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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, UniServity - Between a rock and a hard place in Technical; Originally Posted by ICTCoordinator We have used UniServity for the last 3 years after our authority went for this vle. ...
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    Chamilo

    Quote Originally Posted by ICTCoordinator View Post
    We have used UniServity for the last 3 years after our authority went for this vle. They went for a loss leader and we have used it for free during this period. Now we have received our first expensive bill for renewal we are put in a real dilemma.

    On the one hand the vle is not great. It looks old fashioned and is not easy for most staff to use. On the other hand it is stable and some staff have put a lot of work into the vle for their departments. I know it is going to involve a lot of work and re-training to change to a new vle. I do not know much about Moodle but know that those who use it think it is great. We have had student teachers who use it for the colleges they come from and it looks good. Any advice from experience here would be welcomed.
    Hi,

    Have you heard of Chamilo? It is an open source VLE that was released last year. It comes with a lot of automatic features, but can also be customised. People usually find it easier to use than Moodle.

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    links here:

    You can see a demo here YouTube - Chamilo open source LMS video demonstration
    and try it on the demo portal here Page d'accueil - Chamilo virtual campus trial

    let me know if you need anything!

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    Yes and here lots more schools in Brighton & Hove with the same problem.
    I was not involved in the orginal tender process that Uniservity 'won' - so do not know the criteria that they 'passed.

    We have had a company called webanywhere recommending their services for a learning platform.
    I do not know if these guys were in the original tender bids.
    Does anyone have any experience of this alternative - very cheap - way less than uniservity for a 3 year licence with a thrown in front Website built by webanywhere to replace the uniservity front end.
    I on a personal level have spent man months (or so it has felt at times) loading up links, photos, videos, touting the product with parents and pupils. We have had training for all staff to use uniservity VLE. Seems daunting to start again. We have not seen Cloud yet - is it easier to use than the rather old fashioned long winded old uniservity version.
    Sorry for the rant but it is great to find a forum where other teachers are doing the same as us - re-doing the tender process - in their spare time.
    Many thanks for any help
    Jane

  4. #19
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    Hi Jane

    I have just led a twilight session after college tonight where we have been showing work done on UniServity vle, and at the same time talking about the difficulties of using the program. We have attended a meeting for the new Life Learning Cloud and while it does look very good we have not had chance to get our hands on it and try it for ourselves. We have paid for a 12 month subscription to try it out. The problem is that the subscription starts in May and the full version is not released until September. UniServity promise a full integration of resources from the old system into the new one. This is going to be a terrible time to start any training as the new academic year is starting. I am not sure how fully we will be able to utilise the rest of the year's subscription.
    Last edited by ICTCoordinator; 29th March 2011 at 09:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ICTCoordinator View Post
    Hi Jane

    We have paid for a 12 month subscription to try it out. The problem is that the subscription starts in May and the full version is not released until September.
    We are going through the procurement process for a platform too at the moment. Can I just check what you are saying here about the Uniservity Life offering - will it not be fully available until September? Or is that just a migration issue if you already use their old system? Only they seem to be selling at as a ready to go product, and if that's not true we need to know!

    As an existing customer of Uniservity, would you not get access to Life as part of your existing contract? What is happening to the product you are using now? If it is defunct, then surely Life is an upgrade and I would have thought that you would be entitled to upgrades within the period of your contract?
    Last edited by Andie; 29th March 2011 at 09:41 PM. Reason: Extra questions added.

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    Yes just to clarify. We have in effect renewed our subscription to the existing UniServity VLE. We were told that the new fully functional Life Learning Cloud would not be available until September, when UniServity would merge our existing resources into it. If anyone knows anything different I would like to hear from them.

  7. Thanks to ICTCoordinator from:

    Andie (30th March 2011)

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    @Georgelloyd

    Better clarify something. At time LA had to use approved company and not an approved VLE off the becta list. The list was of approved companies who could provide a vle. So you could go to RM for moodle (as an example) if you wish'd. Moodle was certainly allowed to be used by LA and be brought under the rules (as number of LAs did) as long as used approved becta supplier.

