What I Didn’t Know About Using Community Source Software (Sakai) in Higher Ed

“How to set expectations for change management,” – that’s it. That’s what I didn’t know. Consider the kinds of changes one habitually takes from a vendor of proprietary software which you maintain in your own higher ed Data Center. The hypothetical change is New cool features advertised to you, or… Bug fixes (you’d found them or you hadn’t, in other words, you cared deeply or not at all), or … Enhancements. Qualities of the change: The change has already been deployed and tested many times over by the software vendor in environments, with data, very similar to yours. You schedule … Continue reading What I Didn’t Know About Using Community Source Software (Sakai) in Higher Ed

Working with the Ents

Enterprise architecture, the endeavor of building technical reference architecture for the business, or, in this case, for higher ed, is a deliberative iterative and s l o w process. Here I am in Madison, Wisconsin joining phenomenally gifted and wise senior enterprise architects such as Rich Stevens (University of Maryland), Jim Phelps (U of Wisconsin and current chair of ITANA*), Leo Fernig (U of British Columbia) and Scott Fullerton (U of Wisconsin) in creating a Learning Reference architecture for presentation at Educause in the fall. Knock on wood. Wood, you say? Or trees? Not only the things architects see through … Continue reading Working with the Ents

Data, Research, Education and … Hunches

A national gas station chain opens a neighborhood store, adds a customer loyalty program, puts up a website to collect registration data, gets people to swipe the card at the pump whenever buying gas, while inside asks again for the card and/or zip code, pays out their incentives: coffee, frozen drinks, snack packs, cookies, crackers, 2-liter pops. A video camera records it all. Another day, a researcher working on a project to determine the snacking habits of obese people versus non-obese people has just struck a gold mine if they can agree to responsibly treat this data in the aggregate … Continue reading Data, Research, Education and … Hunches

It’s a media, media media world.

If you’re doing academic research, you can now cite a Tweet. From the MLA: If you do project management, make it visual. In my workplace we’re seeing these “SCRUM boards” on every available wall. Some even include “buns in the oven” (the photo of the ultrasound is an example of media embedding): If you want to make a point, use an Infographic (fancy name for a collage that’s informative, right?) : Marketers always use media, your technology project might want to use it to help spin the change: Continue reading It’s a media, media media world.

How Universities Choose Their LMS: A Review of the Literature (but if you don’t know, I can’t tell you)

Tongue-in-Cheek Opening: In this post I will offer observations on various LMS evaluations of which I am aware. This awareness and knowledge comes from personal contacts and from published LMS reports (“the literature”). Unfortunately I have not much good to say. I would like to say I’ve caught someone doing something right. If I have, I will speak up. But mostly I haven’t been able to catch any institution in the act. Since I can’t promise I will be exceptionally kind although I do have a high value on kindness, I will refer to neither my friends nor the Universities … Continue reading How Universities Choose Their LMS: A Review of the Literature (but if you don’t know, I can’t tell you)