Project Document Cover Sheet

Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
Project Document Cover Sheet
Project Information
Project Acronym
TWOLER
Project Title
Promoting Student Web 2.0 Contributions with
Lightweight Enterprise RSS
Start Date
1 September 2008
Lead Institution
University of Westminster
Project Director
Roger James
Project Manager &
contact details
To be recruited
Partner
Institutions
N/A
Project Web URL
https://sites.google.com/a/staff.westminster.ac.uk/twoler/
Programme Name
(and number)
Institutional Innovation Programme
Programme
Manager
Andy Dyson
End Date
1 March 2010
Document Name
Document Title
Project Plan
Reporting Period
N/A
Author(s) &
project role
Roger James
Date
28/11/2008
Filename
TWOLER Project Plan v1.0
URL
Access
9 Project and JISC internal
9 General dissemination
Document History
Version
1.0
Date
28/11/08
Document title: JISC Project Plan
Last updated: 12-Feb-09
Comments
Intellectual Property Rights section requires
completion and sign off
Page 1 of 27
Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
JISC Project Plan
Overview of Project
1. Background
TWOLER [two-ler] is investigating the climate under which the open, collaborative and participatory
environment found on the web “Web 2.0” can be used to achieve institutional goals. Student interest
in Web 2.0 and consumer technology is a given, what needs to be demonstrated is where, when and
how this energy and imagination can deliver elements of value to the institution.
The TWOLER project is a part of the Institutional Innovation Programme funded bu JISC by investing
£13.08m with 21 participating universities, aimed at supporting existing institutional strategies by
providing solutions to institution-wide problems. The solutions will act as exemplars to other
universities by demonstrating innovation and good practice, and building knowledge and experience,
which can then be shared.
TWOLER begins with the simple question. if we tear down the walls …….
• Will familiarity breed fluency?
• Will contributions cross-over between spaces?
• Will students spend more time in the University spaces and in the learning spaces?
• What positive graffiti will evolve?
• Will micro contributions prove valuable?
• Will peer review develop?
• What structures will the students build?
• Will learning extend to bring in more from outside the University?
For 2008/09 the University will deliver some student computing services through Google Apps for
Education through which will provide the infrastructure, tools and support for user generated
contributions.
The challenge is to recognize and propagate valuable student work, it is to integrate the
environment with the core, back-office and teaching and learning systems. The project will also
investigate and implement solutions for key areas of concern – on systems quality, data quality,
constant beta and the organizational change issues.
2. Aims and Objectives
The deliverables of this project are:
•
•
Experience of delivering a Web 2.0 environment at the core of a ‘brownfield’ informatics
strategy
Identification of the prospects and benefits of student (consumer) participation in shaping
and developing the information environment of the University
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Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
•
•
•
•
•
•
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
Development & documentation of Information policy and ‘crowd’ development experience
Practical experience of implementing and using a lightweight RSS enterprise architecture to
link the open consumer environment with the proprietary world of University systems
A focus and secretariat for a UK Universities SIG and competence centre for Web 2.0 /
Google systems integration
Reference sources and code for Google interoperability with mainstream educational
technology
Metrics for the potential, applications areas and yield of student led computing
A live, integrated, operational and sustainable production environment for student projects
3. Overall Approach
The project comprises two substantial activities: an exploration of the extent of valuable student
contributions in a web 2.0 environment and the development and enabling of the 'brownfield'
university infrastructure.
TWOLER relies on the newly introduced Google environment which provides the technology, tools
and access for student contributions. Staff are not excluded but the focus of TWOLER is on the
student. The work of TWOLER is to:• fund the environment to promote, recognise and reward student contributions,
• develop the internal infrastructure so that key internal data is made available in the student
environment,
• research on the change in attitudes and value of student contributions.
We expect that the active programme for the launch of the Google Apps suite for all students will
make a significant impact on student experience, perceptions and expectations of our university.
TWOLER will enhance the initiative and make the lessons learned more widely available.
Many studies on the impact of technology can be described as outside in - the extent to which a
specific intervention has a specific impact on a specific teaching outcome. TWOLER adopts a more
environmental approach, to measure the extent to which changing the environment of the student
computing moves the central focus of IT work closer to the pedagogical core of the institution. The
project is less about special systems and more about integrating commercial, commodity systems
into the life of the University.
4. Project Outputs
Tangible outputs and reports from the project will be made available to the HE community and
beyond.
The primary report from the project [issued in Q2 2010] will integrate three key elements: the role
of students as participants in the development of the University information infrastructure, the
institutional & policy changes this requires and the technical challenge of integrating a legacy
‘Brownfield’ informatics strategy to Web 2.0.
