Blackboard at Blackboard – Swinburne’s LMS migration

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Associate Professor Richard Constantine, Chief Information Officer and Director, Information Technology Services and Matthew Smith, Associate Director, IT Governance Strategy and Planning For many years Swinburne has used separate and independent LMS’s in our TAFE and Higher Education sectors. In response to a management directive that all Student and Staff should use a single, unified LMS, Swinburne looked to Blackboard Hosting as a way to deliver this project. In addition to financial benefits, Swinburne’s use of a hosted solution delivers significant non-financial benefits. These benefits include outcomes such as resource flexibility, service level improvements and removing the distraction of managing technical issues allowing staff to remain focused on the main challenge of implementing a single LMS solution. This presentation will outline Swinburne’s progress to date including the decision making process, key benefits and risk considerations, the experience to date and way forward as Swinburne progresses towards a single hosted LMS.

Transcript of Blackboard at Blackboard – Swinburne’s LMS migration

  • 1.Blackboard at Blackboard
    Swinburnes LMS migration

2. Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
2
About Swinburne
Dual Sector
Certificate I through to PhD
5 Main Campuses
Increasing use of on-line delivery
3. Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
3
About Swinburne
TAFE and HE Sectors (2009)
21,877 HE Students (15,935 EFTS)
39,672 TAFE Students (14,748 EFTS)
Approx 2,600 Staff FTE
Centralised IT
4. Background
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5. Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
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Swinburnes LMS
2 systems
TAFE uses Blackboard CE 8
HE uses Blackboard Academic Suite 8
Varying approaches and usage
Different support levels from Different areas
2 Business Owners
6. Mission Critical
Perhaps most important student facing application
Used for domestic and international delivery
High reliability expectation
Zero unscheduled downtime
Few if any maintenance/upgrade windows
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
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7. The Driver
Blackboard CE end-of-life
One LMS
Common user experience across both sectors
Consistency of delivery
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
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8. The Challenge
One Swinburne LMS
Run it
Better
More efficiently
With minimal disruption
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
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9. The Approach
Use Blackboards Managed Hosting Service to host the 2 existing Blackboard systems through and beyond their migration to Blackboard 9.1
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
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10. The Business Case
The case for external hosting
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11. Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
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Why consider hosting
Why are we still running Data Centers?
Mission Critical systems require 24x7 support but..
Expertise may be hard to get and may relate only to one aspect of the system
Staff work 7.35 hours per day, 5 days per week
Staff take leave (planned and unplanned)
12. Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
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Tangible Benefits
Hardware Savings
No Hardware costs
Software Savings
Single System only one license
Salary Savings
Single support structure
Full positions only
13. Intangible Benefits
Staff
Space, Training
DBA, Sys Admin
Support
Staff focus
Not keeping lights on
Innovation
Improve support
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
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14. Intangible benefits
Fully supported LMS One throat to choke
Improved user uptake
Data Center Costs
Improved scalability and reliability
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
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15. Estimated Benefits
Realisable (tangible) savings of >$350K over 5 years
Total benefits (includes above and estimated intangibles) >$1.5M over 5 years
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
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16. Due Diligence
Inspected data center
AARNET connection
Tier 4 DC is one of 5 worldwide
Considered vendor
More than 10 years experience
More than 600 clients and >7M users
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
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17. What have we done
Hosted LMS at BB DC in Sydney
All Updates/Upgrades/Hardware refresh
24x7 monitoring
99.7% uptime guarantee (currently 99.9%)
Dedicated CHM
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
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18. Risk Management
Complex Hosting Manager
Retained existing hardware as fallback for 6 months (remainder of lease)
Reduced dependence on individuals
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
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19. The Project
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20. Project Approach
Executive level support
15 18 month duration
2 phases
Transition to hosting (3 months)
Towards a Single LMS (12-15 months)
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
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21. Transition to Hosting
An IT Project
Comparatively simple and low impact on end user
BB and WebCT different
Differing data transfer methods
Ensured multiple options for data transfer
Test, test and test again
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
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22. Transition to Hosting
Challenges
Finding a window
Volume of data
Length of outage window
Customisations
Documentation
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
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23. Did it go Smoothly?
Yes (generally)
Completed as scheduled
Most users unaware that the system is now run out of Sydney
Some unforeseeable teething problems
Mainly interfaces and firewall issues that were simple to resolve
Some challenges with Swinburne customisations
Enlightening
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
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24. Towards one LMS
Not an IT project
Complex
Technically simple?
Installing an LMS is easy
Making it usable is not
Change Management
HE Evolutionary
TAFE Revolutionary
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
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25. Towards one LMS
Converging on Blackboard 9.1
Workshops and analysis to identify needs currently underway
Needs are the same but different
Need Agreement
Work in progress
Expected go-live Sem 1 2011
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
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26. Challenges
Blackboard 9.1
Evolution for HE
Revolution for TAFE
Agreeing a single set of requirements
Timeline
Training
Change management
We dont know what we dont know
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
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27. How does Hosting help
Staff are focused on implementing one LMS
Hardware constraints irrelevant
No requirement to manage environments
Technical implementation expertise from BB
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
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28. Thank You
For more information on this presentation please contact:
Matthew Smith
Associate Director IT Governance, Strategy and Planning
Information Technology Services
msmith@swin.edu.au