Piloting A DistributeD Learning Environment

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PADDLE



Project Plan



Version

3


6/9/2007

Page
1

of
10



Project Information

Project Acronym

PADDLE

Project Title

Piloting A Distribut
eD Learning Environment


Start Date

1/3/07

End Date

28/02/09

Lead Institution

University of Chester

Project Director

Henry Blackman

Project Manager &
contact details

Caro
l Comer, tel 01244 511303,
c.comer@chester.ac.uk

Partner Institutions

N/A

Project Web URL

http://www.chester.ac.uk/ple

Programme Name (and
number)

User Owned Technology

Programme Manager

Heather Williamson


Document Name

Document Title

Project Plan

Reporting Period

n/a

Author(s) & project role

Carol Comer, project manager

Date

23
rd

July 2007

Filename

Project_plan.doc

URL

n/a

Access



Project and JISC internal



General dissemination


Document Histo
ry

Version

Date

Comments

2.0

23
rd

July 2007









PADDLE



Project Plan



Version 3



Date 5
th

September 2007

Page
2

of
10


Overview of Project

: Piloting A DistributeD Learning Environment
(PADDLE)

1. Background


The project will build on current work in the area of personal learning opportunities already provided,
or

already in a short term development schedule, by IBIS, the University VLE

(Virtual Learning
Environment)
, having been identified through the University’s participation in the HE Academy's
eBenchmarking pilot project. Key features of this work already inc
lude the delivery of news and
announcements, blogs and events, in an interoperable way with technology such as Really Simple
Syndication (RSS), and iCal web services. Combined with research from JISC CETIS with regard to
the PLE reference model, the proje
ct will enable a clear evaluation of the effects on the learner, the
teacher and the wider institution in supporting and utilising this emerging decentralised delivery
mechanism.

2. Aims and Objectives




Deliver PHP Classes for cohort membership being del
ivered from Tribal SITS
-
vision
, and
reading lists from the Innopac Library Management System



Deliver generic student and staff practical guides to decentralised delivery of learning that can
be adapted by any other organisation



A case study covering:

o

the a
pproach: how the module was refactored

o

Interventions: the changes and improvements made during and after the pilot study

o

Successes of student adoption of this new paradigm for students who are not
necessarily familiar with Web 2.0



Evaluation report concern
ing the effects
on

learners and teachers, and the support services
within the University
, where the University does not have control over the technology.



Build on and join up with recent work in the JISC CETIS community, in particular the PLE
project and
PLEX software



To provide a pathfinder for the future both for the University and the education community
beyond the timescales of the project

3. Overall Approach

The project will begin by developing the appropriate technologies, using open source developme
nt
processes, such that the institutional VLE, library system, and SRS
(student record system)
can
support additional standards. Simultaneously
,

a learning technologist, with strong research focus in
this area, will be recruited to take a full time role
.

PADDLE



Project Plan



Version 3



Date 5
th

September 2007

Page
3

of
10

Part
-
time students that are studying a course with a significant amount of work
-
based learning will be
selected. These students are already studying on a blended learning basis. They will only be
studying one module using this new methodology, therefore
we will have the benefit of comparing
their experience of using this model, with their experience of the traditional method of online delivery.


The learning technologist and

module

lecturer

will
create orientation materials

such as an introduction
to we
b2.0 and the
u
ser
-
owned technology and the different ways in which the web can be used to
deliver learning materials. This will be done so students will be comfortable with the learning
environment. The development of learner activities will ensure more

interaction than will have
previously taken place with this on
-
line module, and will include more formative assessment activities,
and the use of discussion boards, the module blog and chat facilities.


A small
scale pilot

will be conducted

to identify wh
at students may require assistance, such that the
full study can be fully prepared, and ethical issues of trialling new technology with learners can be
mitigated. During this time, the learner activities may need to be refactored to fit with a decentralis
ed
approach, however because of the style of the CPD/Work Based Learning style modules proposed,
this will be minimal.


Once the project begins, the Learning Technologist will meet with the learners, and provide the
orientation as appropriate, also providi
ng contact details letting the learners know that contact is
expected during the project.


The majority of
the
evaluation will be of a qualitative nature, such that learner, and teacher
experiences can be measured at the point of entry, during the projec
t, and after the project using Q
-
Sorts methodology.


An evaluation report however will be delivered such that the learner and teacher experiences will be
summarized, and challenges highlighted both in terms of technical issues, and practice issues.
High
lighting the effect on University support, both in terms of central IT support, learner support, and
the help that was provided up front, also forms a key part of the evaluation report, particularly in
providing the sector with a pathfinder to larger imple
mentations.


Dissemination of the outcomes of the project are key to its purpose, and as such the University of
Chester aims to deliver a full breadth of dissemination methods, throughout the pilot and at the end.

