VLE Feature list?
I don't presume anyone has a comparison chart of VLE features?
I'm looking to compare the following list:
Uniservity ( the old one, our current POS)
My Big Campus
It's not my job to do this bit, I'm just interested and would like an idea of the features involved in each, no doubt i'll still be involved at some point in the use of it though, but anyway, the schools currently undergoing a decision process, they've already decided against Frog due to cost but i'd like to know what it is about frog that apparently sets it apart from the rest?
Is it worth including the base platforms share point and moodle too for a more holistic analysis? Granted more work, but more freedom and there are some great companies out there that work with these for schools.
We won't go near sharepoint or moodle purely down to time. They'd be needing us as techs to be maintaining it, which we're not willing to commit to unless they give us another tech, which is highly unlikely.
Originally Posted by GREED
One of the main reasons i liked My Big Campus was down to the fixed page design + layout (the only one of the list I've seen in detail myself). Minimal time in teachers learning the environment and us having to support it is one of the primary desires here i think.
My personal opinion of the above list currently goes down to face value, the design and requirement to design pages. My preferred two are My Learning and MyBigCampus, but then i have no idea what features these have so for all i know those two could be severely lacking in features compared to the competition. (Note that i won't be the one making the decision, that's down to the IT teachers, i just want to be able to give my 2cents when the meeting occours in September)
Ever so slightly off topic but...
I've been involved in setting up and using MS Learning Gateway, Frog and Fronter. The ONLY feature I've seen used consistently (and well) is resource sharing and availability at home. I'm now looking at Home Access Plus as a simpler way of delivering what people actually want, with Google Apps for collaboration. I've come to the conclusion that 'blended learning' is much less relevant in a school where students have 5 hours contact time per day than for a college or university. I think we'll look back and gasp at how much was spent on VLEs for very little educational gain.
just my 2p but the actual ICT involvement in maintenance is tiny. All the time is spent maintaining the VLE content which is going to be the same on any platform.
Originally Posted by mrbios
We basically do two updates per year on Moodle which take about 15 min each. All the database optimisations and server upgrades are automated with the occasional reboot for kernel updates. It's not a very big deal given the initial server setup takes all of 40min.
Again I would add my 2p worth and say don't forget SharePoint! With the advent of Office 365 wave 15 and the benefits that can bring it's well worth taking a look at now - it's changed. Exchange Online, Lync, Office Web Apps all bring benefits (and it's all free!)
I think when considering it you need to look at what companies offer custimisation on top of that - people like Novotronix and BFC Networks can give you a fully customised SharePoint setup (even with things like MIS integration etc)
Also look at things like how would you provision in to Office 365 - ADFS/DIR SYNC or using any of the Cloud providers that take things like single point of failure on your network out the equation. RM have a product called RM Unify that you can try for free. This piece of cloud technology brings together all your eduational cloud based services under one single sign on (using your AD)....and then provisions your users in to those services. Office 365 is one of them. You can also take up RM O365 Site Creator which actually goes and builds your sites in O365 and allows you to add to them through a very simple wizard - it's an impressive piece of software and for the dollar it's worth a look (Discover: RM Unify)
Few things I would add:
Plan long term, there is no point getting a product if it doesn't give you what you want over the next 3-5 years. Ignore what people say in regards to planning far too ahead, I prefer a 5 year plan - IT Changes but everything has become more online based and no matter what device you use it should also work on it.
Ask Staff what they want, ask departments what they have to produce online and what they want to produce. My previous school went Frog because the staff wanted to develop a lot online, we are not just simply talking "File Share" access, we are talking about SecureGateway and Interactive Learning. Now the school I work at heading up IT has just purchased RealSmart. Sadly though we also have SLG, Parents Evening and Moodle which will be shutdown once everything is on RealSmart. The cost of all this over a 3 year plan could have better spent on Frog which would have given them 95% of all the functions available on those packages and more.
With Frog I would visit other schools, watch their videos and get some serious demo work. You can also gain access to their Demo platform, you should also ask them for a full function list. Its very long and impressive, something people ignore because of the cost.
As others have said I wouldn't give moodle a total miss, as much as its "open" remember its only open if you actually know what you are doing and have the time. If you want to add functions those functions require you to do all the hard work even if some one else has provided instructions. E.g the SIMs link (unless you are prepared to pay for it which negates the reason of a free vle). One thing that has impressed me with Frog is their development, they have a few updates a year for Content e.g. extra functions and then more updates for fixes etc.
At the end of the day it depends what you want to be spending your time on. Learning content or developing functions/supporting them etc.
Either way if you spend money make sure its exactly what you want.