I posted our current and future hypothetical support structures back on October 12th. I’m still ruminating on it.
I’m still ruminating mainly because the current support structure is not sustainable. More users, same amount of support? Greater diversity of needs met, same amount of support? Continually increasing interfaces to other systems, same amount of support?
The upticks in the past 6 years have been gradual and mostly, but not completely, absorbable. For example, we’ve quietly added iTunes U, but don’t really market it. And there exists no documentation for a mashup between that content and our LMS. We’ve added Wimba tools, but only the Language programs officially know about it… and therefore the Language Resource Center is one to whom we direct support calls. We don’t regularily update any library of online support FAQs; recently instead we started writing blog posts, attempting to make them timely, and relying on their searchability so they can function also as online support resources.
But a new system rollout always brings more exploration and establishes new users even after the transition is over.
I think we should anticipate that some portion of ramped up resources for the transition will need to continue to support the new system.
And I’m saying this without reference to whether the new system is attached to an open source community with the added decision point for Notre Dame of: What kind of a giveback to the community do we want to maintain? Where and how do we participate in the community?
Those questions need to be addressed and resources allocated for their implementation.