ILT Strategy 2001 - 2004

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ILT Strategy 2001 - 2004 Powered By Docstoc
					                              North Hertfordshire
                                          College




         Information and Learning Technology
         Strategy

         2001 - 2004




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                    PAGE 1
TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                   PAGE
1   A vision for ILT (Information and Learning Technology)                                            6
    1.1   The College                                                                                 6
    1.2   The College Mission & Objectives                                                            6
          1.2.1 Mission                                                                               6
          1.2.2 Strategic Objectives for 2001/2004                                                    6
    1.3   The College Mission & Vision for ILT and Learning                                           7
          1.3.1 Mission                                                                               7
          1.3.2 Vision                                                                                7
    1.4   Aims and Objectives                                                                         8
          1.4.1 The Learner Experience                                                                9
          1.4.2 Management of the Learner Experience                                                 10
          1.4.3 Management of the Business of the College                                            10
2   Managing the Strategy                                                                            11
    2.1   Roles and responsibilities                                                                 11
    2.2   Organisation structure of the ILT strategy and operational development groups              14
    2.3   Planning, goal-setting and review processes                                                15
    2.4   Relationship to other strategic plans                                                      15
    2.5   Values and commitments                                                                     15
          2.5.1 Service                                                                              16
          2.5.2 Co-operation                                                                         16
          2.5.3 Innovation                                                                           16
          2.5.4 Excellence                                                                           16
          2.5.5 Health and Safety                                                                    16
          2.5.6 Learning                                                                             16
          2.5.7 Equal Opportunities                                                                  17
          2.5.8 Inclusive Learning                                                                   17
          2.5.9 Legal Obligations                                                                    17
    2.6   Strategic alliances – identifying partners in development and delivery of the strategy     18
    2.7   Communicating the strategy – publications, media and meetings                              19
3   Learners, Learning and the Curriculum                                                            20
          3.1.1 Enhance the learner experience                                                       20
          3.1.2 Add value to the learner experience                                                  21
          3.1.3 Improve the quality of the learner experience                                        21
          3.1.4 Encourage the trailblazers                                                           22
    3.2   Student entitlement to ILT                                                                 22
          3.2.1 Ratio of internet-connected computers to FTE learners                                22
          3.2.2 Learner access to the Internet and e-mail services                                   23
    3.3   Guidance and support arrangements for learners use of ILT                                  23
    3.4   Resources                                                                                  23
          3.4.1 Audit of existing materials                                                          24
          3.4.2 Procurement of additional materials                                                  24
          3.4.3 Systems to update staff about materials availability                                 24
          3.4.4 Staff skills for developing online learning materials                                24
    3.5   Services: vision for developing each of the major ILT services for use by learners         25
          3.5.1 Internet                                                                             25



NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                        PAGE 2
            3.5.2 College Web Site                                                            26
            3.5.3 College Curriculum Intranet/Extranet                                        26
            3.5.4 E-mail                                                                      26
            3.5.5 Videoconferencing                                                           26
    3.6    Inclusion                                                                          27
4   Creating a Managed Learning Environment                                                    28
    4.1    Introduction                                                                       28
            4.1.1 The VLE Procurement Process                                                 28
    4.2    Tender Evaluations                                                                 28
    4.3    Installation                                                                       29
    4.4    Staff Development                                                                  29
    4.5    Towards a College Managed Learning Environment                                     30
    4.6    The Future                                                                         31
    4.7    Evaluation                                                                         32
5   Staff and ILT                                                                              33
    5.1    Creating the Right Climate                                                         33
    5.2    Staff Development and Continuing Professional Development                          33
    5.3    Development of ILT skills                                                          34
    5.4    Future Strategy For Training in IT                                                 34
           5.4.1 Stages in Academic Staff ILT Development                                     35
           5.4.2 Stages in Support Staff’s ILT Development                                    35
           5.4.3 Training Opportunities for Staff                                             36
    5.5    Teaching Certification                                                             38
    5.6    National Learning Network’s ILT Champions Programme                                38
    5.7    Services: vision for developing each of the major ILT services for use by staff    39
           5.7.1 Internet                                                                     39
           5.7.2 College intranet/extranet                                                    39
           5.7.3 E-mail                                                                       39
           5.7.4 Videoconferencing                                                            40
    5.8    Business Process Review                                                            40
           5.8.1 Purpose                                                                      40
           5.8.2 Objectives                                                                   40
           5.8.3 Outcomes                                                                     40
           5.8.4 Implementation Model                                                         41
    5.9    Staff entitlement to ILT                                                           41
           5.9.1 Ratio of internet-connected computers to permanent staff                     42
           5.9.2 Working towards access for all staff to the Internet and e-mail services     42
           5.9.3 Ratio of internet-connected computers to sessional staff                     42
    5.10   Materials and Resource development                                                 43
           5.10.1 Adaptation of materials                                                     43
           5.10.2 Integrated Development System                                               43
           5.10.3 Staff development                                                           44
           5.10.4 Resource issues                                                             45
           5.10.5 Team working                                                                45
           5.10.6 Intellectual property rights                                                45
    5.11   Guidance and support arrangements for staff use of ILT                             45
    5.12   The Role of ILT in the Management of College Information                           46
           5.12.1 Objectives                                                                  46
           5.12.2 Key priorities                                                              47


NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                  PAGE 3
           5.12.3 Finance                                                                   47
           5.12.4 Student Records                                                           47
           5.12.5 Personnel                                                                 48
           5.12.6 Learner Services                                                          48
           5.12.7 Property                                                                  48
    5.13   Student learning data                                                            48
    5.14   Security of information                                                          49
6   ILT infrastructure                                                                       50
    6.1    Current ILT Infrastructure                                                       50
           6.1.1 Wide Area Network architecture                                             50
           6.1.2 Local Area Network architecture                                            50
           6.1.3 Protocols                                                                  51
           6.1.4 IP Address Scheme                                                          51
           6.1.5 Current Hitchin Academic Network                                           52
           6.1.6 Current Stevenage Academic Network                                         53
           6.1.7 Current Letchworth Academic Network                                        54
           6.1.8 Current Centre for the Arts Academic Network                               55
           6.1.9 Current Admin Network                                                      56
           6.1.10 Provision of PCs                                                          57
           6.1.11 Servers                                                                   58
           6.1.12 Printers                                                                  58
           6.1.13 Voice System                                                              59
    6.2    Specification of Equipment                                                       59
           6.2.1 Minimum specification required to deliver the strategyError!   Bookmark    not
                    defined.Error! Bookmark not defined.
           6.2.2 Arrangements for review and update                                         62
    6.3    Management of procurement                                                        62
           6.3.1 I.T. Consumables                                                           63
           6.3.2 I.T. Hardware                                                              63
           6.3.3 Competitive quotations or Tenders.                                         64
    6.4    Service Level Agreements                                                         64
           6.4.1 Targets for network reliability                                            65
           6.4.2 Targets for number of computers up and running                             66
           6.4.3 Typical ICT Install Projects                                               67
           6.4.4 Systems to monitor, review and improve the service                         67
    6.5    Technical support                                                                68
           6.5.1 Staffing levels                                                            68
           6.5.2 Staff skills                                                               69
    6.6    Disaster recovery                                                                69
           6.6.1 Policy                                                                     69
           6.6.2 Compliance                                                                 70
           6.6.3 Security                                                                   70
           6.6.4 Administration                                                             70
           6.6.5 Computer Viruses                                                           71
           6.6.6 Backup and Recovery Procedures                                             71
           6.6.7 System Development and Maintenance                                         72
           6.6.8 Contingency Planning                                                       72
           6.6.9 Training                                                                   72
           6.6.10 Responding to Incidents                                                   72



NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                PAGE 4
          6.6.11 Management and Responsibilities                                  72
    6.7   Software specification                                                  73
    6.8   Asset Tracking and Security                                             73
          6.8.1 Marking                                                           73
          6.8.2 Portable Appliance Testing Register                               73
          6.8.3 Security                                                          74
    6.9   Sustainability of infrastructure                                        74
          6.9.1 Replacement policy                                                74
          6.9.2 Maintenance                                                       74
7   Schedule of Activities                                                         75
    7.1   Network Development                                                     75
    7.2   Local Area Network Integration                                          75
          7.2.1 Backbone of the Network                                           76
          7.2.2 Firewall                                                          76
          7.2.3 Internet                                                          76
          7.2.4 Internet Content Filtering                                        77
          7.2.5 E-mail                                                            77
          7.2.6 Admin. Network Integration                                        77
          7.2.7 Proposed Wide Area Network                                        78
          7.2.8 Proposed Hitchin Network                                          80
          7.2.9 Proposed Stevenage Network                                        81
          7.2.10 Proposed Letchworth Network                                      82
          7.2.11 Proposed Centre for the Arts Network                             83
          7.2.12 Network Integration Project Plan                                 84
          7.2.13 Standard Operating System and Desktop Applications               85
          7.2.14 Software usage                                                   86
    7.3   Planned Voice System Developments                                       87
          7.3.1 CPU-X with level 9 software                                       87
          7.3.2 Imbedded Voice Manager                                            88
    7.4   Planned ILT Infrastructure Developments                                 88
    7.5   College ILT Action Plan: 2001-2002                                      89
    7.6   College ILT Action Plan: 2002 - 2004                                    94
    7.7   Developments in Management Information Systems                          97
          7.7.1 Finance                                                           97
          7.7.2 Student Records                                                   97
          7.7.3 Personnel                                                         98
          7.7.4 Learner Services                                                  98
          7.7.5 Property                                                          98
          7.7.6 Future developments                                               99
8   Budgets                                                                      100
    8.1   Planned ILT expenditure 1999-2002                                      100
          8.1.1 Monies received under the National Learning Network initiative   100
          8.1.2 Use of own funds to support ILT in the College                   101
9   Key Outcomes and Issues 2000 - 2001                                          102
    9.1   Update of Activities 1999 - 2001                                       103
10 ILT Glossary of terms                                                         105




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                      PAGE 5
 1      A vision for ILT (Information and Learning Technology)


1.1   The College
      North Hertfordshire College is a learning organisation, which places a high
      premium on supporting learners within a stimulating, dynamic and high quality
      learning environment. It has in excess of 20,000 student enrolments (the
      equivalent of over 3,000 FTE learners), and has a reputation for providing
      relevant, innovative programmes of high quality and producing skilled and
      employable graduates. The College is committed to the provision of excellent,
      challenging and appropriately varied learning opportunities for all its learners.


      This strategy takes account of national and international developments in the field
      of teaching and learning, including research and publications on further education
      learning and the agendas pertaining to standards and benchmarking, quality,
      employability and related skills development, widening participation and life-long
      learning. It builds on the 1999-2001 strategy and the existing effective teaching
      and learning support practices across the College, and takes as its focus the
      increased use of ILT for the enhancement of the student learning experience.


1.2   The College Mission & Objectives

      1.2.1 Mission
      The mission of North Hertfordshire College is:

           “North Hertfordshire College will provide quality education and training and
           recreation to meet the needs of the community”.


      1.2.2 Strategic Objectives for 2001/2004
      In line with College reorganisation to become a market led customer focussed
      organisation, the College has revised its strategic objectives. However within our
      planning we have ensured that our initial objectives have been encompassed
      within the strategic framework for 2001-2003:


      1. Growth of Learners through meeting needs - to offer a quality inclusive
      curriculum provision that meets the needs of the communities, businesses in the
      North Hertfordshire region;
      2. Raising Standards and Quality Provision - to ensure that student
      recruitment, retention and achievement are improved through a continuous
      improving learning experience;



NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                        PAGE 6
      3. Meeting Individual Needs - the College will treat every learner as an individual
      recognising prior achievement, individual needs and potential;
      4. Partnership and Collaboration - the College will continue to develop
      educational, business and community collaborative partnerships to support
      initiatives in Hertfordshire;
      5. A Market Led Organisation - to become a market led organisation that is a
      learner-focussed high quality provider of post-16 education and training;
      6. Efficiency/Profitability - the College will ensure financial profitability and
      success through continuous improvement of its effectiveness and efficiency
      monitoring;
      7. The Learning Environment - the College will work towards providing an
      environment that reflects learner’s expectations and ensures that available
      resources meet learner needs.


1.3   The College Mission & Vision for ILT and Learning

      1.3.1 Mission
           “To make creative and strategic use of information and learning technologies,
           eliminating the constraints of time, space and other barriers, to empower
           learners and staff to succeed in instruction, learning, community service,
           administrative and managerial efficiency.”


      1.3.2 Vision
      To develop the College as a “future learning organisation” where the use of
      information and learning technology permeates the entire institution providing for
      collaborative teaching, learning and communication activities. Learners and staff
      will have universal access to information and services using ILT regardless of time
      of day or location.


      We will train lecturers and support staff in the use of ILT tools, so that they can
      apply it to their individual pedagogical approaches to improve the quality of
      teaching and learning in:

              classrooms;
              the community;
              the workplace;
              learning centres.


      That exploits ILT to achieve individualised learning that meets all of our learners
      needs.



NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                        PAGE 7
      We will give our learners access to online learning opportunities, and when these
      are shared with their peers and tutors, the learning experience will change
      dramatically. Lecturers, who used to be the subject matter experts and the
      deliverers of all content, will transfer more of the learning process and
      responsibility to learners - to create a more ‘learner centred’ environment.
      Learners will become responsible for understanding how they learn, where to
      access information and how to collaborate in an online environment. Such an
      experience will prepare our learners to be life-long learners.


      ILT will be used to enable our learners to express themselves in different ways.
      They will have a unique online environment in which they can express the
      information they have gathered, internalise that data, and then integrate it into
      their formation of knowledge.


      We will develop partnerships and collaborative relationships with other
      educational institutions, agencies, organisations, business & industry to develop
      innovative locations to deliver our learning. We will also use these partnerships
      for the purpose of maximising the efficient acquisition and use of information
      technology.


      We will continue to develop our effective utilisation of the technology, helping the
      necessary human interactions and ensuring that knowledge flows freely through
      the organisation to the benefit of all. This will include an increased use of
      information technology as a business tool, allowing us to operate the institution
      more effectively and efficiently.


      The College will extend its use of Internet and Intranet technologies to facilitate
      ease of access to College information for staff and learners, as a marketing and
      promotion tool and to enhance the accessibility, efficiency and flexibility of
      business transactions.


1.4   Aims and Objectives
      The vision of ILT within the College takes into account its mission, objectives and
      strategic goals as well as the needs of its learners. Therefore, the ILT Strategy
      does not stand apart from our overall institutional commitments and objectives but
      serves to deliver and support our stated aims and intentions of exploiting ILT in
      order to meet the education and training needs of its learners and encourage
      further and wider participation in education within the community.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                         PAGE 8
      This strategy will contribute to:

              the learner experience.
              the management of the learner experience.
              the management of the business of the College.