Th
is

proposal also seeks to build on the

University's growing expertise in personal learning, ePortfolio
systems, standards based development and delivery of IT tools such as blogs, and wikis, and the
usage of such tools in the learning environment, both in traditional programmes of study, and w
ork
based learning or continuing professional development programmes such as the Foundation Degree
for Government with the Cabinet Office, Foundation Degree in Health Informatics with the NHS, and
the University core Work Based Learning module for all leve
l 2 students.

PADDLE



Project Plan



Version 3



Date 5
th

September 2007

Page
4

of
10

4. Project Outputs

The deliverables will include:




The development of the learning environment



Revised
delivery of specific
module

on the Foundation Degree in H
ea
l
th Informatics



Evaluation report

o

Evaluation of students’ experiences

o

Technical
and organisational review of the effects of this project


5. Project Outcomes


The outcomes will include



Increased availability of
institutional data and activity

outside the VLE



Increased knowledge about

how the

learners engage with their learning



Dissemi
nation of this knowledge both within and without the institution


6. Stakeholder Analysis



Stakeholder

Interest / stake

Importance

JISC

Adding to the body of knowledge

High

Foundation Degree in Health Informatics


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7. Risk Analysis



Risk

Probability

(1
-
5)

Severity

(1
-
5)

Score

(P x S)

Action to Prevent/Manage Risk

Staffing





Staff turnover during the
project

3

3

9

Expertise is shared in the core
team
.

Other suitable staff are
available should core staff leave
during the project

Appropriate staff
cannot be
recruited

1

1

1

A suitable project manager has
been identified, and staff already
exist in the University may be
used
.

Workload can be shared in
the core team

Project slippage due to lack
of staff time

2

2

4

Regular monitoring meetings with
the
project team Project is part of
PADDLE



Project Plan



Version 3



Date 5
th

September 2007

Page
5

of
10

learning strategy for the a number
of teams in the University

Organisational





Module selected may be not
be delivered due to lack of
registrations

3

5

15

Only modules with appropriately
sized cohorts will be considered
.

There are an alternative w
ide
selection of CPD and WBL
modules are available

Technical





Learners may lack technical
resources to use learning
tools

4

4

16

Suitable orientation to the learning
tools required will be given
.
A
range of popular tools h
ave been
identified and can be presented if
necessary

Learners may be unwilling
to use learning tools

4

3

12

The benefits of the paradigm will
be clearly highlighted in orientation
.

Popular tools may be highlighted
such that learners are using tools
from
familiar names



8. Standards


Name of standard or
specification

Version

Notes

RSS

apple extensions for
Podcasting

2


iCAL

1


PH
P

(Personal Home Page)

5.1.6

Any software would be developed in a LAMP
(Linux Apache MYSQL PHP)

FOAF

(Friend of a Friend)

0
.1


Grease Monkey

0.6


Blogger API

(Application
Programming Interface)



OPML

(Outline Processor
Markup Language)

2




9. Technical Development


Whilst the project is firmly aimed at testing technology and its effects in a learning situation, some
deve
lopment is required, to integrate the appropriate
standard
technologies into the institutional VLE
using open source tools
and APIs
.
T
he University
has not sought sponsorship for all

development
,

as
it already forms part of the development schedule for ac
ademic year 2006/7.

all development will be
completed using PHP version 5.1x and the Zend framework (0.7) wherever possible.


Using a rapid application development approach and

open source
development tools
, such
as
subversion for source code management a
nd ZDE for code development, so
that the institutional
VLE, library system, and SRS can support additional standards, using a
service layer within a SOA
.

PADDLE



Project Plan



Version 3



Date 5
th

September 2007

Page
6

of
10

10. Intellectual Property Rights


All technology will be available under a Creative Commons Licence.


Project Resources

11. Project Partners

None


12. Project Management


Project Board: Henry Blackman,
Carol Comer,
Brian Fitzpatrick (Director of Learning and Information
Services)


Project Lead:

Henry Blackman, Head of Learning Technology, Deputy Directo
r Learning and Information Services
(Managed Learning Services)
,
Tel: 01244 51 3374
,
eMail: h.blackman@chester.ac.uk


Project Manager:

Carol Comer (0.3 time), Academic Advisor (eLearning), Senior Lecturer
,
Tel: 01244 51 3101

eMail:
c.comer@chester.ac.uk


Learning Technologist:

Alice Jones (1.0 time), Learning Technologist (Learning and Information Services)
, Tel: 0124451
3366
,
eMail: alice.jones@chester.ac.uk


Programme/IS Support:

Richard Craig (0.1 time), Information Officer (Learning and Information Se
rvices)
,
Tel: 01244 51
1
693
,
eMail: r.craig@chester.ac.uk


The project manager Carol Comer reports fortnightly to the project lead Henry Blackman.


