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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS and VLE/VLM in Technical; Okay so our LEA has provided a VLE for the borough from Teknical. We've been experimenting with Moodle in-house. The ...
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    wesleyw's Avatar
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    SIMS and VLE/VLM

    Okay so our LEA has provided a VLE for the borough from Teknical. We've been experimenting with Moodle in-house. The problem we're facing is wether either of these will ever get a way of showing specific MIS info from SIMS to Staff and Parents via an online route. Does anyone know if wither of these is working toward thias I know Capita is but that VLE hasn't been mentioned by our LEA and I doubt wether we'll pay for it when a VLE has been provided!

    Wes

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: SIMS and VLE/VLM


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    Re: SIMS and VLE/VLM

    From what i've heard our LEA is doing a similar thing by providing a free VLE but you will eventually start to pay once they have you hooked and start to expand it's facilities. We have gone an independant route with a company called Uniservity and they are currently involved with Capita to provide the link into SIMS.

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    Re: SIMS and VLE/VLM

    we ditched uniservity. we found their cms/vle soultion to be extremely poorly put together and their "technical" people clueless. On several occasions i actually guided them in fixeing problems with our site as they we're unsure of how parts of it worked - like the java wysiwyg editor whos jar file included executables and was being blocked by schools proxy servers - they didn't know how to unpack a jar!! i had to explain to them how their applet worked, and why it's genrally a bad idea to shoe horn in off the shelf solutions with little idea of how they work.

    not to mention it was costing 3k per annum and wasn't even on a dedicated server... or domain for that matter (all uniservity sites hang of school-portal.co.uk)

    not impressed. I've developed the school a mambo public site and i'm doing a moodle thingy for the kids.

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    wesleyw's Avatar
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    Re: SIMS and VLE/VLM

    Will the Mambo site allow authorised/authenticated users to access attendance SIMS data? Does anyone know if there's a solution to this?

    Wes

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    Re: SIMS and VLE/VLM

    not unless someone wants to come up with a sims component for mambo

    our mambo site is our main public facing website though. i think it's important to draw a clear distinction between your publicly accessible website, providing information, news and pretty pictures - essentially and electronic publication - and the backend stuff like a VLE and MIS integration.

    our moodle installation is being kept seperate from our main website for this very reason. I see the two things as seperate. Just because two things are web based doesn't mean they should be bundled together into some kind of frankenstein solution.

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    wesleyw's Avatar
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    Re: SIMS and VLE/VLM

    Well we have outside internet pages and our extranet (VLE/VLM) pages hosted on two different systems with a link to the other. I suppose I could code an MySQL/PHP setup to allow authenticated users to see specific info this could take some time though. A report in SIMS could be generated and output to CSV then read in has anyone done anything like this?

    Wes

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    Re: SIMS and VLE/VLM

    we use unisevity here,
    after using uniservity for a while now i have to say i like it after a few upgrades to their system everyone is using alot more and service is excellent.
    all our feeder primarys are signed up and possibly more.
    all the staff are finding it increasingly easy to use now with an improved wysiwyg editor for ease of use. and also the opportunity to put code in if need be!
    the advantage of uniservity is that it is becta approved and is used as learning platform with great collaboration available etc...

    also to add there are many online help video's available which are really good for staff self training etc...

    very impressed with the service!

    cheers kris

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: SIMS and VLE/VLM

    OK ... a little bit of history with the working betweens the various MIS and various VLEs / Learning Platforms.

    Most MIS are based around proprietary code. There is FreeMIS which is being developed but it does not have a chunk of the features that other MIS have ... yet (put in a feature request and they will work on it). Enough of the pugging open source stuff ... now for the reality.

    To get any system to talk to the various MIS out there you have 2 choices ... break into it and do it yourself, working out what tables do what, etc (and breaking T&Cs for most MIS) or pay some extra cash to get a licence to do extra things.

    To get VLEs to work with MIS then the vendor needs to have worked with the MIS vendor.

    This is one reason why Moodle has limited access to SIMS. Unless someone writes the module for it then you won't get it. And then if you pass that module onto others you have to include a small fee to Capita IIRC (the MIS APIs are not generally GPL!)

    This is pretty much the same with CMIS and Pheonix IIRC.

    The solution? Both SIMS and CMIS will have 'web parts' to allow you to hook sections into a sharepoint based Learning Platform. This means Learning Gateway in it's many forms and flavours, and provided by a number of vendors (RM and Capita are both basing Learning Platforms on Learning Gateway now).

    And that is the story folks ... it may be that Capita and Serco both include modules for VLEs as part of their licence in the future ... but I am not holding my breath.

    But the data management working party at Becta have not long been thrashing things out so there are a number of ways you can put pressure on the various MIS vendors to accomadate you.

    HTH

    HAND

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    wesleyw's Avatar
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    Re: SIMS and VLE/VLM

    Sounds fair so theoretically you could write a NTAuth section using PHP and code the web MIS pages yourself from the web hook?

    Wes

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