      1.4.1 The Learner Experience
      The contribution here will be through the implementation of:

              a supportive, tolerant and caring yet self-critical environment for
               academic and personal development, which will stimulate all learners to
               realise their full potential;
              the College as a recognised technology centre of life-long learning;
              cross-College ILT based learning opportunities, e.g. Key Skills;
              minimum levels of student entitlement or exposure to ILT experiences
               within each programme;
              appropriate levels of IT training for all teaching and non-teaching staff
               within a given time-scale and based upon a staff IT skills audit;
              a framework for further and more focused learning and teaching strategy
               development at centre and course team level;
              academic programmes and activities that are accessible, flexible,
               innovative and make appropriate use of ILT;
              College learning environments that are ready to support the learners of
               the 21st century:

                      large, flexible study centres that are open all year round, to
                       provide access to online learning;
                      networked locations in the community and to workplaces where
                       people may find it more convenient to study;
                      the ability to provide advice and support remotely as well as
                       face to-face;
                      we will enrol learners locally and beyond through the WWW;
                      we will have purchased and developed learning materials that are
                       packaged for individual learning plans;
                      we will have delivered staff development, which enables
                       managers, lecturers, and support staff to understand and
                       implement the new learning paradigm;
                      24 hour * 7 days operation will be the norm, enabling learning on
                       demand.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                       PAGE 9
      1.4.2 Management of the Learner Experience
      The contribution here will be through the implementation of:

              opportunities for independent learning and the meeting of individual
               student needs via online access to learning materials and assignments;
              suitable modes of assessment and tracking student progress;
              cost-effective opportunities to improve student learning materials and the
               evaluation of the effectiveness of those materials;
              opportunities to use ILT to identify and remove barriers to learning;
              guiding students to exercise choice and discretion in their methods and
               modes of learning;
              educational partnerships both externally and internally which optimise the
               quality of the learner experience and support the fulfilment of the
               College's ILT strategy.


      1.4.3 Management of the Business of the College
      Through the identification and employment of key IT related services – e-mail,
      ICT, intranet, web site, e-procurement, knowledge management and information
      systems – which support the college’s business in a range of areas including MIS,
      Personnel, Payroll, Finance, Estates and Learner Services (including enrolment).




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                       PAGE 10
 2      Managing the Strategy


2.1   Roles and responsibilities
      Planning for ILT is an integral part of the College strategic planning process. The
      IT governance structure is composed of six collaborative groups, each with a
      focus. The governance structure combines focused Governor, SMT and Campus
      resources to develop, recommend, and fund key College ILT investments.


       Group            Corporation
                        Overall strategy approval. Reviews IT Strategy recommendations
       Primary          through the Curriculum and Quality Committee and Finance and
       Focus            General Purposes Committee to ensure there is a joined up ILT
                        agenda, which demonstrates collaboration with external partners.


       Group            SMT
                        It is the responsibility of the SMT to ensure that there is an ILT
       Primary          Strategy for the whole College and that it is implemented. Funds for
       Focus            the successful implementation of the strategy will be provided within
                        the constraints of the College’s finances.


       Group            ILT Strategy Group
                        Recommends to the SMT all college-wide technology
                        developments to enable increased use of ILT to enhance:


                             The learner experience.
                             The management of the learner experience.
                             The management of the business of the College.

                        The agenda is driven by the requirements of the other groups.
                        The terms of reference of the group are:
       Primary
       Focus
                             prepare and review the ILT strategy;
                             drive the implementation of the ILT strategy;
                             prioritise the various requests for funding that arise from sub-
                              groups and agree the annual ILT capital investment priorities;
                             monitor the annual operating plan;
                             identify and promote development opportunities for ILT;
                             approve the development plan for college information systems;
                             seeking to forge ILT linkages and collaborative projects with
                              external organisations.



NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                              PAGE 11
       Group            Corporate IT User Group
                        Operational support of administrative and institutional management
                        processes: Accommodation, Finance, Information Services,
                        Personnel, etc. The terms of reference of the group are:


       Primary               inform the College IT Strategy;
       Focus                 make recommendations for the annual ILT capital investment
                              programme as it relates to the needs of corporate users;
                             monitor the quality, suitability, audibility and timeliness of
                              information to suit users needs;
                             make recommendations to improve the integrity of data from
                              capture, storage manipulation to presentation.


       Group            Curriculum IT User Group
                        Operational support of curriculum technology developments. The
                        curriculum planning process drives this group’s agenda. The terms of
                        reference of the group are:


                             review the operation of the cross-College ILT service;
       Primary               identify ILT developments and their impact and integration into
                              the IT Services operation;
       Focus
                             make recommendations for the annual ILT capital investment
                              programme as it relates to the needs of curriculum users;
                             highlight curriculum developments that will impact on ILT usage
                              and developments;
                             identify and promote development opportunities for ILT;
                             seek out and receive input from students.


       Group            SLDD IT User Group
                        Operational support of curriculum technology developments. Share
                        knowledge of software and good practice. The terms of reference of
                        the group are:
                           monitor the use of assistive technology and the benefits to our
                              learners;
                           review the operation of the cross College ILT service;
       Primary
                             identify ILT developments and their impact and integration with
       Focus
                              SLDD operation;
                             make recommendations for the annual ILT capital investment
                              programme as it relates to the needs of SLDD users;
                             highlight curriculum developments that will impact on ILT usage
                              and developments;
                             identify and promote development opportunities for ILT.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                             PAGE 12
       Group            Curriculum ILT Task Group
                        To support curriculum areas to operationalise the ILT Strategy,
                        identifying and resolving issues where necessary:


                             ensure the ILT Strategy and Implementation Plan is integrated
                              into curriculum area development plans;
                             agree priorities in the implementation of the ILT strategy;
       Primary               encouraging, monitoring and reviewing the curriculum use of ILT
                              by staff;
       Focus
                             supporting the development of the College’s ILT staff
                              development training programme;
                             ensuring the curriculum        areas   are   aware    of      College
                              developments in ILT;
                             identifying components of ILT capability which can be
                              developed and delivered within curriculum areas;
                             ensuring that schemes of work provide for the use of ILT.


       Group            ILT Champions
                        To encourage and mentor staff to use technology in the management
                        and delivery of the curriculum and to encourage good ILT practices.
       Primary
                        Undertake appropriate Staff Development to support the
       Focus
                        implementation of the ILT Strategy. Transforming existing content into
                        a form suitable for the Virtual Learning Environment.


       Group            Business Process Review Groups
                        To review College business processes within the areas of curriculum,
                        curriculum support and business administration with a view to refining,
       Primary
                        developing and/or automating them. To look at the potential that
       Focus
                        electronic working can offer, in making College processes more
                        efficient and manageable.


       Group            IT Services Group
                        Review operational issues, service performance, and evaluate
                        technology developments that may benefit the College’s ILT service
                        including:

       Primary               hardware and networks, procurement, operation, repair and
       Focus                  replacement;
                             academic and business specific software;
                             Helpdesk and asset management;
                             develop standard operating procedures;
                             develop cross college Business Continuity Plans.


NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                  PAGE 13
                These groups are designed to propose policy, prioritise opportunities and
                 make decisions – they are not intended to do all the necessary research;
                These are working groups with scheduled meetings, agendas and offline
                 research activities;
                Substitutions are strongly discouraged;
                Consistent participation by members is encouraged;
                Group chairs are expected to manage the interaction with the other
                 groups as appropriate.