The project reports into the eLearning Forum which meets 5
-
6 times a year, which further reports to
the Infor
mation Strategy committee which meets 4 times a year, and to the Learning and Teaching
committee which meets 4 times a year.


13. Programme Support

Ongoing
advice

from programme manager.


PADDLE



Project Plan



Version 3



Date 5
th

September 2007

Page
7

of
10

14. Budget




March 07

April 07


March 08

April 08
-

March
09

Total

Total Project Cost (C+D+E)

£
11,414

£
138,491

£
132,526

£
282,431


Amount Requested from JISC

£3,955

£49,106

£46,939

£100,000


Institutional Contributions

£7,459

£89,385

£85,587

£182,431



Detailed Project Planning

15. Workpackages

See attached


16. Evalu
ation Plan



Timing

Factor to Evaluate

Questions to Address

Method(s)

Measure of Success

Start

Initial PLE setup

Did all students have
access to personal
environment

All students
tracked

100% access

Throughout

Usability

Were any students
having problems
using
personal environment

Informal
focus groups

Changes made to
system or
documentation

Throughout

Technical problems

Were all technical
problems overcome

Informal
focus group

Changes made to
system or
documentation

Throughout

Technology choices

How man
y different
environments were
selected

Usage log
analysis

Changes made to
documentation

Post pilot

Students positive
about delivery

Did students think
module delivered in
PLE more accessible
than module delivered
in VLE

Have students adopted
more Web 2.0
as a
result of the project.

All students
interviewed

Positive attitude to
new system

Post pilot

Staff positive about
delivery

Did the delivery using a
PLE concept affect
pedagogic approaches,
if so how, and how
were they resolved?

Did the delivery present

any support, or
technical challenges, if
so how were they
resolved.

Interview

Positive attitude to
new system

Delivery afforded new
approaches, and
challenges were
resolved.

PADDLE



Project Plan



Version 3



Date 5
th

September 2007

Page
8

of
10

Final
evaluation

Decision
of how

to
roll out PLE to more
modules and staff

Educa
tion and training
of staff


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PADDLE



Project Plan



Version 3



Date 5
th

September 2007

Page
9

of
10

17. Quality Plan


Output


Timing

Quality criteria

QA method(s)

Evidence of
compliance

Quality
responsibilities

Quality
to
ols

(if
applicable)

Orientation
materials
pre
-
meeting

and post
meeting

Comprehension
of students

Workshop and
questionnaire

Questionnaire
results

CC

N/A

New
version of
VLE

Standards
Compliant

Test against
W3 standards

Test report

HB

W3 web
-
site

Curricu
lum
refactoring

Because this is a new methodology the quality criteria and methods will be developed
as the project runs.

Delivery of
curriculum

University
Quality
Standards

Students
module
feedback from
workshops and
module
evaluations
module report

Modu
le
evaluations,
workshops
notes, external
examiners
report

CC, Sandra
Lacey
(programme
leader)

University
templates

Evaluation
report

The evaluation report will use a JISC template and JISC measures of quality and will be
externally reviewed.



18. Disse
mination Plan


Timing

Dissemination Activity

Audience

Purpose

Key Message

Sept 2007

ALT

Teachers,
learning
technologists,

Dissemination

Project aims and
development

May 2008

Solstice

Teachers,
learning
technologists,

Dissemination

Project
development,
su
ccesses and
challenges

March
2008

JISC conference

Teachers,
learning
technologists,

Dissemination

Project
development,
successes and
challenges

2008/9

CETIS events

Teachers,
learning
technologists,

Dissemination

e
-
framework

2008/9

Internal staff
develop
ment events

Teachers,

Dissemination

Enhancement of
teaching



PADDLE



Project Plan



Version 3



Date 5
th

September 2007

Page
10

of
10

19. Exit and Sustainability Plans



Project Outputs

Action for Take
-
up & Embedding

Action for Exit

Orientation materials pre
-
meeting and post meeting

Posted on project web
-
site and
available

through LIS (Learning and
Information Services) user education
programme

None

New version of VLE

Roll
-
out of software will be University
wide.

Ensure the technology is
maintained in future
development
.

Curriculum refactoring

Staff development will take
place

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Project Outputs

Why Sustainable

Scenarios for Taking
Forward

Issues to Address

Orientation materials
pre
-
meeting and post
meeting

University wishes to
continu
e
implementation and
integration

Posted on project web
-
site
and available through LIS
(Learning and Information
Services) user education
programme

None

New version of VLE

University wishes to
continue
implementation and
integration

Roll
-
out of software wi
ll be
University wide.

University policy on
use of Web2.0 and
user
-
owned
technologies

Curriculum
refactoring

University wishes to
continue
implementation and
integration

Staff development will take
place

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