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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, How long did it take you to implement your VLE? in Technical; As it stands right now we should be getting a new VLE in sometime in the next month or so. ...
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    Sam_Brown's Avatar
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    How long did it take you to implement your VLE?

    As it stands right now we should be getting a new VLE in sometime in the next month or so. Now we've been given a deadline of September 2010 to get everything up and running and I'm not sure how feasible this is.

    So what I want to know is...

    What VLE are you running?
    How long from confirmation with the VLE supplier to them actually installing the VLE?
    How long after the VLE was installed and set up did it take to have everything set up as you wanted and populated with all the course notes etc.


    Thanks in advance.

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    We're using Moodle

    This is the 2nd time round for a VLE here as the last attempt never really worked out but it's much better planned and supported now.

    We're hosting externally as tbh I don't have time to be supporting Linux environments and prefer to spend the energy in site development than basic day-to-day maintenance.

    Had ours running within the week from when we agreed to go ahead with it... though saying that a basic Moodle install is nothing to get excited about!

    I've spent the last few months developing it with a custom theme and also porting website content onto it (shall I call it a Woodle?) and also testing extra plugins \ modules to get the most value added on there as possible. That's really where the time and dev work comes in if you go down the Moodle route... depends on your requirements and how you rate the other platforms to some extent.

    We've got mainly part-time tutors and students so it makes life a lot harder and takes longer to get the VLE embedded but I'd start with pilot courses with your more enthusiastic tutors and then get best practice examples running and go from there

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Depends on what you class as implement?

    If you are saying to install it then not very long. If on the other hand you mean embed into the school then that is different. We are nearly 3 years in and seem to be about 60% way there. When we talk to people we seem to be head of a lot of schools.

    MLE and VLE projects are at least a 3 year project if not 5.

    Russ

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    andy_nic's Avatar
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    We use the RM Kaleidos Learning Platform.

    We are on the 2nd attempt we did have E2BN’s VLE. And it going better with the support of SMT. all the students are on & we are in the process of training staff. but we have had this since July 07. But only really started to push it since last July. As for the other question, I don't know how long it took to order because the LEA bought it for us for the first 3 years so all the schools in Peterborough are on the same system.

    also the KLP is hosted are RM and users are exported from Sims and some other which i can't remember the names

    hope this helps
    Last edited by andy_nic; 4th November 2009 at 08:33 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam_Brown View Post
    As it stands right now we should be getting a new VLE in sometime in the next month or so. Now we've been given a deadline of September 2010 to get everything up and running and I'm not sure how feasible this is.

    So what I want to know is...

    What VLE are you running?
    How long from confirmation with the VLE supplier to them actually installing the VLE?
    How long after the VLE was installed and set up did it take to have everything set up as you wanted and populated with all the course notes etc.


    Thanks in advance.
    We use Sharepoint provided by LP+

    It took a while to get the initial setup but that was largely due to wranglings with LP+/AN Other company.

    We've got our staff area up and running and about 35% to 40% of subjects using it in anger. Students use it for announcments/info and for email. Governors have just got a portal up & running and we are currently in the process of setting up a parental gateway using the LP+ webparts.

    All in all I would say it's taken about a year to get where we are now (maybe a little over).

    What I would say is the commitment is huge. Director of Elearning was added to my job so I spend time working with people to develop the use of the VLE as well as making sure it works technically (no mean feat with LP+!!). I have spent a collosal amount of time on it and I am very lucky to have an excellent 2nd in command who has taken some of the school network stuff off me.

    We work in a federation of 6 or 7 schools and the ones where someone isn't available to put the time in have made very slow process. As I have said in many other posts I am also blessed by having some excellent teaching colleagues who have put many, many hours into build subject sites and been happy to share this knowledge and be involved in training etc. There are also people who have had no training and just tried it out, coming to me when they are stuck - again they have done a pretty good job.

    Finally I have the backing of an excellent Head who has made it clear from the top the VLE is something we are going to use and staff need to work towards that. He also ensures I am well rewarded financially which ensures I feel valued by the school.

    Overall it is a good, exciting project. Lots of ups and downs but very definitely moving in the right direction. We are currently working with LP+ to become a centre of excellence which is interesting.
    Last edited by jcollings; 3rd November 2009 at 05:22 PM.

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    We ran moodle at the old school.

    Which was up and running form the ICT Support side, just the teaching staff never really got interested even after training sessions. In the end i offered to upload and create content for the vle if the teacher gave me some resources to work from. some did, but most did'nt.

    as for installing it and getting it running took acouple of days for me to so.

    But at my new place we are running uniservity, which im not involved in yet!

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    witch's Avatar
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    We are using Moodle. Installed on our new 2008 server about 3 weeks ago - IT teacher has it seriously up and running for his lessons. He is trying to get the other teachers interested, with limited success and not much support from SMT

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    I agree with previous posters - technically getting it up and running is just the start - winning hearts and minds is a long term job.