The dissemination plan will make our learning within the project, and from the progressive roll-out
of cloud computing available within to the HE sector and beyond. In particular the work will inform
our strategies on the future use and development of key University systems, including the VLE
[Blackboard].
The codebase [widgets] developed by the project will, generally, be available to the HE community
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Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
and beyond. This will be an important output from this project and other funded development within
the ‘cloud’, by using a public infrastructure any developments are automatically available in a
production infrastructure and conform to global standards.
Our work with Google and the TWOLER project makes Westminster a focus for a “centre of
competence” for the HE sector. Our dissemination plan and schedule makes us the secretariat for a
Google SIG for UK Higher Education.
5. Project Outcomes
In addition to the formal project deliverables and report we envisage the project will help educate
and learn about many of the emerging policies and principles of Web 2.0 Information Architectures.
Our learning which will be shared through the project reports and dissemination activities will
include:•
•
•
•
•
•
We will come to know better when to help and assist students and when to get out of the
way and leave them to their own devices [do we know Web 2.0 better than the students?]
We will have produced policies around a safe, scalable but DIY information environment.[
what are the practical organisational, governance and policy issues of Web 2.0 / cloud
environments?]
We will have experience and expertise in the documentation, accessibility and utility of
information feeds across the University [what do you need to do to support a mash-up
environment?]
We will have practical experience of integrating a public ‘cloud computing’ environment with
the internal ‘walled garden’ [what are the technical challenges and constraints of mixing
public and private infrastructures?]
Although our target environment is Google our approach and architecture is standards and
Open Source based, we will be able to comment on the wider applicability and compatibility
of the work.[what are the pitfalls and proprietary lock-in dangers of a cloud computing
environment?]
Already the University has ‘pockets’ of Web 2.0 practice largely unsupported and unknown by
“the corporate”, we will be able to comment on the re-integration of activity [how to support
and encourage social interoperability?]
6. Stakeholder Analysis
Student Engagement
We will develop the project by first providing the students with the ever expanding set of Google
capabilities but support this with a coordinated programme of publicity and participation. Across the
University we plan a campaign of competitions, recognition and reward for the best, exemplar, use
of the Google environment in developing the useful Information Space of the University.
z Logo and theme competitions – encouraging the graphic arts skills across the University to
produce custom, personalised and topical logos for the student environment “making it their
own”
z Content competitions – encouraging the students to act as their own content experts, editors
and authors. Example abound from social content (for example clubs & societies) to
vocational content (for example an extended course reader) to participative content (for
example a blogged essay)
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Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
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Date: 28/11/2008
z Campaigning competitions – encouraging the use of the Google environment to develop
social or political campaigns across the University (for example corporate social
responsibility)
z Technology competition – encouraging the more technical students to develop ‘widgets’
within the University Google environment, possibly as a course projects or a valuable mashup of information.
z Mentoring – to maintain ongoing student engagement particularly in the development of
‘widgets’ recognition of contribution as part of TWOLER project team and the mentoring is
expected to be hugely important.1
Academic Engagement
It has already been stated that pedagogy is not the primary goal of TWOLER. Nevertheless the
academic staff have a big role to play in contributing to, and catalysing the success of the
environment. Staff Academic contribution is planned from the start but, in a similar way to the
students, the approach is largely experimental and serendipitous.
At this early stage of the project launching Google to the University has already triggered a number
of academics to come forward to talk about their own Google thinking. That the University Google
environment is ubiquitous and universal has already been linked to the support of student whilst on
foreign placements and other uses will follow, driven by the power of the Google infrastructure.
The academics should also position the environment for extra-curricular use. The aggregation
facilities of the Google environment also has great potential for mixing the different world together –
for a subject the course material, published literature, external resources, grey literature and news
feeds, for a group the tasks and deadlines, shared calendars, discussion possibilities and social
events, for a field trip logistics, tourist information, contacts page and slide show.
