Implementation Plan for Desire2Learn Learning Management System
One of the most important components of academic programs is the assessment to discern whether what is envisaged as the end achievement is realized. The most important steps are to ensure whether the rubrics and competencies that are used to test academic achievement are easily assessable to ensure that outcomes match expected goals (Carlyle, 2010). Self assessment is also an integral part in determining whether education goals that are set by institutions are met over a given period of time. Moreover, they assist in the identification of education gaps that might be existent in programs. Desire2Learn helps both individual students and institutions to gather as well as process information that might be pertinent to their development. The fact that information is gathered by the help of Desire2Leran is not an end in itself. For the information to be useful, it must be correct. This is guaranteed by intricate planning where competencies, objectives of learning and methods of evaluating are made simple.
Implementing the TUI learning management system, Desire2Learn, requires a concerted effort from a number of stakeholders. The university IT staff, faculty staff, administrators, external experts, and students specializing in IT will be involved in different areas to ensure that the project is well implemented (Besner & Hobbs, 2012). The system administrators and IT staff from the university will be considered as the owners of the system and will be regarded as the leaders of the team. The main function of the system administrators will be to manage content where they will work hand in hand with the other IT staff. Here, they must at all times be mindful of the end users to ensure that the required services are well delivered and that the content is well managed. As highlighted above, information is useless unless it is correct. In the same sense, content that is delivered by the parties contracted must be relevant to the institutional curriculum as well as to its co-curricular activities.
The implementation of Desire2Learn will be phased over three months. This is so as to ensure that users are introduced to the new system in tandem with increased functionality. A phased implementation allows for flexibility in the way that users are ushered into the system. Desire2Learn is considered to be an improvement of previous systems like Blackboard and moodle and thus requires more time for the users to get acquainted since it is much simpler but with increased functionality (Gonzalez-Fernandez & Friedman, 2011). There is also the consideration of needing to retrain staff so that they can familiarize themselves with the new system. During the conversion period, there will be need to continue operating some systems in addition to allowing for a reasonable shakedown period (Zieberg, 2001). Planning ensures that all needs are prioritized so that the Desire2Learn LMS is properly customized as well as allowing for time to troubleshoot and train stakeholders.
The cost of the project is estimated to be around $15,000. This will entail the installation of the Desire2Learn system and the erection of Desire2Learn infrastructure. Part of the fee will also go to anticipated future infrastructure which may be needed before the lapsing of the three month phasing period. The system will be installed and configured from where all courses will be shifted to it. Eventually, all old materials will be archived for future reference.
System administrators will be charged with ensuring that there is no misuse of the system and that it is free of all other design and legal issues that might make it run inefficiently. Students will only be charged with reporting to the system administrators and the IT staff in case design and legal issues occur. There will be technicians whose main job will be the maintenance of the system as well as ensuring that the designs of the system are constantly improved so that they are appealing to the end users. In the end, the system should be able to generate reports that will track progress and inform stakeholders on its status.
Besner, C. & Hobbs, B. (2012). An Empirical Identification of Project Management Toolsets and a Comparison among Project, Project Management Journal, 43(5): 24-46.
Carlyle, B. (2010). Planning and Designing Competencies, Learning Objectives, Activities and Rubrics. The Horizon Desire2Learn Newsletter. Retrieved Jan 3, 2013 from http://www.desire2learn.com/newsletters/Horizon/Issue16/articles/?id=2
Gonzalez-Fernandez, M. & Friedman, J.D. (2011). Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Pocket Companion. New York City: Demos Medical Publishing.
Zieberg, C. (2001). Ten steps to selecting a learning management system. Lguide. Retrieved Jan 3, 2013 from http://www.lguide.com/reports/lmsbuying.cfm