dinsdag, mei 30, 2006

There is no "THEY"!

Nate Angell and Wende Morgaine today delivered a great workshop on implementing Sakai (and/or OSP).
They shared their experiences on implementing Sakai on Portland State University. Actually the audience turnout was larger then they expected, close to 50, so interaction within the group was not really possible.
Nate and Wende had a lot of messages for the audience, which was quite mixed. There were large schools, small universities, commercial organizations (Stoas and Leidse Onderwijsinstellingen, but also a consulting firm from Argentina that will be doing pilots with two universities in Argentina!) and quite a few people representing Europe (Stockholm, Oslo, Amsterdam, Twente, Hull and Limerick).
Here are the messages that I received from the workshop (which I will be using to create an implementation plan for our University):
  1. Communication, communication, and once again communication is something you cannot underestimate
  2. Create a larger vision and promote the larger vision (so it should not just be: "We will replace TeleTOP with Sakai")
  3. Do not use Sakai as the name for your new VLE
  4. Be aware that OSP is not as mature as Sakai (actually I can only agree with this; but with help of the UvA and the larger community we will sort things out)
  5. A pilot should not be used as an evaluation of a particular tool
  6. Be sure that you have at least three competencies on board the projectteam: marketing & communication, IT (to translate between business and IT) and faculty
  7. "There is no they" ("When will they deliver OSP 2.2?"): if you want something done, you have the oppurtunity yourself to make the change happen (you can write out requirements, you can commit developers etc)
  8. You only get one chance with faculty (people tell 40 people if they are not satisfied, but they tell only 3 people if they are satisfied): so your demonstration better be good!
So what would our larger vision be for our implementation? Maybe "Improving teaching and learning within the 3TU federatie" is the formula?
What sort of surprised me is that quite a few (American) participants were not satisfied with their current VLE. This was said about Blackboard as well as about WebCT!
And about this weblog: I got some positive feedback on the way we are doing this in The Netherlands from our collegues from England.
Any other Dutch participants that would comment or add on this post?

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