2.2   Organisation structure of the ILT strategy and operational development groups



                                                Corporation
                                             Overall ILT Strategy
                                                  approval




                                                      SMT
                                          Resource ILT Strategy and
                                           ensure it is implemented



       Business Process Review
                  Groups                                                    Academic Board
       Review business processes                                         ILT Strategy review and
        to refine and/or automate                                                approval
                   them




                                                                         Curriculum ILT Task
                                            ILT Strategy Group
           ILT Champions                                                         Group
                                          Recommends to the SMT
       Mentor staff to use ILT and                                      Operationalises the ILT
                                             all college-wide ILT
        encourage good practice                                        Strategy at the Curriculum
                                                 developments
                                                                               Area level




                Corporate IT User Group   Curriculum IT User Group    SLDD IT User Group
                 Operational support of     Operational support of    Operational support of
                   administrative and       curriculum technology     curriculum technology
                    institutional ILT           developments              developments




                                             IT Services Group
                                          Review operational issues
                                          and service performance




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                    PAGE 14
2.3   Planning, goal-setting and review processes
      In line with the annual cycle of strategic management activity, the ILT Strategy
      Group meets termly to review the strategy, monitor its implementation and ensure
      that there is a ‘joined up ILT agenda’ demonstrating collaboration with external
      partners, including Ufi. The group reports to the College Management Team, who
      then communicate the strategy to their staff.


      The Director of IT proposes strategic objectives to the SMT, which, when agreed,
      are costed, prioritised and implemented by IT staff. User Groups meet on a termly
      basis and issues raised by them are fed into the Strategy Group.


2.4   Relationship to other strategic plans
      We believe that in order for the College’s ILT Strategy to be a truly effective tool
      for directing the use of ILT within the institution, it must be aligned with the overall
      strategic planning efforts of the College. It must reflect the role of information and
      learning technology in helping the College to achieve its vision and to accomplish
      its mission, aims and objectives.


      Heads of Curriculum and Service areas compile annual Operational Plans that
      inform the College’s strategic planning process. Staff development and training
      needs are identified within the HR Strategy. The ILT Strategy planning process
      also draws on information from the self-assessment and the accommodation and
      finance strategies. The College will also develop a Learning Strategy that
      identifies how we will change our organisational culture and learning process to
      take advantage of the developments that will occur following the implementation
      of this strategy.

      The emphasis in the College’s strategic objectives for 2001-2004 ensures that ILT
      is used to support and enrich student learning experience, to assist staff to
      improve teaching and learning, and to facilitate improved management processes.


2.5   Values and commitments
      To pursue our commitment to excellence, innovation and co-operation in the
      provision of ILT services, the College recognises the following values and
      commitments as essential to its mission.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                            PAGE 15
      2.5.1 Service
      We recognise our responsibility to provide a reliable, enthusiastic, responsive and
      helpful service to all of our learners and staff. We understand that our increasingly
      diverse group of users with varied backgrounds, skills and needs require ever
      more careful consideration in the creation and implementation of services. We
      are an organisation that understands its values and we seek to embody them in
      our work and in our service to learners by working to agreed service standards.


      2.5.2 Co-operation
      As an organisation we are committed to open and honest communication and
      actions. Out of such a basis we strive to work cross-College and with external
      partners to provide the best resources and services for our learners.


      2.5.3 Innovation
      Innovation is fundamental to our ability to anticipate needs and deliver on our
      commitment to excellence in our daily work and services. We will create a work
      and learning environment where discovery, experimentation, creativity and
      acceptance of occasional failure are nurtured and encouraged.


      2.5.4 Excellence
      Excellence is quality in action. We are determined, as an organisation, to
      regularly seek out and pay close attention to our users needs and expectations.
      We are committed thereby to the continuous improvement of our services, our
      resources and our users’ environment within available resources.


      2.5.5 Health and Safety
      The College Health and Safety Policy makes clear the commitment to ensuring
      the Health and Safety of all users of the College. It is committed to ensuring that
      compliance with Health and Safety legislation in the field of ILT.


      2.5.6 Learning
      To provide the best possible experience for our learners we must help ourselves
      become the best. For our staff to remain knowledgeable, innovative and capable
      of performing our best work requires a real understanding of and commitment to
      creating and maintaining an environment where learning and continued growth is
      valued and supported.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                         PAGE 16
      2.5.7 Equal Opportunities
      The College welcomes all members of the community, recognises the dignity and
      worth of every individual and actively promotes equal opportunities for all learners
      and staff.


      We are committed to achieving Equality of Opportunity and to the development of
      Inclusive Learning. ILT is seen as one way of achieving inclusiveness in that it
      has the potential to provide extension activities for the very able, support materials
      for those who find difficulty with any aspect of learning, access to learning for
      students with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities and motivation for those less
      inclined to learn in a formal class situation.


      2.5.8 Inclusive Learning
      The College operates an Inclusive Learning Policy that seeks to achieve the best
      match between the needs of individual learners and the learning environment. It
      aims to ensure learners’ needs are met with high quality education, training,
      guidance and personal development within an efficient, effective and caring
      environment.


      2.5.9 Legal Obligations
      The College accepts and takes seriously its obligation to comply with all
      government acts including: Copyright and Patents Act 1988, Computer Misuse,
      Data Protection Act 1998, Race Relations and Equal Opportunities.


      The College publishes, for all staff and learners, a ‘Code of Practice’ that details
      appropriate use of ILT facilities including security, networks, software and
      hardware. The College also implements an ‘Internet and E-mail Acceptable Use
      Policy’ that identifies the College’s monitoring activities and what constitutes
      inappropriate use of systems.

              Data Protection Act 1998: The College will ensure that all personal data
               complies with data protection legislation and principles. The Data
               Controller is the Director of IT. The College provides guidance to
               managers, users and service providers on their individual responsibility
               and specific procedures that should be followed.
              Copyright and Patents Act 1988: To enable compliance, the College
               will maintain a software register and conduct audits of software use. We
               are a member of FAST (Federation Against Software Theft) and the
               College is working towards their ‘Certificate of Software Compliance’.
              The Companies Act 1985: The College will ensure that appropriate
               measures are in place and publish guidelines on the retention, storage,


NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                          PAGE 17
               handling and disposal of data, which may be required for accounting
               purposes or evidence that the College operates within statutory
               regulations.
              The Computer Misuse Act 1990: The College’s ILT facilities are
               provided solely for College business use. Use of these facilities for
               unauthorised purposes may be regarded as improper use. The College
               will advise employees and learners on the permitted use of these
               facilities.


2.6   Strategic alliances – identifying partners in development and delivery of the
      strategy
      The College is an active member of the Hertfordshire Ufi hub company
      (Hertfordshire e-Learning Partnership). We are also working very closely with the
      other Hertfordshire Colleges, University and the County Council on online learning
      development projects and County ILT strategy issues. We have also formed
      strong alliances with the commercial and voluntary sectors and have developed a
      joint NOF/CMF project bid to develop two new community-based ICT centres in
      Stevenage. We are also working with the other Hertfordshire Colleges to develop
      Industry Based Learning Centres.


