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MIS Systems Thread, IRIS Behaviour Management and Analysis Tool in Technical; Dear all I seen a demonstration of IRIS ( http://www.iris.ac/ ) today and I liked what I saw. Has anybody ...
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    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    IRIS Behaviour Management and Analysis Tool

    Dear all

    I seen a demonstration of IRIS (http://www.iris.ac/) today and I liked what I saw. Has anybody seen or heard about it or even better use it in their school? As far as I am aware it is in about 40 Secondary Schools across the country and was developed by ParrsWood School in Manchester.

    Behaviour is not a huge issue in school, but we are in the process of finding a way to electronically gather behaviour incidents for our students whether through SIMS.net or another system.

    Thanks

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    Re: IRIS Behaviour Management and Analysis Tool

    Hi Andrew

    I'm the development manager on IRIS (from the initial conception). If yourself or anyone else has any technical questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them.

    Best regards
    Andrew Rose

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    mark80's Avatar
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    Re: IRIS Behaviour Management and Analysis Tool

    Thats very usefult to know Andrew as our school is in the market for a Behaviour Monitoring software at the moment

    Can you PM me your email?

    Thanks

    Mark

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    Just wanted to bump this thread, even though it is pretty old.

    The SLT at our school has had an all singing all dancing presentation on IRIS and are pretty sold on it. My own personal experience of IRIS is not good, having used it in a previous school, and my personal preference would be to use the behaviour and achievement modules in Sims.net.

    Does anyone in edugeek land use IRIS in their school at the moment? Has anyone used it and got rid of it? What were your reasons for binning it/bringing it in?

    cheers

    Iain

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Just had a look at the website, am I correct in thinking it's web based and is hosted-only? Does make it look at lot less attractive.

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    Hi Matt,

    You'd be dead right. It is web based and is hosted only. Two good reasons not to purchase in my opinion :-)

  7. Thanks to Iain.Faulkner from:

    matt40k (2nd July 2009)

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    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    We looked at it as to my first post, but decided to use the SIMS behaviour module as it suited our needs.

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    Iain.Faulkner (2nd July 2009), matt40k (2nd July 2009)

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    thanks Sylv3r, that was exactly the kind of response I was looking for :-)

    I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole in all honesty, my previous experience isn't good. I just need to fully justify my opinion based on other people's experiences.

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    matt40k (2nd July 2009)

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    Hi Iain

    I hope all is well. Could you expand on your comments: "...own personal experience of IRIS is not good", "...Two good reasons not to purchase in my opinion" and "...I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole".

    Regards
    Andrew Rose

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    Hi Andrew,

    At my previous school IRIS was brought in by the SMT without consultation (not Iris's fault or its developers fault I know). Upon trying to implement it our staff found that the layout was not as user friendly as it could have been.

    To be honest though the main issue was getting pupils to import correctly so that they would appear in the correct classes for each teacher. Quite often we would have "rogue" pupils that were in the wrong classes, despite regular imports of data (something I found quite laborious in that it had to be done via csv file) from Sims.net, this led to a lack of use of the system (a mistrust of it, if you will) from our staff.

    When we had issues, we would report them to the IRIS support team, however the response would take a significant amount of time (if we received a response at all).

    On a more personal note (although this is only my opinion), I prefer to run as few applications/systems as possible. I find that the more usernames and passwords our staff members have to remember, the less likely they are to use the different applications/systems we expect them to use. In my experience, staff have found it easier to run as much as possible from one console, a la sims.net. Similarly, I prefer to run systems "in house" as much as possible to avoid reliance on other companies. Hence I prefer to avoid hosted/off site solutions unless I absolutely have to use them.