    We started using moodle about 4 years ago and even now there is a way to go. However it does depend on your approach - we didn't at any point force staff to use moodle - we just encouraged and gave training. We let staff come to it in their own time and gave them a lot of freedom to structure courses however they wanted. I'm not saying this is the right approach, as it does cause some problems, however it suited our institution.

    I know some institutions have IT staff creating the courses, or they have SMT or quality managers requiring staff to have materials on a VLE. This gets things up and running quicker but at the cost of staff losing ownership and involvement.

    If you're talking about technically getting everything set up then your deadline seems reasonable, especially if you're paying for a VLE so will receive some training and support from the company. If your talking about an institution-wide shift in attitude...then be ready for the long haul. Best of luck!

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    znova's Avatar
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    Hello!

    We've had our learning platform up and running for 18 monts without actually being used(it's Kaleidos). I started in September with sole aim to develop the platform; 2 months on I am finally starting to understand how it works; and shortly we'll be having some tester group of year 7 on it. I am only here for a year so I suppose it's in my interest to progress it as much as I can.

    However, I completely agree with other comments, it is a long haul project(and therefore more difficult to enagage teachers that are due to retire shortly) and it is definitively about winning the staff over. I thought my job would be mostly technical but it's not! You have to be a good diplomat!

    You will find - especially in secondary school setting - that most teachers will not have the time/willingness to create content if there is something out there that can be bought. So you end up - like here - with a platform that no-one is using because they don't know how/haven't got round to it or simply haven't caught the vision of it.

    Realistically - at least for me - to start from scratch and within a year have some departments using it, some kids using it and have some resources on it would be just about right.

    I've been to see a school which was using it for a year and found that they use it as a communication tool(discussions, wikis, blogs, announcements) and only had a few lessons taught from it - that's after a year of using it!

    Hope this helps!

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    znova's Avatar
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    Now we've been given a deadline of September 2010
    BTW, who has given you the deadline? That is quite an important question! It this comes from the SMT, you need to ask yourself "Do they know what the platform does, how it does it and who provides content?"

    Yes, they might be shown a nice sales pitch about real time reporting to parents, student marking etc. but it does depend on some poor sod actually putting stuff on there and it's a time consuming job. Also, most LP are NOT designed to have content created/uploaded by technicians, it is a teachers job because they'll be the ones using it so they need to edit/adjust it to their class. As a technician you won't know how a teacher might use the resource in their class.

    Hence the original question. Technically you can have it up and running in no time but unless there is A, SMT long term strategy and commitment to the learning platform; B, SMT understanding the impact on teachers time and maybe timetabling this into their routine and C, teachers willing to create content/use it, it will become a project from Never Never land.

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    LucyWalshaw's Avatar
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    We started looking at VLE's November 2008 we "rolled out" moodle end of April this year(intergrated with sims, theme done and additional moduals added) since then every other word out of my mouth is moodle as a result we are upto about 50% of courses have some content (we have nearly 800 courses) and on our 3rd round of staff training. But we are certainly getting there i expect to have 100% of courses populated by this time next year (hopefully)

    lucy

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zdenka View Post
    BTW, who has given you the deadline?
    That would be the DCSF, who have said all secondary schools should provide a personalised learning platform for their pupils, with access outside of school hours, by September 2010. In addition, schools should be providing access to real-time reporting information, such as attendance and assessment information, for parents & carers.

    I suspect this is a target that will not be met by a lot of schools.

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    the deadline is DCSF and is related to having a parent portal avaliable.

    in theory all schools should have a VLE in place, wether it is used or not is a different question, this is why most LEAs provide one of these. interestingly the requirement was for schools to have a vle but there was no stipulation that it actually has to be used. one school that I used to work at never actually got round to creating the student accounts on it.

    as for providing access to up to date data, if the portal can access sims then for most schools attendance data is allready there and in our case behaviour and assessment data is recorded as well (i'm at the same school as Sam)

    Dean

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    znova's Avatar
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    Ok,

    I am not going to say THAT deadline has been around for a while (however sorely I am tempted )

    What I can say is what we've been told by our LA; to get a short term solution for parent reporting as the Kaleidos one is not quite there. Some of our schools are using Sims gateway, maybe to use that?

    From what I understand you need to buy an additional module for assessement. Here: RM.com Shop: Kaleidos Learning Platform: Assessment Also, the reason the solution is not quite there is because the DX2 solution has to be implemented first.

    So if you have the module, have no students on Diploma courses/studying modules outside of school/LA then in theory you can use it for parent reporting?

    Of course I might be totally wrong; I am only going on what LA/RM are saying to us.

    You will find that a lot of features you might expect as standard that SHOULD come with the platform are "optional extras".

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    znova's Avatar
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    BTW, can anyone point me in the right direction where I can fing the exact wording by DCSF?

    Can't find it in internal docs or LA website - just wanted to compare whether what Kaleidos provides already is sufficient to satisfy the criteria?

    Thanks!



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