Current Profile: University of Notre Dame
LMS: Blackboard Vista 8.0.5
Adoption: 28-30% of Faculty // affecting 80% of all students (1 or more courses using LMS).
Most used in order: 1) File sharing; 2) Grade Posting; 3) Quiz & exam taking; 4) Assigned writing; 5) Discussions – observation, reading, reflection; 6) Posting discipline relative website links.
Equipment: 3 virtual app servers; 1 virtual admin node; database instance on shared physical db server (with SAN).
Database size: 398 gigabytes.
Concurrent logins at peak times: 800. Last measurement Fall 2010 mid-term week.
Growth rate in usage: One year upticks 1-2% points, holding steady over 5 years.
1 FTE dedicated for past 7 years. Duties: Provisioning, patching, regression testing application servers and service. Troubleshooting / Maintaining Banner integration. Troubleshooting/Testing new browsers, new java versions. Training OIT & MCOB Help Desks & other College-based distributed support personnel. Maintaining relationships with University programs using LMS extensively- Satellite Theological Education Program , Mendoza College of Business & MA programs, Center for Social Concerns, Art History Curator, Language Resource Center (Wimba), Key Faculty, Cluster & Classroom desktop engineers. Maintaining FAQ website. Timely messaging to constituents. Maintaining relationships/networks with vendor peers, peers at other institutions. Researching/understanding trends in LMS market, higher ed, educational delivery, student expectations, instructional design.
.1 FTE Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning. Advising / Consulting with Faculty and potentially recommending the LMS tools.
.05 FTE DBA and another .05 FTE Sys Admin for Hardware/OS
.025 FTE Administrative assistance for scheduling computer labs for occasional face-to-face faculty / TA workshops.
Resourcing includes no dedicated specialists in instructional design or in blended learning. Resourcing includes no in College “go-to” people (at least none that we know of) to provide how-to or pedagogical assistance to faculty. (The Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning handles all requests, not only specifically LMS related, University-wide, as well as offering workshops and hosting special events). Resourcing provides only a best-effort at coordinating of disparate campus initiatives which could use the LMS provisioning “glue” for more of a one-stop knowledge repository for language learning technologies (online ‘language lab’ replacement), classroom video capture and delivery, ePortfolio for formative and/or summative assessment, or early warning of academic failure in certain key programs or among certain at-risk student groups.
With those givenS, What expectations should you have?
Faculty would be aware of studies that indicate blended learning produces better outcomes than either just face-to-face or just online? No, no, you wouldn’t expect that.
Faculty who do use your LMS would have non-discipline specific understanding of how it could augment their teaching style and assist in improving student learning outcomes? No, no, you wouldn’t expect that.
Faculty that encounter any kind of error in their implementation (the ‘how-to’s’) would be motivated to push through and find resources to assist them? No, no, you wouldn’t expect that either.
Now comes change. Notre Dame is getting a new LMS.
The question on all our minds: How should an LMS be resourced? What would be the measurable goals we wish to have attained by a new resource level and how much of that can we afford?
*”More” because this is an ongoing topic on my blog.