      The College has developed good collaborative working relationships with local,
      regional and national academic and commercial partners to optimise our ILT
      developments and use. An overview of our main partners follows:


      Academic Partners
           Oaklands College, Hertford Regional College and West Herts College
           The University of Hertfordshire
           The Hertfordshire Learning Partnership
           Hertfordshire LLSC
           Hertfordshire Ufi Hub


      Commercial Partners
          North Hertfordshire District Council and Stevenage Borough Council
          Stevenage Football Club
          CISCO – Academy status and hardware infrastructure
          Granada Learning – VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) supplier
          Colt, IPS and British Telecom – Data and voice Communications
          FAST – Software Licensing
          Microsoft - (CAMPUS software purchasing Scheme)
          MicroCompass – MIS systems, maintenance and support
          ITS – Novell maintenance and support


NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                      PAGE 18
2.7   Communicating the strategy – publications, media and meetings
      This strategy is communicated via a variety of mediums including:

              introducing and discussing the strategy with the College SMT and
               Governors;
              introducing and discussing the strategy with all College managers at CMT
               meetings. There is an opportunity for follow-up meetings with specific
               curriculum/service areas as required;
              availability of copies of the full text at all of the College’s Learning
               Resource Centres;
              availability of the full text on the College’s corporate Intranet. A member
               of staff can request a copy via e-mail for personal reference if required;
              the placement of the core themes of the strategy on the College web site
               for the information of prospective and existing learners, employees and
               partners of the College;
              an appropriate summary in the Staff and Student Handbooks;
              Staff information sessions, as part of the rolling programme of Staff
               Development sessions.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                        PAGE 19
 3   Learners, Learning and the Curriculum

      The College’s Learning Strategy will specify that all programmes will carry a
      commitment to utilising appropriate, relevant and up-to-date learning resources
      and to making use of the full range of available learning technologies. Learners
      will be in an environment with ILT facilities as an integrated core, which will allow
      them and their tutors to utilise a variety of teaching and learning strategies in
      response to identified individual learning styles.


      These commitments require all Heads of Centre and Curriculum Managers to
      quantify and monitor the number of study hours within a programme, which permit
      access to, and exploitation of ILT resources and environments. All full-time
      programmes should specify a percentage element of overall study/learning time
      that must be delivered via ILT. Part-time programmes should have a similar
      commitment with the percentage level of the ILT element depending the learning
      needs of particular groups. By 2002/2003 the College expects to be delivering
      20% of the curriculum offer using ILT.


      Curriculum Managers are required to ensure student timetables provide as even a
      load as possible so that the demand for ILT resources is uniformly spread
      throughout the week. Central timetabling will support the process of room
      allocations and the monitoring of student access.


      All curriculum areas should develop plans to make a proportion of their offering
      available on-line. This portfolio will be made accessible to on-line learners through
      the College’s Virtual Learning Environment. The College is committed to using
      ILT to:


      3.1.1 Enhance the learner experience
              Make learning more exciting, more fun, and more effective
              Increase the extent to which different student learning styles can be fully
               accommodated
              Provide greater richness of learning materials
              Make best use of multi-media, interactive and adaptive learning
              Make best use of virtual reality (work simulation, etc.)
              Provide structured learning for core content
              Deal with quantity and diversity of additional support requirements
              Create greater flexibility and customisation of learning products
              Improve the continuous assessment of the student learning experience



NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                         PAGE 20
      3.1.2 Add value to the learner experience
              Implementing a VLE, accessible by all learners and staff regardless of
               time and place of study
              By using ‘state of the art’ learning processes that will enhance
               employability
              By integrating ILT into all courses, better preparing learners for the
               knowledge economy
              By making the learning process more transparent
              To get difficult concepts across to learners
              To give more feedback to learners to reinforce learning
              Through the provision of an interactive curriculum network that gives
               learners access to accurate and timely course information
              To use Customer Relationship Management software to keep in touch
               with existing learners and alumni, maximising the potential for repeat
               enrolments and encouraging lifelong learning


      3.1.3 Improve the quality of the learner experience
              By setting targets for the appropriate use of ILT to be built in to the
               planning, delivery and quality review of each programme of study
              Through monitoring and reporting targets against agreed service levels
               on a monthly basis at CMT meetings and on the Intranet
              Through the increased customisation and use of commercially produced
               learning materials
              Through the increasing standardisation of in-house learning materials
               and the future development of Learning Objects
              Through the availability of ‘VLE ready’ learning materials from publishers
              Through the systematic upskilling of College staff
              Each full-time course will have a module or elements of several modules
               that will be available to students wherever they wish to work.
              All students will have access to work on the materials by logging on to the
               network at home, in the classroom or in a Learning Centre
              All materials will include some means for students to assess what they
               have learnt
              All students will have the opportunity to develop appropriate IT Skills
               (through Key Skills or other support) to take advantage of on-line
               materials
              All students will be able to use the VLE to submit work done on-line
              Staff will use the VLE to support students when working on-line
              Employed students will have the opportunity to develop transferable skills
               in a variety of contexts




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                        PAGE 21
      3.1.4 Encourage the trailblazers
              Encourage specialisation in the learning programme
              Make the resources available to stimulate innovation
              Support initiatives that help us raise standards
              Continue to move ahead and help bring others along


3.2   Student entitlement to ILT

      3.2.1 Ratio of internet-connected computers to FTE learners
      The College intends to ensure appropriate access to ILT for all its 3,200 FTE
      learners by:

              defining the ‘appropriate’ level of access to ILT for learners in each
               course specification
              providing sufficient networked computers to ensure a ratio of internet-
               connected computers to FTE learners of 1:5 in the year 2002. This has
               been achieved by implementing the following ratios over the last four
               academic years:

                  Academic year     Computers to FTE Computers to FTE
                                    learners planned learners achieved
                  1999 – 2000       1:8                      1:6.1
                  2000 – 2001       1:6.5                    1:5.0
                  2001 – 2002       1:5                      1:4.2
                  2002 – 2003       1:5                      1:3.4


               We will continue to review our target ration on a yearly basis as the
               College use of ILT increases.


      The College intends to expand access to ILT learning for all learners:

              through its accommodation strategy, including planned new build;
              by undertaking and participating in research and development projects
               that seek to provide new ILT based learning solutions for learner;
              through the provision of, and support for, community learning centres;
              through strategic partnerships with other agencies and networks;
              through full involvement in national and European initiatives.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                    PAGE 22
      3.2.2 Learner access to the Internet and e-mail services
              All of the College’s computers are Internet enabled. The College ensures
               access for all learners to Internet and to e-mail (Internet based only
               unless required by the curriculum) services on demand.
              During the last quarter of 2000 the College connected to SuperJanet via
               a 2Mb line. The College has also implemented Internet caching servers
               on all campuses to speed access to regularly accessed data.
              By April 2003 the College will install increase its Internet connection to
               4Mb.


3.3   Guidance and support arrangements for learners use of ILT
      The College recognises that many students do not necessarily possess the skills
      required to undertake independent learning through ILT. To ensure that students
      can reach an appropriate level of ILT competence, guidance and support will be
      provided through:

              the inclusion of basic IT training, as part of induction for learners following
               an initial assessment to determine existing skill levels;
              the provision of sufficient IT literate support staff in learning centres and
               other areas within the College where independent study using ILT takes
               place;
              the provision of ‘Help Desks’ for learners (both those within the College ,
               online and at community or business locations);
              a skilled and well resourced IT Services section to ensure efficient and
               effective support at all times;
              the delivery of IT Key Skills at the appropriate level, following initial
               diagnostic screening of individual student skills;
              help guides on the VLE to support the use of electronic information
               sources and software applications.


3.4   Resources
      Throughout the year additional software and learning materials requirements will
      be identified. These will be discussed within the curriculum and business teams
      via the User Groups. The IT Managers will provide guidance on compatibility and
      purchase decisions.