    Iain

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    Hi Iain

    Thanks for expanding on the issues you encountered. During the time you would have been using IRIS, it was provided by free to Manchester schools from Parrs Wood High School as a system in development.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iain.Faulkner View Post
    At my previous school IRIS was brought in by the SMT without consultation (not Iris's fault or its developers fault I know). Upon trying to implement it our staff found that the layout was not as user friendly as it could have been.
    Ease of use is one of our primary areas of focus. Can you remember what, in regard to the layout was unfriendly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Iain.Faulkner View Post
    To be honest though the main issue was getting pupils to import correctly so that they would appear in the correct classes for each teacher. Quite often we would have "rogue" pupils that were in the wrong classes, despite regular imports of data (something I found quite laborious in that it had to be done via csv file) from Sims.net, this led to a lack of use of the system (a mistrust of it, if you will) from our staff.
    This was caused by a certain MIS system exporting incorrect data due to a synchronisation issue (inside the system itself). This was resolved, after a lot of emailing about support departments that took forever to reply. We also introduced an automated system for keeping data in sync some 2 years ago now. But please be aware that these where issues during the development phase and we helped as best we could by providing the facility for schools to send up hand formatted CSVs of the grouping data that we imported into IRIS while the problems where happening.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iain.Faulkner View Post
    When we had issues, we would report them to the IRIS support team, however the response would take a significant amount of time (if we received a response at all).
    We had no dedicated support at the time so support requests where handled mainly by myself, who was also the school MIS manager, IRIS developer and IRIS support for 20+ schools. These days however, we do have a support team that can be reached by Phone, Email or the Bulletin Board in IRIS. Most of our support requests are dealt with same day if not there and then on the phone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iain.Faulkner View Post
    On a more personal note (although this is only my opinion), I prefer to run as few applications/systems as possible. I find that the more usernames and passwords our staff members have to remember, the less likely they are to use the different applications/systems we expect them to use. In my experience, staff have found it easier to run as much as possible from one console, a la sims.net. Similarly, I prefer to run systems "in house" as much as possible to avoid reliance on other companies. Hence I prefer to avoid hosted/off site solutions unless I absolutely have to use them.
    We have tried to make things as easy as possible for the schools ICT support staff. Some of these include:

    1, Allowing staff to have the same username / password as the school network.
    2, Providing an "instruct us" service, where you email us with details of any setup requests or administrative tasks to perform in IRIS.
    3, Automated data transfer from your MIS to IRIS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iain.Faulkner View Post
    In my experience, staff have found it easier to run as much as possible from one console, a la sims.net. Similarly, I prefer to run systems "in house" as much as possible to avoid reliance on other companies. Hence I prefer to avoid hosted/off site solutions unless I absolutely have to use them.
    While it may be easy to use one system for all areas of school management, unfortunately it is never the case that such a system does it all very well. If a school takes behaviour seriously, using the built in tools of an MIS just doesn't cut it, most of the time

    I started to develop IRIS because of the lack of functionality in main stream MIS systems and drawning on my 7+ years working as an ICT technician / MIS manager in school to provide a system that is developed for the needs of the school, not what I think they need.

    Thanks again for replying.

    Andrew Rose

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    e_g_r's Avatar
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    We have had IRIS here for 2 terms.

    I can vouch that the technical support is good and also prompt. Most data problems are because SIMS data is not correct.

    My only bugbear is that every time we make a change to the timetable we have to run IRIS reports and upload the data to the web server.

    If this could be automated like Frog Server does then it would make my life easier.

    The staff seem to like it as well as they put there sanctions and rewards in at home.

    Just spotted this "3, Automated data transfer from your MIS to IRIS."

    How do i get this?
    Last edited by e_g_r; 14th July 2009 at 11:24 AM. Reason: spotted something in last post - doh

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    How do you achive SSO?

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    Quote Originally Posted by e_g_r View Post
    Just spotted this "3, Automated data transfer from your MIS to IRIS."

    How do i get this?
    I'll have someone give you a ring ASAP

    Regards
    Andrew Rose

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    How do you achive SSO?
    We have "pseudo SSO" in the form of an open username space so users can set the same username/password as their network login. We are also working with some providers to integrate into City wide school portals.

    However, the only real solution I can see to SSO would be for everyone (software providers) to adopt something like OpenID as it is neutral to any form of ownership / control. There is also SAML/Shibboleth, but it seems to break down when you want to give users the freedom over their provider.. please correct me if I am wrong.
    Last edited by andrew.rose; 14th July 2009 at 01:15 PM.

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