Learning Management System (LMS) Project Update

Following completion of last year’s university-wide strategic planning project to identify a contemporary platform for teaching, learning, and collaboration across Tufts, UIT is facilitating the Tufts University LMS Implementation Project, supported by all Schools and set to launch in October 2010.

The UIT-led LMS implementation project team will continue to work in close partnership with the Deans and with allied IT and academic service organizations across the University to ensure a successful implementation and transition for the community. The “Next-Generation Tufts LMS Strategy Recommendations,” prepared by the LMS Advisory Committee and endorsed in May 2010 by the LMS Executive Steering Committee, provide the guiding framework for this three-phase implementation project.The new Tufts LMS will be based on Sakai, which provides a robust open-source architecture and a wise technical roadmap to support Tufts’ educational, collaboration, and assessment activities into the future. The Sakai Foundation also provides a vibrant global community of higher education peers on which Tufts can draw for relevant new tools and resources, expert consultation, information-sharing, and mutually beneficial partnerships. Because the University LMS service will be available to all members of the Tufts community and sponsored affiliates, it will support interdisciplinary courses and projects across School and departmental boundaries. Sakai’s built-in e-portfolio functionality will also enable individual students, departments and programs, and Schools to track learning over time and to review and showcase work produced across academic and co-curricular contexts.Phase 1 of the implementation project includes designing and building the infrastructure for the University LMS platform, establishing a coordinated service model to support meaningful use of the LMS, and facilitating migration of course and group sites from Blackboard to the new Sakai-based LMS. The LMS project team will be working this fall and winter to implement and configure the new system for the Tufts University context, including integration with SIS data feeds and with Tufts authentication services. During the spring, summer, and fall, the LMS project team will offer many opportunities for faculty to learn about the new platform and to set up their course sites in the new environment in preparation for AY 2011-12. During the summer, the project team will migrate data from Blackboard to the new LMS platform so that faculty and students across the School of Arts & Sciences, the School of Engineering, and The Fletcher School can begin using the new Sakai-based University LMS next year. We anticipate additional early adopters in Phase 1 among blended and distance learning programs across Tufts.Phase 2 includes a supported migration from ANGEL Learning – currently in use in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy and the Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP) at The Fletcher School – to the University LMS, as well as implementation of Course Evaluation functionality to meet requirements across Tufts. Phase 3 will involve integration of TUSK, the Tufts University Sciences Knowledgebase, with the University LMS platform, and planning for that effort begins this fall.Please visit the project site to learn more: http://go.tufts.edu/lms.

The VUE Project

This past summer AT began developing VUE 3.1, with the goal of extending VUE 3.0’s data import features to support assisted mapping of benchmark input-output tables from the U.S. Commerce Department.

This project was the result of a proposal submitted by Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy Professor Parke Wilde who hopes to use VUE as part of his research and teaching. The Commerce Department’s input-output tables are authoritative and widely used by the federal government to exhibit resource flows between sectors of the economy. We believe this new feature will make visually apparent information that is often difficult to grasp in spreadsheets, and is generally applicable to other matrix style datasets as well. We plan to have this release publicly available for download this fall. The next VUE release will also include for the first time, three community contributed features, these contributions represent our continued outreach to grow the VUE ecosystem of support and build a sustainable project. You can read more about Professor Wilde’s work on his blog at http://www.usfoodpolicy.blogspot.com/. To download VUE or learn more about the project visit http://vue.tufts.edu.

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