Stakeholder
Needs / Contributions
Importance
Students
Key driving force for the project and determinant of project
success. Enagement through focus groups, publicity and
incentives. Prizes and recognition for ‘Widget of the month’ and
‘Most popular widget’. Hopefully we will develop a momentum of
the successful use of the technology, ‘
High
Student Union
Input to project: blending social and recreational information
into the new university infrastructure. Support for Google launch
in the new term, keen to exploit the new facilities as a new
‘channel to students’
Medium
Internal IT & external vendors
1
Oxford Brookes University findings on JISC Learner Experience Pahse 2 - student engagement – recruitment and
retention https://mw.brookes.ac.uk/display/JISCle2/Recruitment+and+Retention
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Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
Internal IT
teams
Provision of the ‘back office’ information feeds and support for
the student development environment. Opportunity to be part of
the team and improve student engagement model and relish
challenge of working, positively, with Gen X & Y
High
Internal
application &
system
administrators
System Administrators and developers from SITS student
records team, Black Board, Library. Guidance, advice and
feedback on the sources and uses of University data streams
sufficient to encourage development and ensure enthusiastic
use
Medium
IT System
vendors
(e.g. Tribal
Black Board)
Input to project; support, or contribution, for RSS interfaces to
core systems. Pressure and momentum from the sector
interests in Google/RSS architectures, market advantage of a
good set of interfaces
Low
Google
Input to project; delivery of core enhancements (Open Social).
Provide support for SIGs and propagation of best practice, hub
for ideas and new developments, technology support for other
UK universities
Medium
RSSBus
Core integration elements and developments in lightweight RSS
architectures. Provide technical support, product development,
interest in ‘vertical’ markets
High
Academic & Corporate departments
University
administration
Input to project: new ideas and new information sources.
Content provider (e.g Academic Registrars office - calendaring)
Low
University
Marketing
department
Input to project: news feed generation, adapting university
internal communication strategy; branding tolerances in an end
user customisable environment. Content provider,
communications policy development
Medium
University data
custodians
Develop a mature and pragmatic view on the use of data feeds
in the walled gardens of the University and beyond, to what
extent will student (mis)use thwart any attempts at good
information sharing
High
University
Learning &
Teaching
Input to project; interest and support for student ideas. Regular
reports/input as Chair of Steering Group and L and T
Committee; attendance at JISC events; input to senior
management meetings
Medium
Academics
Need to understand the extent to which the Google environment
"for all that other stuff" conflicts with and confuses the
messages around the core curriculum and T&L environment.
Contributions to include web 2.0 initiatives already active but
hidden from wider university, plus new ideas.
Medium
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Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Information
Strategy
Committee
(ISC)
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
Need to understand the extent to which a commodity based
information services meets the university expectations on a
quality of service and a differentiated offering which
distinguishes Westminster from similar/competitor institutions.
Contribution to project as information conduit to senior
management meetings.
Medium
JISC
The ability of the project to deliver solutions in a 'cloud
computing' environment which are capable of widespread
adoption and integration with existing 'brownfield' informatics
strategies. Input to JISC innovation programme, support for
Programme meeting, contributions to the benefits realisation,
practical guides. Sharing of developing practices, information
and benchmarking with developments elsewhere.
High
Wider
Academic
Community
Information on project and approaches, and evaluation. Project
resources, SIG on Google/RSS technologies, meetings and other
conferences; articles in relevant journals
Low
Other
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Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
7. Risk Analysis
Central to the thinking of TWOLER is a philosophy around ‘build it and they will come’, there is good
circumstantial evidence that this is the case [for example the reception at Freshers fairs was very
encouraging] but we have to plan for failure [always hoping for the best].
The substantive majority of work in year 1 will be in preparing the technical environment and in
building student participation. In the early months the pattern of contributions will be established,
for example the logo competitions, without any strong requirement on technology. As such the
project will produce early feedback on what works to engage the student body (e.g. publicity, type
of reward, different approaches) – we anticipate some successes and some failures. The technology
work in year 1 will significantly improve the interoperability and ease of use of the University
systems – even if the final user population remains the cadre of key university staff and technical
experts.
In any event Year 1 will establish the basis of the contributions from the students. Year 2 will see
the focus shift to more development work [of student delivered portals, tabs and widgets] and of a
richer set of internal feeds. Year 2 represents a more severe test of the proposal for student
contribution
In response to our initial observations and feedback from our Programme Manager we have moved
resources to reward students – in the form of prizes to support specific contributions and in the form
of paid ‘studentships’ to deliver ‘paid for’ work during the summer vacation [maintaining project
momentum over the summer vacation].
Student
Contributions
Comments
Technical work
Comments
Year 1
Failure to participate in
‘easy’ elements such as
a logo competition
Report on the
different
approaches used
Failure to provide
data feeds (L)
Technical report
on use of RSS
Enterprise
Integration
Year 2
Unable to participate in
widget building or
development work
Report on the
likely barriers to
contribution
Students do not
use the prepared
RSS feeds
RSS feeds used
for internal
purposes by
University staff
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Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
* 5, Probability and impact high; 1, Probability and impact low
Risk
Probability
(1-5)
Severity
(1-5)
Score
(PxS)
Mitigation
Google fail to deliver Open
Social in the period of the
project
3
4
12
The scope of student led systems is
reduced to mitigate the risk of poorly
managed information resources
Google suffer significant
performance or trust issues
2
5
10
The project focuses on on-Google
elements(i.e. RSS feeds)
Reluctance of students to
contribute to the commonwealth
of widgets. If ‘1000 Flowers’ is
not successful.