      The College has entered into an agreement with Microsoft for the Campus
      Scheme, which offers College wide access to the latest Windows and Office
      products ensuring that we are always able to give staff and learners access to the
      latest software in College. The scheme also allows staff to have access to the
      latest core Microsoft Office and Windows products for use at home.


NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                            PAGE 23
      3.4.1 Audit of existing materials
      The LRC will carry out an annual internal audit of materials to support the use of
      ILT for curriculum delivery, including paper-based, CD-ROM, and web accessible
      materials. All materials will be catalogued on our library management system.
      The LRC will also carry out an external audit of materials to support ILT. The
      purpose of the audit will be to:

              audit the types of electronic learning materials used in FE Colleges;
              determine the use of these learning materials;
              ascertain the context in which they are being used;
              determine what electronic learning materials are available and suitable for
               purchase or use from publishers, the National Learning Network, FENC,
               the Internet, others, as they emerge;
              disseminate availability and good practice.


      3.4.2 Procurement of additional materials
      The College policy is to purchase, wherever possible, learning materials that have
      been developed either commercially or in another academic institution. The
      materials will then be assembled into a course of study that meets awarding body
      guidelines and the needs of our learners. A Virtual Learning Environment
      (LearnWise) has been purchased to support this operation. The College is soon
      to evaluate a Learning Materials Development tool that is compatible with its VLE.


      The College will manage the procurement of commercially produced materials
      and the in-house development of e-learning materials via the Heads of Centre and
      Curriculum User groups. Student suggestions for purchase will be actively
      encouraged. All prospective purchases will be evaluated against an agreed set of
      defined quality criteria to ensure that they are fit for purpose.


      3.4.3 Systems to update staff about materials availability
      All learning materials are catalogued and searchable via our integrated library
      management system (Endeavour Voyager). New acquisitions will be publicised
      during user group meetings, in a regular Learning Resources e-newsletter and on
      the College Intranet.


      3.4.4 Staff skills for developing online learning materials
      To support and accelerate the College’s ILT developments, a small team of
      learning materials developers should be appointed who can work with academic
      staff to develop the College’s online learning curriculum.



NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                        PAGE 24
      The materials development team will:

              play a central role in the development of platform-independent ‘bite size’
               chunks of learning;
              lead the assembly of online learning provision that meets awarding body
               guidelines and the needs of our learners;
              support, include and advise staff during the development of online
               learning;
              provide staff development opportunities.


3.5   Services: vision for developing each of the major ILT services for use by learners
      The College will develop teaching and learning that utilises ILT to communicate
      and collaborate in an educational context. This will include ILT use that
      supplements traditional classroom learning with components and learning
      environments where the educational process is experienced online. These will
      allow the College to:

              enhance student-to-student and tutor-to-student communication;
              enable student-centred teaching approaches;
              providing 24hr * 7 day accessibility to course materials;
              providing just-in-time methods to assess and evaluate student progress;
              accommodate different learning styles;
              facilitate focused and productive use of learner time outside the
               classroom;
              reduce the administration and cost of course management.


      3.5.1 Internet
      The College recognises the potential education benefits of the Internet and has
      already built a network infrastructure in order to capitalise on available resources.
      The next step is to find and acquire valuable information that will move the focus
      on student Internet use from primarily leisure and unstructured surfing to
      educational activities. Future Internet use will include:

              supporting the collaborative and dynamic nature of learning;
              the opportunity to develop information searching, handling and evaluation
               skills;
              extended use of the Internet into the classroom;
              access to College information and e-journals;
              better promotion of our service via the Internet;
              remote access to learning materials via the College VLE.


NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                         PAGE 25
      3.5.2 College Web Site
      The College intends to exploit the Internet more fully for marketing purposes. A
      team, set up by the Director of IT, will redesign the College’s Web Site. The initial
      focus is on providing marketing information to potential learners, but a full web
      strategy will be produced, in line with strategic aims, by Spring 2002 and include
      provision of on-line enrolment and payment facilities.


      3.5.3 College Curriculum Intranet/Extranet
      The primary purpose of the Intranet/Extranet will be to provide easier access to
      College information and learning for learners using web technologies. The
      Intranet/Extranet will not be single system, but will take data from a number
      College systems including MIS, VLE and Library Management systems.


      As complexity and data sources increase the College will need to consider the
      development of a ‘portal’ web site to guide students’ use. A portal will also enable
      the staff to contextualise content for different users of groups.


      3.5.4 E-mail
      The College plans to develop the use of e-mail in the following ways:

              Supporting the collaborative and dynamic nature of learning;
              Facilitating discussions between students and between lecturers and
               students;
              Setting up appointments and meetings;
              Providing feedback on assignments and practical assessments;
              Answering questions about, assignments, problems with concepts or
               practical work;
              Sending messages to groups of learners.


      The College will also need to consider at what point it will become necessary and
      desirable to provide an e-mail account for all learners.


      3.5.5 Videoconferencing
      Although this technology has been available within the College for several years, it
      has not been utilised within the curriculum. The College recognises the potential of
      videoconferencing and intends to continue seeking effective ways of using it
      where there are obvious benefits for the learner. However, the use of external
      videoconferencing will also depend upon other organisations developing their
      capability in this field.


NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                         PAGE 26
3.6   Inclusion
      The College has a strong commitment to supporting all students’ needs in line
      with the requirements of programmes of study. Specialist staff and programme
      teams have opportunities to identify and respond to learners with special learning
      difficulties through pre-entry guidance, at enrolment and on programme. There
      are mechanisms in place to audit equipment, as well as monitor and review use of
      assistive technology and support.


      Some of the basic skills programmes offered at the College will be extended to its
      Learning Shops and Ufi basic skills on-line products will be included in this
      provision. Inclusive learning is further supported by:

              identifying (through IT based assessments) and responding to individual
               learning requirements;
              acknowledgement of individual differences;
              increasing tutor awareness of student needs;
              encouraging self-advocacy skills and supporting each individual in
               making their own decisions;
              promoting the constructive involvement of parents, carers and
               professional agencies to support each individual throughout the learning
               process;
              implementing a College framework for learner support, which is visible,
               accessible and communicated to learners;
              providing active and ongoing strategies to improve physical access to
               buildings through a planned programme of building modification;
              providing specialist pre-entry advice and guidance;
              actively monitoring the use of assistive technology;
              provision of individual learner support packages and regular review of
               each individual’s progress;
              provision of progression advice and support;
              purchases of specialist software and hardware to assist learners who
               have disabilities.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                      PAGE 27
 4    Creating a Managed Learning Environment


4.1   Introduction
      The College’s Managed Learning Environment (MLE) will use a virtual learning
      environment (VLE) to provide an online system where learning, assessment and
      interaction can take place in a structured and managed way. This will be fully
      integrated with all appropriate College processes and systems to form the MLE.


      The MLE is intended to improve the quality of the learning experience and will
      supplement but not replace existing teaching and learning methods. It will be a
      tool to facilitate learning and enhance the learning process and will initially enable:

              staff development opportunities;
              staff to develop their skills and understanding of VLE software;
              staff to explore new educational possibilities;
              the piloting of course/unit development and delivery projects.


      4.1.1 The VLE Procurement Process
      In January 2001 the College invited 5 companies, who were deemed by the
      County ICT Strategy Group to be the current leading providers of VLE solutions to
      further education, to present their solutions to staff. Between January and April
      the College received presentations on the following products: Blackboard,
      Fretwell-Downing Learning Environment, Granada LearnWise, Lotus
      LearningSpace and WebCT.


