Evaluating Technologies

Developing bespoke technology for use at UQ can be the best option for use in small groups or for specific research projects.  However if the end product is to achieve broad value across many of the 3000 UQ courses, the technology must meet a range of criteria outside pedagogy that may not have been considered in the early phase of development.

eTender or Demonstration and Trial?

If the products are projected to cost over $100, 000, choosing to trial before going to tender is effectively only delaying the tender requirement.  Moving directly into the tender process will save time in the longer term, as the demonstrations and trial can be integrated into the tender process.  It also avoids the risk of stakeholders deciding on their preferred product during an early trial only to have the product ruled out during the tender process for technical or contractual reasons.

Stakeholder Panel

The panel is an opportunity to engage project stakeholders in the selection of the final product, and to demonstrate the integrity of the selection process. 

Pre-requisites: Requirements analysis, market scan, request for information.

Outcome: Following the stakeholder panel, the project should have a shortlist of 2-3 products for further investigation.

Request for Information (Shortlisting)

This phase of the product selection is important for a number of reasons.  It is the first contact with vendors that the University may need to establish a longer term relationship with.  It will provide a large part of the information needed in order to move to the next phase of the project.  It will also take a considerable amount of time and organisation to complete.

Pre-requisites: Requirements analysis and technology market scan.

Technology Market Scan

Selecting a software product is often a major investment.  Adoption of a new system by end users is not guaranteed, and a rushed or inadequate selection process is likely to cause problems with adoption, leading to wasted time, money and momentum.  It is critical to the success of the project that enough time is allocated to the product selection phase taking into account the size and complexity of the product requirements.

Product Requirements Analysis

A business requirements analysis should be the first step in understanding the scope of the project, and the type of product any stakeholders require. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, a requirements analysis can be fairly simple, or complicated enough to require an external business analyst to undertake it.

Pre-requisite: This is the first step in the product selection process, and does not depend on any work having been completed.  It may be supported by an existing project plan, or be part of a project conception/initiation phase.

Discussion Board

What is a Discussion Board?

A Discussion Board is a place where Instructors and students can post discussion items and reply to other posts.

Why would I use a Discussion Board?

A Discussion Board should be used for short question-and-answer-style collaboration between students.

Other considerations

Other tools you should consider as well as a discussion board are:

eLearning Solutions Service and TurningPoint software update

Grade Centre

What is the Grade Centre?

The Blackboard Grade Centre provides an area within your Blackboard course to store student marks. Student scores from Blackboard tests and surveys are stored in the Grade Centre automatically. You may also manually add scores and information that are not automatically added by Blackboard. Assessment submitted using the Assignment tool can also be viewed, marked and downloaded from the Grade Centre.

Known Issue: turnitin iPad over 300 students in class

From April 2015 the turnitin iPad App can grade and successfully synchronise classes containing over 300 students.

Make sure you have the latest version of the turnitin app available from the Apple App Store.