard at Blackboard – Swinburne’s LMS migration

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Associate Professor Richard Constantine, Chief Information Officer and Director, Information Technology Services and Matthew Smith, Associate Director, IT Governance Strategy and Planning ...

Associate Professor Richard Constantine, Chief Information Officer and Director, Information Technology Services and Matthew Smith, Associate Director, IT Governance Strategy and Planning

For many years Swinburne has used separate and independent LMS’s in our TAFE and Higher Education sectors. In response to a management directive that all Student and Staff should use a single, unified LMS, Swinburne looked to Blackboard Hosting as a way to deliver this project. In addition to financial benefits, Swinburne’s use of a hosted solution delivers significant non-financial benefits. These benefits include outcomes such as resource flexibility, service level improvements and removing the distraction of managing technical issues allowing staff to remain focused on the main challenge of implementing a single LMS solution.
This presentation will outline Swinburne’s progress to date including the decision making process, key benefits and risk considerations, the experience to date and way forward as Swinburne progresses towards a single hosted LMS.

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Blackboard at Blackboard – Swinburne’s LMS migration Blackboard at Blackboard – Swinburne’s LMS migration Presentation Transcript

  • Blackboard at Blackboard
    Swinburne’s LMS migration
  • Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
    2
    About Swinburne
    Dual Sector
    Certificate I through to PhD
    5 Main Campuses
    Increasing use of on-line delivery
  • Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
    3
    About Swinburne
    TAFE and HE Sectors (2009)
    21,877 HE Students (15,935 EFTS)
    39,672 TAFE Students (14,748 EFTS)
    Approx 2,600 Staff FTE
    Centralised IT
  • Background
    4
  • Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
    5
    Swinburne’s LMS
    2 systems
    TAFE uses Blackboard CE 8
    HE uses Blackboard Academic Suite 8
    Varying approaches and usage
    Different support levels from Different areas
    2 Business Owners
  • Mission Critical
    Perhaps most important student facing application
    Used for domestic and international delivery
    High reliability expectation
    Zero unscheduled downtime
    Few if any maintenance/upgrade windows
    Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
    6
  • The Driver
    Blackboard CE end-of-life
    One LMS
    Common user experience across both sectors
    Consistency of delivery
    Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
    7
  • The Challenge
    One Swinburne LMS
    Run it
    Better
    More efficiently
    With minimal disruption
    Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
    8
  • The Approach
    Use Blackboard’s Managed Hosting Service to host the 2 existing Blackboard systems through and beyond their migration to Blackboard 9.1
    Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
    9
  • The Business Case
    The case for external hosting
    10
  • Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
    11
    Why consider hosting
    Why are we still running Data Centers?
    Mission Critical systems require 24x7 support but…..
    Expertise may be hard to get and may relate only to one aspect of the system
    Staff work 7.35 hours per day, 5 days per week
    Staff take leave (planned and unplanned)
  • Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
    12
    Tangible Benefits
    Hardware Savings
    No Hardware costs
    Software Savings
    Single System – only one license
    Salary Savings
    Single support structure
    Full positions only
  • Intangible Benefits
    Staff
    Space, Training
    DBA, Sys Admin
    Support
    Staff focus
    Not keeping lights on
    Innovation
    Improve support
    Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
    13
  • Intangible benefits
    Fully supported LMS – “One throat to choke”
    Improved user uptake
    Data Center Costs
    Improved scalability and reliability
    Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
    14
  • Estimated Benefits
    Realisable (tangible) savings of >$350K over 5 years
    Total benefits (includes above and estimated intangibles) >$1.5M over 5 years
    Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
    15
  • Due Diligence
    Inspected data center
    AARNET connection
    Tier 4 DC is one of 5 worldwide
    Considered vendor
    More than 10 years experience
    More than 600 clients and >7M users
    Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
    16
  • What have we done
    Hosted LMS at BB DC in Sydney
    All Updates/Upgrades/Hardware refresh
    24x7 monitoring
    99.7% uptime guarantee (currently 99.9%)
    Dedicated CHM
    Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
    17
  • Risk Management
    Complex Hosting Manager
    Retained existing hardware as fallback for 6 months (remainder of lease)
    Reduced dependence on individuals
    Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
    18
  • The Project
    19
  • Project Approach
    Executive level support
    15 – 18 month duration
    2 phases
    Transition to hosting (3 months)
    Towards a Single LMS (12-15 months)
    Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
    20
  • Transition to Hosting
    An “IT Project”
    Comparatively simple and low impact on end user
    BB and WebCT different
    Differing data transfer methods
    Ensured multiple options for data transfer
    Test, test and test again
    Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
    21
  • Transition to Hosting
    Challenges
    Finding a window
    Volume of data
    Length of outage window
    Customisations
    Documentation
    Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
    22
  • Did it go Smoothly?
    Yes (generally)
    Completed as scheduled
    Most users unaware that the system is now run out of Sydney
    Some unforeseeable teething problems
    Mainly interfaces and firewall issues that were simple to resolve
    Some challenges with Swinburne customisations
    Enlightening……
    Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
    23
  • Towards one LMS
    Not an “IT project”
    Complex
    Technically simple?
    Installing an LMS is easy
    Making it usable is not
    Change Management
    HE – Evolutionary
    TAFE – Revolutionary
    Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
    24
  • Towards one LMS
    Converging on Blackboard 9.1
    Workshops and analysis to identify needs currently underway
    Needs are the same – but different
    Need Agreement
    Work in progress
    Expected go-live Sem 1 2011
    Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
    25
  • Challenges
    Blackboard 9.1
    Evolution for HE
    Revolution for TAFE
    Agreeing a single set of requirements
    Timeline
    Training
    Change management
    We don’t know what we don’t know…
    Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
    26
  • How does Hosting help
    Staff are focused on implementing one LMS
    Hardware constraints irrelevant
    No requirement to manage environments
    Technical implementation expertise from BB
    Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
    27
  • Thank You
    For more information on this presentation please contact:
    Matthew Smith
    Associate Director IT Governance, Strategy and Planning
    Information Technology Services
    msmith@swin.edu.au