    As for being loss leader most if not all the main companies at time were doing loss leading at the start of contract an example would be providing first year free which number of companies did..

    Russ

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    Quote Originally Posted by ICTCoordinator View Post
    . We were told that the new fully functional Life Learning Cloud would not be available until September, when UniServity would merge our existing resources into it. .
    If you are an existing Uniservity customer your contact/account manager at Uniservity should have provided you with or at least offered a "sandpit" login to the new Life VLE. The new VLE is extremely "FROGIFIED" but of what I have seen and used in the demo site I have been very impressed.

    From what I have been told, Life's full release and availability is from September whether you are an old or new customer. Where I work, we are delaying our migration until a date that is most suitable for us i.e not September!!! Depending on how far advanced your schools usage of a VLE, I think the timing of the migration is very important.

    As an NM, I will be working over the Christmas holidays so I think this might be the best time to migrate. Plenty of time to play with it and then when all the teachers come back, roll out the new training and inevitable barrage of questions.

    Hopefully I will have been given plenty of bottles of whiskey at Christmas to ease the headaches after!

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    Andie (30th March 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by fathead View Post
    If you are an existing Uniservity customer your contact/account manager at Uniservity should have provided you with or at least offered a "sandpit" login to the new Life VLE. The new VLE is extremely "FROGIFIED" but of what I have seen and used in the demo site I have been very impressed.
    So are you an existing Uniservity customer, or are you migrating from another platform? If the former, did you get offered the demo login for Life by Uniservity or did you have to ask for it? Was it the company that told you the full version of Life is not available until September? Sorry to make this sound like an interrogation! Just that, as i said, the product seems to have been launched as ready to go. Also can't find any mention of the September bit on their website.

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    I am using old uniservity VLE and was told. 1 this is not an upgrade but a new product (it costs more) we can use our old system if we want but at some point it will be abolished. 2. only parts of the site can be migrated and the actual content can't be (lots of work for the school)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andie View Post
    So are you an existing Uniservity customer, or are you migrating from another platform? If the former, did you get offered the demo login for Life by Uniservity or did you have to ask for it? .
    We are an existing Uniservity customer for the last couple of years I believe, as I only started work here in September. We caught up with Uniservity at BETT this year and it all went from there really. You really should get in contact with however your person is at Uniservity and maybe give them a piece of your mind!

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    Quote Originally Posted by edutech4schools View Post
    only parts of the site can be migrated and the actual content can't be (lots of work for the school)
    This is not what I was told!!! I was told the content would move over into a "cell" and that it was only the front end design of each page that may change? Still a lot of work to do but some of our departments have the whole curriculum up on there, not having content migrated is definitely not an option!

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    Does anyone have any experience of this alternative - very cheap - way less than uniservity for a 3 year licence with a thrown in front Website built by webanywhere to replace the uniservity front end
    While I know of schools that us this company and like them I was not happy with the constant cold calls and not just from webanywhere but their linked companies, so I did not use them.

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    Hi – we use UniServity on Wirral, and the position that we’ve been told is that Life is released next month (April) for new customers, and that the migration path from the cLc to Life for existing customers is available from September. There is ‘sandpit’ access to Life available now which we’re using to get used to Life. If you go to Blog - Uniservity | Uniservity | The Learning Innovations Company you can register for it there. Hope this helps

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    Hi – we use UniServity on Wirral, and the position that we’ve been told is that Life is released next month (April) for new customers, and that the migration path from the cLc to Life for existing customers is available from September. There is ‘sandpit’ access to Life available now which we’re using to get used to Life. If you go to Blog - Uniservity | Uniservity | The Learning Innovations Company you can register for it there. Hope this helps.
    we and many colleagues are really excited about LIFE and some colleagues have already decided to launch it in April for the new academic term.

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