2
5
10
This is still a finding from the project,
albeit a terminal one. (See above
year 1 & 2 student contributions)
Quality of widgets &
applications developed by the
student is poor
3
3
9
This is also a finding from the project,
it will be disappointing but still
relevant
Inadvertent or insecure
release of essential data
2
4
8
Another valuable project finding,
relevant services will be discontinued
Delay in appointing
Project Manager
2
3
6
Look to internal secondment,
particularly for first period. The ‘1000
Flowers’ stage is less critical for
project management
Key staff leave
2
3
6
Ensure full understanding of the
project across the Project
Management Team
8. Standards
Name of standard or
specification
Version
Notes
Code management environment
Google code
system
Widgeta developed under the project will
be hosted in Google code
Data Protection Act
1998
Comply with the data protection
principles.
Prince2
-
Prince Lite project methodology as used
by University of Westminster.
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Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
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9. Technical Development
The central technical challenge for the project is for the institution to work at "internet speed" with
"constant beta". Managed successfully the project will deliver continual developments and the
release of new features, managed wrongly the project will be seen as 'never working. never stable'
with a frustrating and unsatisfactory mix of technologies. Concerns which are already present about
a capability divide will be amplified.
Our response to this challenge is to introduce a robust configuration management and
documentation system for the development under this initiative. Configuration management will help
with the issues of change upon change and documentation will present to a wider audience the
range of university resources made available under this system. The agent based technology
inherent in RSSBus will provide a management framework to manage the currency and availability
of data feeds.
Our central approach to the challenge is, wherever possible, to adopt the Google principles and
practice. Where possible we will measure, rather than assume, we aim to make the minimum of
modifications and alterations to the familiar consumer environment and we will promote self help.
10. Intellectual Property Rights
28/11/2008 - To be completed . The final wording of the IPR policy needs to be confirmed. It will
conform to JISC requirements and meet the policies and practice of the University. To be signed off
with University Records Manager.
Project Resources
11. Project Partners
The project identifies 2 significant project partners: RSSBus and Google.
RSSBus are a small company in the US who have developed a unique product and framework
(RSSBus) which manages an ecology of RSS feeds. Project commitments and funding makes
RSSBus a development partner and we expect code and method development. Commercial
opportunities may develop for RSSBus to develop a significant role in the supply of Enterprise
Integration systems in the educational sector.
Google have a keen interest in the project and our arrangement provides some access to their key
technical staff. We are not privy to specific Google plans for products and initiatives in the HE sector
although much of their strategic development for the consumer sector has a high cross-over
potential into a vertical sector. It is our expectation that the commercial and technical relationship
with Google will develop through the course of the project and they have already shown a specific
interest in our partner RSSBus.
We should emphasise that our solutions architecture, as RSS based, is inclusive of most product
architectures. Whilst Google Apps will be the initial delivery target our architecture allows the
capability to be delivered in a Microsoft ‘cloud’ computing environment or in specific RSS
environment such as Netvibes.
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Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
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12. Project Management
The project team is drawn from 2 key groups in the support of the University ICT systems. The ‘web
team’ are responsible for the development and enhancement of the ‘front-end’ system or browser
interface to core University systems which include the student records system [SITS from Tribal
Education] and the VLE [Blackboard]. The ‘OnLine Learning Officers’, or OLOs, are responsible for
the support, education and exploitation of the VLE.
The project challenge is to release the resource of key staff to work on the TWOLER project activity.
Our motivation to use core staff, not staff acquired for the project. This offers the benefit of the skill
& knowledge levels of the incumbents and the support and buy-in needed for the short term success
and long term exploitation of the TWOLER deliverables. Some project resources will therefore be
used for back-fill and replacement activities.
