Hands on Requirements Gathering …

This is so cool. This semester we’re running live hybrid classes with 3 different course management systems; we’re collecting data on the good, the bad and the ugly. One course is an MIS course which, if I understand it correctly, will have used all 3 of them by the time the semester is over… It helps that the Instructor is the Chairman of our Course Management System Steering Committee!

Kristin Lewis, who teaches Biology, has different sections of the same class using one of the three different CMSs. She now has comparative experience and insight designing and teaching the same course in 3 different course management systems.

Our Satellite Theological Education Program is contributing as well by conducting distance courses simultaneously in 3 separate CMSs.

Oh.. and I’m helping with Usability testing. We knew that Pilot course activities would only inform us on a limited amount of a CMS’s functionality and that the number of participating Faculty (no more than 5 that I know of) would necessarily bring their own biases based on how each of them uses a CMS. So, Usability Testing.

I wrote course design, course teaching and student scenarios based on my experience and understanding of how Notre Dame faculty want to use a course management system and how they do use it based on some of the different support cases that come in from faculty in different disciplines … Our new Academic Technologies Manager, Paul Turner, is bringing his expertise designing, collecting data, and reporting out on these kinds of trials. And we’re utilizing the software Morae, the TechSmith product, to collect every keystroke, video of the participant, and times on task so that our CMS comparison utilizes as objective data as possible.

We are gaining a deeper level of insight into the cms solutions themselves AND, more importantly, into what we at Notre Dame need from such software than I would’ve ever thought possible.

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2 responses to “Hands on Requirements Gathering …

  1. We’d love to know what systems you’re evaluating, but we also realize you may not be able to tell us…
    …but can you at least tell us that you can’t tell us?

  2. John,
    We are almost outside of the timeframe when I can’t tell you because soon it will be so widely known (at least on our campus) that it could be figured out. Not to be coy, but we’re doing an opensource, the system we currently have (Bb Vista), and another player.
    LG

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