Rolling with the punches:
Committing to an ongoing upgrade
methodology
Associate Professor Michael Sankey
Director, Learni...
Introduction
 Establish a context
 The why
 The how
 Some lessons learned
By M Glasgow: Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Gener...
 Toowoomba
 Springfield
 Harvey Bay
 Stanthorpe
 Sydney
• Founded in 1967
• A distance-ed provider since 1977
• Fully online programs since 1997
• 2 Super Faculties:
Business, Ed...
Student numbers
• All students 27,235
• On-campus 7,235
• External/online 20,000 (73%)
• International 5,824 (1,100 ONC)
T...
Discernable periods in SLJ
Student Learning Journey
Decision to
enrol
Application &
offer
Enrol
The early
weeks
Experience...
USQ Website (Sitecore) the public facing site
Different layers
USQStudyDesk
• Student Portal
• All Course-
based activity
...
Tools Matrix
Be upfront
ICT
Applications
Systems and
Development
LEM
Learning
Systems and
Support
L&T Systems
Moodle and associated systems
Functi...
Learning Systems and Support
Library
Systems
Manager
Library
Systems
General
support
ePotrfolio
MoodleEquella
Mobile &
Mac...
+ Equella
FS
Upgrade Feb and July
 But why?
 We upgrade approx 6 months after the release
 Most of the bugs ironed out
 Do not want...
OK so how?
 Soon after new release
 Discuss with product community
 Team decides if it’s still realistic
 After 2.X.1 ...
Then...
 Put on Dev
 1st cut of merging with customisations – still pretty vanilla
 Minor functional testing at this st...
Then...
 Decide on what is going forward (Assignment 2.2?)
 Early change management
 Ensure 3rd party plugins all worki...
Finally
 Change management hits full swing
 Training
 Workshop particular new features
 Road shows
 Post production s...
Lessons
 Understand the problem before you commit
 Get senior management support
 Importance of a dedicated team
 Pres...
Lessons
 Accept reality – what will work and what won’t
 Engage with the supporters in teaching and admin
staff
 Commun...
Biggest Lessons
 Leave lots of room for testing !!!
Rolling with the punches: Committing to an ongoing upgrade methodology
Rolling with the punches: Committing to an ongoing upgrade methodology
Rolling with the punches: Committing to an ongoing upgrade methodology
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Rolling with the punches: Committing to an ongoing upgrade methodology

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With the advent of Moodle 2.X and Moodle HQs commitment to provide major dot point upgrades every six months, institutions need to have a very clear plan in place to ensure they stay current with the technology. Organisations cannot afford to get too far behind with a product that is evolving so quickly. The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) that self hosts three major instances of Moodle (USQStudyDesk, USQStaffDesk and USQOpenDesk) has committed itself to roll with a six-monthly upgrade cycle, aligned with its two major teaching periods. To do this we have developed a robust methodology and testing schema to ensure we meet our targets and commitments to the many key stakeholders involved. In July 2012 USQ upgraded from 1.9 to 2.2, in February 2013 it went to 2.3 and in June to 2.4, etc., etc. This is not a light undertaking and this presentation will share what USQ has had to do to ready itself for this type of commitment. Having now done this three times this presentation will look at some of the lessons learned. It will posit a series of considerations and look at the implications on ICT staff, systems support staff, training staff and more importantly, what this means for the consumers; academic staff and their students.

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Rolling with the punches: Committing to an ongoing upgrade methodology

  1. 1. Rolling with the punches: Committing to an ongoing upgrade methodology Associate Professor Michael Sankey Director, Learning Environments and Media
  2. 2. Introduction  Establish a context  The why  The how  Some lessons learned By M Glasgow: Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0) Available from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/glasgows/105457650/
  3. 3.  Toowoomba  Springfield  Harvey Bay  Stanthorpe  Sydney
  4. 4. • Founded in 1967 • A distance-ed provider since 1977 • Fully online programs since 1997 • 2 Super Faculties: Business, Education, Arts & Law Sciences & Engineering • All faculties have external programs • More than 200 under-grad and post-grad award programs Our context
  5. 5. Student numbers • All students 27,235 • On-campus 7,235 • External/online 20,000 (73%) • International 5,824 (1,100 ONC) The vast majority of USQ students access information services online Most Students and Staff know what they’re getting themselves in for when they come to USQ 
  6. 6. Discernable periods in SLJ Student Learning Journey Decision to enrol Application & offer Enrol The early weeks Experience of first semester Continuing study Unforseen events Completing study Graduation Alumni The SLJ is a series of interactions between students & the Uni. Identified 9 student groups with some 150 individual points of interaction.
  7. 7. USQ Website (Sitecore) the public facing site Different layers USQStudyDesk • Student Portal • All Course- based activity _______________ • Repository USQStaffDesk • Staff portal • Staff facing for PD activities _______________ • Repository USQOpenDesk • OER/OEP • Inter-institutional activities _______________ • Repository USQ ePortfolio (Mahara)
  8. 8. Tools Matrix
  9. 9. Be upfront
  10. 10. ICT Applications Systems and Development LEM Learning Systems and Support L&T Systems Moodle and associated systems Functional support Application support
  11. 11. Learning Systems and Support Library Systems Manager Library Systems General support ePotrfolio MoodleEquella Mobile & Mac People Soft Comp’ Ass’mnt Equella Moodle People Soft Comp’ Ass’mnt General support Lecture Record’n BB Collab’t
  12. 12. + Equella FS
  13. 13. Upgrade Feb and July  But why?  We upgrade approx 6 months after the release  Most of the bugs ironed out  Do not want to fall to far behind the product  Smaller iterative change  Less impact on academic staff  Easier to sell small incremental change  Establishing a culture of additional functionality  Creating a dynamic with the L&T systems – ‘we are on the move’
  14. 14. OK so how?  Soon after new release  Discuss with product community  Team decides if it’s still realistic  After 2.X.1 comes out put on play area  On a PC – vanilla – get exposure – try out the obvious - validate Feb March Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Jan Feb
  15. 15. Then...  Put on Dev  1st cut of merging with customisations – still pretty vanilla  Minor functional testing at this stage  Let’s just get it working properly  Apply USQ theme  Release to Test  Testing by functional team, ICT training, Padagogs Feb March Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Jan Feb
  16. 16. Then...  Decide on what is going forward (Assignment 2.2?)  Early change management  Ensure 3rd party plugins all working  Functional team all happy (as they can be)   Sign-off by business owner Feb March Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Jan Feb
  17. 17. Finally  Change management hits full swing  Training  Workshop particular new features  Road shows  Post production support on release  Bug-fixing and patching Feb March Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Jan Feb
  18. 18. Lessons  Understand the problem before you commit  Get senior management support  Importance of a dedicated team  Present relevant, clear information to management – keep the loop open  Find the big questions early  Be prepared not to upgrade if there’s something not right  Don’t assume all will be OK with the plugins
  19. 19. Lessons  Accept reality – what will work and what won’t  Engage with the supporters in teaching and admin staff  Communication Plan – you can’t communicate enough  Monitor and notify management early of issues, and include options/solution  Gather feedback and improve from last time  Training – variety of mediums  Consider what happens next – support, maintenance, that next upgrade
  20. 20. Biggest Lessons  Leave lots of room for testing !!!

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