Name
Contact details
Role
Roger James
Director of Information Services
[email protected]
0780 823 5873
Responsibility for the
delivery of the core IT
systems and learning
environment for the
University
Gunter Saunders
Director of Online Learning
[email protected]
020 7911 5803
Project Manager & Assistant
To be recruited
Judie Ayoola
Network Security Officer
[email protected]
020 7911 3691
Information compliance
and security
Alex Iacconi
Web Manager
[email protected]
020 7911 5000 ext 1291 (Mobile
short code)
Development of enterprise
architecture driving the
implementation of web 2.0
environment
Costed
Matthew Jones
Systems Development Officer
Backend systems
development
Kosigin Liver Pitchikan
Systems Development Officer
Backend systems
development
Non-costed
Catherine Titterton
IS Project Manager
[email protected]
020 7911 5706
Project mangement support
Jim Robbins
Student Union Campaigns
Manager
[email protected]
020 7911 5848
Manage engagement with
Student Union, Smoke
News and Radio.
Federica Oradini
Online Learning Officer
[email protected]
020 7911 5803
Disseminating information
and gaining buy-in from
the academic community
and student mentor.
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Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
Elayne Coakes
Senior Lecturer
Business Information
Management
[email protected]
020 7911 3338
Socio-technical evaluation
of the project
Charles Glancey
Computing Training Officers
[email protected]
020 7911 2305
Student Mentor
Althea Barnabis
Communciations Manager
[email protected]
020 7911 3628
Project Communications
13. Programme Support
The project is confident that the Support & Synthesis project will provide timely and expert advice
and guidance through its programme of visits and workshops. We will, however, take a pro-active
role in identifying and articulating to the Support project any additional needs that arise.
14. Budget
The project budget has been revised in order to accommodate resources for a ’Prize Fund’ for
student involvement and to include paid student contribution across the summer break [to maintain
project momentum] Compensatory changes in other line items are shown below.
* Line items adjusted
** New line items
Directly incurred staff
Apr 08 - Mar 09
Apr 09 - Mar 10
TOTAL £
£55,076
£50,152
£105,228
Project Manager NG5 Sp30 0.2 FTE
Admin. Assistant NG3 Sp18 0.3 FTE
Total Directly Incurred Staff (A)
Non-Staff
Travel and expenses 15 mtgs ave 3 people
Hardware/software (RSS Farm)
Dissemination (user group meetings)
Student Prize Fund
Evaluation – External consultant
Other – Focus groups
Total Directly Incurred Non-Staff (B)
Directly Incurred Total (A+B=C) (C)
Directly Allocated
Staff - Roger James Fixed 0.20FTE
Staff - Information compliance / Sociotech
experts NG8 Sp45 0.2 FTE
Staff – Alex Iacconi NG8 Sp45 0.3 FTE
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Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Student Developers
Systems - Developer NG6 Sp37 0.5 FTE
Staff - Programmer NG6 Sp34 0.5 FTE
Staff – Gunter Saunders L3 0.1 FTE
Estates – 2.55 FTE
Other
Directly Allocated Total (D)
Indirect Costs (E) 2.55
Total Project Cost (C+D+E)
Amount Requested from JISC
Institutional Contributions
£161,657
£280,553
£442,210
£100,000
£200,000
£300,000
£61,657
£80,553
£142,210
JISC
68%
Partners 32%
Total
100%
Percentage Contributions over the life of the project
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Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Version: 1.0
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Detailed Project Planning
15. Work packages
The challenge for the technical team is to ‘build it and they will come’. It is to understand what and
how valuable information streams can be provided into the student ‘re-mixing’ environment. There
are a number of aspects:z
z
z
How should the information streams be managed, aspects such as version
management, refresh schedules and information management [who can see what]
How should the information streams be publicised, while our developers may be
familiar with data dictionaries and the complexities of data schema how can the
requisite information be provided for a student to correctly identify and use source
data streams
What standards do we need in the student development environment – if students
develop widgets what are the minimum code standards and management regime to
provide an infrastructure of use to other students
The student participation team is tasked with maintaining the drive and appetite for the new
environment within the student body. As part of the plan to respond to the ‘constant beta’ approach
of Google we will run a monthly campaign with each month introducing a new element of the Google
environment.
Key tasks: how to identify content, schedule of ideas, run the prize system, run the publicity
system, record the log of approaches (success & failures), conduct the beta campaigns, liaison with
the student contribution world [student radio etc]
Details of the technical and assessment work packages are in Appendix B.
16. Evaluation Plan
At the start our investigations make no strong assumptions on the yield of student contribution –
how many students will participate and how many will produce. Just one student who produces a
good logo will deliver more than we currently have (where the decisions and composition of the
student environment is determined by University staff). By choosing Google, with a well established
and researched ease of use, we also hope to encourage the maximum acceptance and use of the
technology. Indeed our training plan for the student Google environment has a strong element of
self help, in stark contrast to the Microsoft environment where training is required and our legacy
Unix email system where training was essential.