      In May 2001, following the presentations, the County ICT Strategy Group
      developed a Statement of Requirements to allow us to progress to the tender
      stage – this was e-mailed to key staff for comment before it was finalised. In July
      the College invited Blackboard, WebCT, Granada and Fretwell-Downing to tender
      for the College’s VLE solution. WebCT failed to respond to the invitation to
      tender.


4.2   Tender Evaluations
      It was decided to allocate marks to the tender responses based on the importance
      of the feature to the College as follows:

              Mandatory Requirements – 3;
              Highly Desirable Requirements – 2;
              Desirable Requirements – 1.

NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                           PAGE 28
      A summary of the marks awarded under the category headings is as follows:

                                  Blackboard         Fretwell-         Granada
                                                     Downing
       Supplier business          9                  9                 6
       requirements
       Tender requirements        12                 12                12
       System support             16                 18.5              19
       Developmental Features     63                 52                61
       Instructor Tools           75                 52.5              67.5
       Instructional Features     51                 23.5              45
       Course Management          53                 40                44
       Student Tools              53                 28.5              48
       Technical Support          21                 21                21
       Administrator Tools        52                 38                52
       Administrative Features    11                 11                10
       College Information        16                 10                12
       Systems
       Reporting                  15                 13                11
       Training                   9                  9                 9
       Hardware & Software        13                 13                13
       Requirements
       Total                      469                351               430.5


      The College chose the Granada LearnWise product as its VLE based on strong
      functionality and price. This system was purchased in November 2001.


4.3   Installation
      Development will be phased over the next three years.            The first phase
      (installation of the VLE) was completed in January 2002.


4.4   Staff Development
      The technical support team will receive a 1-day system management course and
      Lecturers, learning support staff and ICT Champions will receive a 2-day course
      on content development and a 2-day course on using the VLE to support the
      learning process, both events will take place in Spring 2002. This training will be
      cascaded to all tutors and learning support staff over time.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                       PAGE 29
4.5   Towards a College Managed Learning Environment
      The VLE makes up only one part of the College's overall systems. Interfacing
      between these systems is possible by 'connecting up' the constituent parts by the
      use of interoperability standards. When we have the necessary connections in
      place between the VLE and other information systems the College will have a
      Managed Learning Environment (as defined by the JISC):




      Following installation of the College’s VLE we will be able to access staff and
      student directory services for user authentication. By August 2002 the system will
      also be linked to the College’s:

              QLS, student records system;
              Voyager, Library Management System;
              e-Journal and CD-ROM servers for content delivery;
              Staff and learner e-mail accounts.


      Following these developments the College will also consider the appropriateness
      of linking the VLE to the College’s:

              QL-x and QL-e, finance and e-student systems;
              HR system;
              online assessment tools;
              CELCAT timetable system.


NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                      PAGE 30
4.6   The Future
      The technology for supporting the online learning environments is now available in
      the College; the next challenge is the development of College based learning
      environments that support the wide scale delivery of high quality, flexible and
      supported independent learning for our learners.


      This will not be an easy development; it will require a whole College philosophy
      and commitment if it is to succeed. There will be a number of obstacles to
      providing the required organisational change:

              The high cost of putting the infrastructure in place
              The requirement for a massive culture change within the College
              The possible resistance to change from staff
              The high cost of developing the new skills needed by staff
              The embryonic nature of the online learning systems
              The lack of appropriate learning materials
              The poor support of standards
              The lack of culture, incentives and structure for developing and sharing
               learning materials
      The College is committed to overcoming these obstacles over the next three
      years and achieving, during the 2002/2003 academic year, the delivery of 20% of
      contact hours using ILT.


      Course/module creation will start in April 2002 and by the start of the 2002/2003
      academic year we expect to be using the VLE to deliver or support the following
      curriculum:

              Key Skills IT underpinning knowledge at levels 1 to 3;
              materials for module(s) on one of the full-time computing courses;
              materials for module(s) on at least one other full-time courses;
              3 and 6 hour IT Tasters.


      Staff will have also developed pilot areas within the VLE for Learning Resources
      and Learner Services.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                         PAGE 31
4.7   Evaluation
      Evaluation mechanisms will be required:

              By March 2002 we will have developed online evaluation forms for both
               staff and students
              Possibilities for using the student feedback questionnaire will be
               investigated. Delivery of the student feedback questionnaire through the
               MLE will be a future option
              Other options to evaluate learning to be investigated – including a review
               of what other institutions have done
              ICT Champions and other closely related staff will regularly evaluate
               usability
              ICT Champions and other closely related staff will regularly evaluate
               developing and emerging MLE solutions and related products.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                       PAGE 32
 5    Staff and ILT


5.1   Creating the Right Climate
      Before College staff can be expected to significantly increase their use of ILT,
      there must be an enabling environment in place that includes four elements:


             Universal staff and student access to computers (equity).
             Reliable networks (predictability).
             Multiple opportunities for training and consultation (convenience).
             A College ethos that values experimentation and tolerates falters (security).


5.2   Staff Development and Continuing Professional Development
      The College considers that high quality staff are fundamental to the maintenance
      and enhancement of the standards, quality of the student learning experience and
      increased use of ILT. Curriculum areas benefit from a large and diverse body of
      staff who support student learning and who contribute a wide range of experience,
      talent, expertise and professionalism to their learning support activities. They
      comprise not only those staff engaged directly in teaching, but also colleagues
      working in various learning support activities to secure an environment throughout
      the institution that is conducive to effective student learning.


      The staff profile is diverse in terms of age and experience and, in recent years, the
      proportion of part-time staff has increased. In order to maintain the motivation and
      the high quality of all staff this Strategy incorporates targets, which will ensure that
      all teaching staff maintain and enhance their professionalism, their ability to make
      best use of the opportunities to enhance learning through increased use of ILT,
      and that learning support staff benefit also from initial and continuing development
      activities.


      The College has highlighted ILT staff skills development as a priority in the
      2001/2004 Strategic Plan, targeting of skills development has become and will
      increasingly become a priority for all staff. This required upskilling will be achieved
      with yearly incremental improvements targeted for all staff. The 2001 Self
      Assessment Report identifies slow progress on ILT implementation within
      teaching and learning as a weakness which affects the whole College.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                            PAGE 33
5.3   Development of ILT skills
      The College staff development function operates a ‘requirement and entitlement’
      model, which clearly outlines the development areas required of all teachers,
      support staff and academic and support managers. This is implemented through
      the individual appraisal system, which uses Personal Development Plans for all
      staff and the setting of yearly targets for incremental skills improvements. Future
      development of ILT skills is now to be further detailed with a set of minimum
      competencies to be achieved by all staff who currently use or will potentially use
      ILT skills within their roles.


      The information from the appraisal process and from the yearly operational
      planning process is passed to Personnel to inform the yearly staff development
      operational plan and to enable management of funding. Regular skills needs
      analyses also take place as a basis for planning IT classes for staff and will
      underpin the competencies approach in 2001-2002.


      By 2002 it will be possible to analyse ILT skills development involvement through
      the staff development database, which will provide data on individuals,
      departments, staff categories and roles in terms of hours and types of training
      undertaken. From this data, parts of the College and individual members of staff
      can be identified who have progressed to higher level skills, those who are
      undertaking basic skills; and those who have not undertaken any IT skills
      development. From this information, and from the staff ILT Audit, we will be able
      to locate the minority of staff who currently have insufficient IT skills and offer a
      range of support and training.


