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MIS Systems Thread, (Another) SIMS LG thread in Technical; Hi all, I hope you'll forgive me, i've only just discovered this forum and after A LOT of reading I ...
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    (Another) SIMS LG thread

    Hi all,

    I hope you'll forgive me, i've only just discovered this forum and after A LOT of reading I decided my best foot forward would be to submit my own thread, in the hope that some of you can answer my questions and provide some knowledgable guidance...

    We are a secondary school with a Uniservity VLE and in line with the 2010 requirements we had a rep from Capita pitch to us a few weeks ago.

    What I can't quite get my head around at the moment (bearing in mind the first time I'd ever looked at SIMS or a VLE was two months ago) is the virtue of going for SLG, especially when we already have a VLE? It struck me that SLG was trying to be a VLE-lite, with the added bonus of being able to publish SIMS data online.

    Our key requirement is purely to be able to give parents access to data such as attendance, grades & behavioural comments. I was hoping that this could be achieved through some sort of VLE plug-in, but have seen this is not the case.

    Would everyone recommend looking at solutions other than SLG?

    I'll probably add to this thread as time goes on, but I won't completely brain-dump on you all at the moment...

    Many thanks in advance!

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    SLG makes no attempt to be a VLE, simply a method of publishing, and interacting with, SIMS data online. It is possible to acquire just the web parts and ADPS and drop them into an existing Sharepoint installation.

    SLG does make available the data you described to parents, and students. It also allows teachers to enter data online, whether from home or in school.

    I do know that there are other solutions out there, but don't know enough about them to comment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_506 View Post
    We are a secondary school with a Uniservity VLE and in line with the 2010 requirements we had a rep from Capita pitch to us a few weeks ago.
    Does the school use SIMS at the moment? If so, I'd say just write a script to periodically update your VLE with data from SIMS. How much does the proposed solution from Capita cost?

    --
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    matt40k's Avatar
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    SLG2 is really good if you teachers to mark the registers per lesson (Lesson Monitor) and use it a lot.

    Take a look at:
    SharePoint Web Parts for Moodle - Release: 1.5 Production

    It links Moodle into MOSS (SLG2), tho I've yet to try it. If anyones got any spare time?? (Looks at the people who are testing sims on Windows 7 )

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    I've done a blog post on the moodle webparts

    SharePoint Moodle Web Parts - Alex Pearce: SharePoint Blog - SharePoint Blogs / SharePoint University

    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    SLG2 is really good if you teachers to mark the registers per lesson (Lesson Monitor) and use it a lot.

    Take a look at:
    SharePoint Web Parts for Moodle - Release: 1.5 Production

    It links Moodle into MOSS (SLG2), tho I've yet to try it. If anyones got any spare time?? (Looks at the people who are testing sims on Windows 7 )

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    Quackers's Avatar
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    If its for JUST the parent reporting system you want, Insight by TASC Software does a better job than Sims LG at a fraction of the price.

  7. Thanks to Quackers from:

    Easy_506 (23rd February 2009)

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Personally, SLG2 is worth it, no more moaning staff if they need to upgrade the clients. (Also it's read\write).
    Last edited by matt40k; 23rd February 2009 at 04:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Personally, SLG2 is worth it, no more money staff if they need to upgrade the clients. (Also it's read\write).
    Freudian slip?

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Oops... mind on other things! I wonder what?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    SLG makes no attempt to be a VLE, simply a method of publishing, and interacting with, SIMS data online.
    I only mentioned it because the way it was pitched to us, it was shown as a completely separate online entity, whereas we were hoping that it would provide us with a way of retaining the singular online presence, whilst delivering the required live data to parents. I think it came across to me as another VLE because of the way it was pitched to us, with personalised banner space, picture upload space, etc etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    It is possible to acquire just the web parts and ADPS and drop them into an existing Sharepoint installation.
    I'd like to hear more about these web parts. They were mentioned very briefly to us, but I really came away from the meeting asking how SLG and the VLE actually interact at all...

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Does the school use SIMS at the moment? If so, I'd say just write a script to periodically update your VLE with data from SIMS. How much does the proposed solution from Capita cost?
    David, the answer is yes, we do use SIMS, but nowhere near to its potential. And because we were looking at a hosted solution, i'll give you a ballpark figure of £10k+ for the first three years.


    After reading through all the comments on this forum about SLG, I have to say it doesn't seem such a bad thing to have, but what niggles with me is that the package seems much bigger than it needs to be.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_506 View Post
    After reading through all the comments on this forum about SLG, I have to say it doesn't seem such a bad thing to have, but what niggles with me is that the package seems much bigger than it needs to be.
    Yes, have to agree, but can you find me a new phone with a non-colour screen, no camera? Basically it just sends texts and makes telephone calls?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_506 View Post
    I'd like to hear more about these web parts. They were mentioned very briefly to us, but I really came away from the meeting asking how SLG and the VLE actually interact at all...
    Simply put, they don't by default. The web parts can be dropped into any Sharepoint site and the ADP service can be used to create users, similarly for any sharepoint site. These can be given group membership depending on the type of user (year group, registration group, etc for students, year group of child/ren for parents and so on) so that this can then be tied into an existing Sharepoint VLE setup, or site, for audiencing of discussion lists, web parts, and so on.

    The SIMS web parts themselves provide the same functionality as SLG2, but are easier to integrate into an existing Sharepoint setup. If your current VLE is based in Sharepoint then you could continue to use this, drop the web parts into your own structure, and provision accounts for the VLE. Alternatively if you wanted to use your existing AD structure for the Sharepoint install then there is the option of custom AD provisioning scripts, or of consolidating the default provisioned accounts with your existing ones so that users can continue using their normal accounts.

    You can check out the actual functionality that the web parts provide by looking at the online demo - SIMS Learning Gateway Demo - Capita Children's Services. While designed to demonstrate SLG itself, these are the same parts as available separately.

    Since you mention Uniservity, I do know that there's some sort of partnership going on between Capita and UniServity, but I'm unsure of the details.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Yes, have to agree, but can you find me a new phone with a non-colour screen, no camera? Basically it just sends texts and makes telephone calls?
    Ha ha! Yes, quite true. I'm still waiting for Nokia's retro 'Digi-Brick' range to come out...

    After all these responses, I think i'm going to get the people from Bromcom and Insight in to talk to us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_506 View Post
    David, the answer is yes, we do use SIMS, but nowhere near to its potential. And because we were looking at a hosted solution, i'll give you a ballpark figure of £10k+ for the first three years.
    Just write a script to extract the data you want from SIMS via CommandReporter and shove in to your VLE. Spend part of that £10,000 to get someone to write it for you if you can't do it yourself - there's a number of scripts floating around that do the job quite nicely, a bit of modification would fit them for your situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Just write a script to extract the data you want from SIMS via CommandReporter and shove in to your VLE. Spend part of that £10,000 to get someone to write it for you if you can't do it yourself - there's a number of scripts floating around that do the job quite nicely, a bit of modification would fit them for your situation.

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    Except that the 2010 requirement is for real time data so you would have to have the scrip running & refreshing data constantly.



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