Our key metrics will be on the (high) numbers of users who become familiar with the Google
environment and the (low) numbers of contributors who produce the essential innovations. The
project team will help to bridge the gap – by a progressive and high visibility programme to
encourage student contributions and publicise their use. Conventional web style demographics 1 will
be used to segment the contributors and also investigate if the ratios and likelihood of contribution
1
Such as Forrester Research’s Groundswell http://blogs.forrester.com/groundswell/2007/04/forresters_new_.html
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Project Acronym: TWOLER
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Date: 28/11/2008
change according to the type of technology (for example more people contributing to an on-line chat
than a blog).
Timing
Factor to
Evaluate
Questions to
Address
Method(s)
For
2008/2009
Student use of,
and
familiarization
with, the
emerging Google
features – such
as sites
Although all
22000 students
will be registered
and reading email
from Google by
12/08 use of
some advanced
features is
optional, we do
not enforce ‘takeup’
Monthly publicity
& involvement
programme
Usage studies and
examples of good
practice
For
2008/2009
Student
contribution in
‘low tech’
involvement
such as logo
competitions,
Effective methods
for active student
participation –
including rewards,
recognition and
‘surgeries’
Monthly publicity
& involvement
programme
Response to the
competition and
involvement
programme
For Term 1
2009/1010
Student
contributions in a
widget
development
environment
with full RSS
feed set
available
Effective methods
for active student
participation (as
above) and
quality/utility of
their work
Monthly publicity
& involvement
programme
Response to the
competition and
involvement
programme
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Measure of
Success
Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
17. Quality Plan
Output
Timing
Quality
criteria
QA
method(s)
Evidence of
compliance
Q3 09 –
Q4 09
Code
quality
Fitness for
purpose
Extent of use &
level of support
Q1 09
Performa
nce of
the RSS
infrastruc
ture
Capacity &
performance
evaluation
Response times
& refresh
periods
ISLS Web Team
Q3 09 –
Q4 09
Utility of
student
contributi
ons
Assessment &
evaluation
Evidence of use
and reference
Project
Evaluation Team
Q1
2010
“Fitness
for
purpose”
of the
environm
ent
Continued
support & use
Continued use
in production
Document title: JISC Project Plan
Last updated: 12-Feb-09
Quality tools
(if applicable)
Quality
responsibilities
-
Page 16 of 27
[Invest in more
servers, change
the refresh
periods]
Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
18. Dissemination Plan
Timing
Dissemination
Activity
Audience
Purpose
Key Message
Launch
Nov 2008
Presentation on Google
Apps rollout experience
at Westminster,
TWOLER objectives.
Universities considering
moving to Google Apps
or [email protected]
Creation of a
Google SIG for
UK education
Sharing best practice,
policy and lessons
learned
Mar 2009
RSS strategies event
Blackboard, SOAS +
other interested
institutions
Future
compatibility
if/when the core
systems vendors
produce their
own RSS out
capability
Understanding and
articulating a legacy
system strategy for the
incorporation and use
of Web 2/SAAS/Cloud
elements
May 2009
Workshop: Mixing &
mashing
Primarily students with
staff welcome
Increase and
expand usage of
web 2.0
environment
Google / Web 2.0
stream in Open
Conference of
Technology in Teaching
& Learning {@
Westminster Spring
2009]
Jul 2009
Teaching and Learning
Symposium
Academic staff
Disseminate
information on
the new
environment,
highlight usage
possibilities
Google/TWOLER
opportunities in
Teaching & Learning
Jul 2009
Google Conference: One
year in
Senior management,
Google SIG & JISC
Institutional Innovation
Programme Institutions
Share the
Westminster
experience to
interested
parties planning
cloud migration /
Web 2.0 work in
2009/2010
Share war stories and
best practice
Jul 2009
Interim project report
#1
JISC
Progress against
objectives – end
of year one
Progress in promoting
student engagement
and technical solutions
& issues
Dec 2009
Interim project report
#2
JISC
Progress against
objectives – end
of
experimentation
phase
Progress in stimulating
and directing technical
and content rich
student involvement
Document title: JISC Project Plan
Last updated: 12-Feb-09
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Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
Aug 2009
Google & Blackboard:
Working together
SIG
Demonstration
and update.
Nov 2009
Workshop: Interfacing
Google to university
systems
Key academic staff,
developers and
participating students
Workshop on the
integration with
the Google
infrastructure on
key HE sector
products
Ongoing
JISC mailing list
UK HE community –
participating Google
Apps institutions
Share news and
developments
across the UK HE
sector
Ongoing
Project website
Internal university –
staff & students, JISC
Progress reports
and activities
-
Ongoing
Project Blog
Internal university –
staff & students, JISC
Progress reports
and activities
-
Ongoing
Google code share
HE community
worldwide, (Possibly)
key system vendors
Ongoing
Press releases
Education/technical
press
Experiences of
cloud computing.
Integrating/using
commodity
technology with
educational
vertical systems
Impact and promise of
a Web 2.0 student
involvement
Document title: JISC Project Plan
Last updated: 12-Feb-09
Page 18 of 27
Demonstrator: linking
Blackboard with the
Google environments
Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
19. Exit and Sustainability Plans
Project Outputs
Action for Take-up &
Embedding
Action for Exit
Google Widget set
Version 1.0 of the Google
Widgets and data feeds will be
in production
The RSS infrastructure &
widgets will continue to
work, it is likely they will be
developed [to version 2 and
beyond] or replaced by new
developments by the key
legacy providers [such as
Blackboard]
RSS data feeds
Version 1.0 of the Google
Widgets and data feeds will be
in production
Our expectation is that the
feed environment will
continue to be developed,
the ‘consumer environment’
such as Google Sites will
develop and be changed
rapidly over the next few
years
Student engagement &
‘prize/reward’ system
At the end of the project we will
have some good, effective,
ideas for student engagement
Depending on the
cost/benefit ratio tangible
rewards may be continued
from internal funds
Project Outputs
RSS capability in
core systems
Why Sustainable
Scenarios for Taking
Forward
Issues to Address
A secure scalable
and valuable data
source
In continued
operational use from
project introduction
Future compatibility
if/when the core
systems vendors
produce their own
RSS out capability
Document title: JISC Project Plan
Last updated: 12-Feb-09
Page 19 of 27
Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
Appendixes
Document title: JISC Project Plan
Last updated: 12-Feb-09
Page 20 of 27
Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
Appendix A. Project Gantt Chart
Document title: JISC Project Plan
Last updated: 12-Feb-09
Page 21 of 27
Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Document title: JISC Project Plan
Last updated: 12-Feb-09
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
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Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Document title: JISC Project Plan
Last updated: 12-Feb-09
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
Page 23 of 27
Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Document title: JISC Project Plan
Last updated: 12-Feb-09
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
Page 24 of 27
Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
Appendix B. Workpackages
The Student contact activities are detailed in section 15. The detailed tasks described below
constitute the professional and technical activities and their deliverables. The work is presented in
the constituent phases: to prepare the infrastructure, to build the RSS capability and to engage with
the students in widget development.
Prepare The Infrastructure
WP 1. Enable the RSS Infrastructure
RSSBus are a key development partner in this project and we will need to introduce and intergrate
their RSS environment within the university infrastructure. The key elements of this task are to
understand the access model and the development environment. RSSBus provide a rich framework
in which to develop RSS feeds and a fluency in the high level development. To launch the project
and to accelerate the adoption of the RSSbus system we are proposing an early and intensive
workshop with the RSSBus team [to take place in RSSBus offices, North Carolina, USA].
Once commissioned RSSBus will be used as a development and scripting environment for the set of
disparate RSS feeds. Specialist development will be required for WP5 and WP7 – linking the exisiting
systems to the RSS infrastructure.
WP 2. Implement End-User Data/Resource Directory
Early experiences in the Google widget environment demonstrate the challenge of a reliable and
unambiguous definition of available data feeds – to answer just what data is available, what does
the data mean and how can it be used. In many ways this is a traditional challenge in IT, but a
challenge exacerbated by the DIY nature of a mash-up environment.
This task will deploy existing open source software to deliver an open, collaborative feed dictionary
with a lexicon of useful feeds and links and the free tagging of content (ie allow folksonomies) and
support the use of synonyms to ‘tie together’ equivalent terms [such as soccer and football].
Our technical belief is that extant open source systems can deliver this capability and the truncated
project is concerned with the installation, commissioning and proving of one such system.
WP 3. Introduce Widget Change Management and Version Control Environment
One of the characteristics of the emerging 'Google' widget environment is some things work, some
things don't and everything changes. Whilst this is an exciting frontier activity for the enthusiast it is
disconcerting for the more average user. In order to provide the Westminster environment with
some stability and have a mechanism whereby changes in the widget and data feed environment
can be managed, tracked and changed. Google code represents the technology to implement this
requirement but the protocols and practice for group and institutional use need to be developed.
Our technical belief is that extant open source systems can deliver this capability and the truncated
project is concerned with the installation, commissioning and proving of one such system.
WP 4. Implement an Open Groups Access System
The biggest operational distinction between the Google environment and the core University systems
Document title: JISC Project Plan
Last updated: 12-Feb-09
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Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
lies in the mechanisms for access and content management. The entire Google architecture develops
an email access model – in which content and access is shared ‘as simply as email’. In contrast
access to the VLE is centrally managed by the use of access lists and groups.
The two approaches have their advantages: for the Google ‘email’ metaphor it is easy to develop
spontaneous ‘places’ and ‘teams’ and content can easily be shared with new people and new groups.
For the VLE the groups are already established, everyone is included and access is tightly managed.
However the drawbacks are also significant: for the Google ‘email’ model there is a lack of central
control and visibility [if you are not in the group how would you know], for the VLE group based
model it is hard to accommodate self-forming groups and interests especially responding to
spontaneity.
Our technical belief is that extant open source systems can deliver this capability and the truncated
project is concerned with the installation, commissioning and proving of one such system.
Exploitation & Selection
WP 5. Core Feed Production
We envisage that by Q2 2009 the core infrastructure elements of RSSBus and configuration
management will be in place. A team of key technologists will start to develop core RSS feeds from
the core University systems - such as Blackboard and Student records. Work has already started on
a dictionary of feeds and to build the 'critical mass' a full set of feeds based on this list will be
produced. For Q3 2009 the team will move to 'responsive mode' producing new feeds and data
mixes based on requests from the user population.
WP 6. Social Software Studentships
The timeframe of this project is such that only for the Autumn term in 2009/10 will all the feeds and
facilities be in place. We realise this will limit the exploration and exploitation of the system by the
student body as a whole. It is our intention therefore to use their summer holidays (in 2009) to
employ a team of students to continue work across the holidays. Their role will be to explore the
facilities in the TWOLER environment, to develop 'mash-ups' of data and to act as expert
ambassadors in the new term. It can be hoped, but not too highly, that some students will be
encouraged to use the systems and try out the facilities over the summer break.
WP 7. Provide 2-way Information Conduit with Teaching & learning Systems [Blackboard
Integration]
The University has been an early and keen adopter of Blackboard as the VLE platform. Blackboard
themselves have a great interest in 'Web 2.0' and have suggested that Blackboard 9 (the next
version) will be developed to increase their web 2.0 capabilities. Although the Blackboard upgrade
will occur in the middle of the TWOLER project our plans are not to be dependent on this upgrade.
Our belief is that the new developments from Blackboard will a) maintain a focus on a Blackboard
centric view of the world and b) persist with a modular architecture.
From our initial assessment we believe that the TWOLER project will develop and deliver capability in
advance of Blackboard version 9, whilst we aim to encourage Blackboard to develop their product
suite in line with the lessons learnt by TWOLER we do not anticipate significant delivery of new
product capability.
Document title: JISC Project Plan
Last updated: 12-Feb-09
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Project Acronym: TWOLER
Contact: Roger James
Version: 1.0
Date: 28/11/2008
WP 8 Social Software Integration
We can confidently predict that the current popular elements of the student social software,
Facebook and Bebo, will continue their popularity into 2009/2010. In the last 6 months many
vendors are, at last, starting to develop the close integration of syndicated content into hitherto
proprietary systems. Progress in integration of, for example, Facebook is difficult to predict and
therefore we have a short student led task designed to investigate early potential and easy wins.
Observation & refinement
WP 9 Social Software Surgeries
Moving into the new term in 2009/10 we envisage a much more visible and active (and one to one)
phase of the project. Evidence from other research projects emphasizes the importance of
recognition and direct face-to-face contact in developing student interest. For the autumn term
2009/10 we intend to offer an ‘open door’ surgery access to key development staff to encourage
students interested in developing widgets.
WP 10. Research Socio-Tech Evaluation
The project is designed to inform a policy and strategy decision on the impact of Web 2.0 in the
University in general without a precise targeting onto the work of Teaching & Learning. Led by
Elayne Coates, an academic with a pedigree in socio-tech research,
WP 11 – Final report
The project outcomes [what we learn] are as important as what we deliver. The project experiences
are already the subject of a project diary which will form the basis of the final report in addition to
the specific task & product outcomes. Key elements of the Final report will address:• The Economic Case for, and the Quality of, Student Engagement
• Institutional Change & Policy in the introduction of a student led, consumer based ‘cloud
computing’ environment for University systems
• Technical - Use of web 2.0 in a 'Brownfield' environment
Document title: JISC Project Plan
Last updated: 12-Feb-09
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