      Part-time teachers and curriculum support staff are able to access the staff
      development programmes free of charge. They are encouraged to do so through
      the training sessions and resources advertised in the Staff Development Bulletin,
      which is distributed to all staff who work in the College.


5.4   Future Strategy For Training in IT
      Before the College can begin the transformation process, we must first be able to
      determine what “mix” of staff skills we already have and develop support
      structures for all staff whether support or academic, just starting out or an ILT
      Champion. The following 5 levels of development have been identified based on
      usage of IT.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                         PAGE 34
      5.4.1 Stages in Academic Staff ILT Development

       Stage                  How staff use IT
       1. Entry               Just learning the basics of using ILT
       2. Adoption            Using ILT to support traditional instruction
       3. Adaptation          Integrating ILT into traditional classroom practice
       4. Appropriation       Focusing on incorporating ILT as needed & as one of
                              many tools
       5. Invention           Discovering new uses for ILT tools


      5.4.2 Stages in Support Staff’s ILT Development
       Stage                  How staff use IT
       1. Entry               Learn the basics of using IT
       2. Adoption            Use IT to support traditional business practices
       3. Adaptation          Use IT to improve traditional business practices
       4. Appropriation       Focus on incorporating IT as needed
       5. Invention           Discover new uses for IT tools


      A minimum competence model will be introduced which will require staff to
      demonstrate skills in the use of – e-mail; accessing and gaining information from
      both the Internet and College Intranet; demonstrating the use of computer
      systems and applications. All staff within scope will be required to participate
      within an agreed time frame.


      Short modules covering the following courses will be available throughout the year
      via our Learning Shops and online via the College intranet. All staff will be
      required to undertake these within the next 2-3 years and will be assessed as part
      of the scheme. APL will be available for staff with existing skills and able to
      demonstrate the capacity to meet the assessment requirements. Certification will
      be available if required.


      Additional second level ILT competencies for a range of job roles are being
      identified and alternative development routes offered to staff in these roles. These
      will need to particularly support the increasing Key Skills work undertaken by
      teaching staff and use of online learning resources and their integration into
      teaching and learning with learners. Resources in Learning Centres will be
      extended to ensure all staff can access support and materials on demand. Clear
      routes and mapping of additional skills needs will be signalled to staff undertaking
      the different options.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                         PAGE 35
      The College has a long-term commitment to maintain a high level of IT Services
      staff competence through training. All staff will have access to MCSE and A+
      training online by 2002. Staff will also undertake specialist short-course training
      as necessary.


      5.4.3 Training Opportunities for Staff
      Based on the previously identified 5 levels of development, the College could put
      in place the following training opportunities for staff:


      Academic Staff




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                       PAGE 36
      Support Staff




      72% of staff have returned the College IT Audit so far. The audit identifies where
      staff are in their personal development:

                                Basic course       Intermediate course
                                  required               required             OK
      Using Windows       22          21%      0           0%            81   79%
      Word Processing 24              23%      50          49%           29   28%
      Databases           68          66%      0           0%            35   34%
      Spreadsheets        51          50%      12          12%           40   39%
      Graphs & Charts     69          67%      0           0%            34   33%
      PowerPoint          40          39%      0           0%            63   61%
      Internet & E-mail   43          42%      0           0%            60   58%


      From this we have identified the following training needs:

      Qualifications       Requirements
      CLAIT                46
      Internet & E-mail    40
      ECDL                 29
      Advanced             28




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                         PAGE 37
5.5   Teaching Certification
      As part of the approval process for the University of Greenwich Certificate in
      Education (PCET) which began in Autumn 2000, the College is offering an option
      unit ‘Using IT for Teaching and Learning’ at both levels 1 and 2. Internal
      candidates are advised to take this option as part of the corporate drive to develop
      staff capacity in ILT.


5.6   National Learning Network’s ILT Champions Programme
      The following proposals are aimed at identifying the resourcing needs of the first
      phase of this initiative and how these could most effectively be used to enable ILT
      developments in a number of Curriculum Areas.


      During 2001/2002 the £7,200 provided by the National Learning Network for local
      learning materials development will be used to release the ILT Champions from
      their timetable to undertake development projects.


      These hours would be used for training, meeting time to work with ILT Champions
      and curriculum area colleagues on learning materials development projects and
      the development of the College VLE. The ‘lead’ champion would also lead (in
      partnership with the Director of IT) staff development activities relating to the
      development of the College VLE.


      The following staff development programme would be implemented:

              Stage 1 – A one hour presentation for all staff – outlining current College
               ILT Strategy and the current developments associated with it, ways to
               increase staff use of ILT and the North Hertfordshire College VLE.
               Completed at the January 2002 Staff Conference
              Stage 2 – A demonstration of the chosen VLE (LearnWise) and overview
               of its features to each curriculum area – similar in length to stage 1. To
               be completed by July 2002
              Stage 3 – Training for staff in curriculum areas in actually using the VLE
               for curriculum delivery. A series of whole day and online training events
               for each curriculum area – dates to be arranged as appropriate. This will
               begin phased training for all staff over the next 2 years


      Time Allocation for ILT Champions (Feb-June 2002)

              8 ILT Champions – 22.5 hours @ £40/hr for cover




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                        PAGE 38
5.7   Services: vision for developing each of the major ILT services for use by staff
      The College will make full use of ILT services, where they are appropriate to
      learning and business situations. These will include:


      5.7.1 Internet
              a tool to facilitate the effective integration of ILT into the student learning
               experience;
              remote access to the College Intranet, their own e-mail accounts and
               data;
              access to the information resources of the WWW to facilitate the
               preparation of course materials and for research purposes;
              business use including researching companies, products, prices and
               competitors;
              marketing and promotion of our service via the Internet;
              extended use of the Internet for research and study purposes;
              developing, acquiring and finding platform independent bite size chunks
               of learning;
              access to e-journals and other electronic resources;
              the implementation of an e-procurement system;
              connectivity to and from satellite centres.


      5.7.2 College intranet/extranet
              As a resource for curriculum support and development
              Supporting staff collaborative working practices
              To support the operation of the College’s helpdesk
              As a major communication tool for staff
              A staff development tool
              To increase the efficiency of College business operations and knowledge
               management
              To provide access to information and applications.
              As a place where all staff can publish information relevant to the
               organisation


      5.7.3 E-mail
              Setting up appointments and meetings
              For internal and external communications to staff, learners and business
               partners
              To automatically alert IT staff when there is a problem with systems
              As a way of disseminating information


NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                             PAGE 39
      5.7.4 Videoconferencing
      This technology has been available within the College for several years, but its
      potential remains underdeveloped. The College intends to respond to growing
      demand by improving its facilities as appropriate in order to:

              provide opportunities for lecturers to develop national and international
               communication networks;
              increase opportunities for lecturers to develop relationships with industry;
              reduce campus based travel by meeting virtually;
              interact with industry experts;
              use videoconferencing to hold tutorials and provide guest lectures.


5.8   Business Process Review

      5.8.1 Purpose
              To review College business processes with a view to refining, developing
               and/or automating them, ideally this will result in automated paper forms
               and workflow routing of existing business processes.

              To look at the potential that electronic working can offer, in making our
               processes more efficient and manageable.


      5.8.2 Objectives


              Focus on the learners and staff.
              Value for money and business efficiency.
              Speed and timeliness.
              Quality of service.
              Performance against standards.


      5.8.3 Outcomes


              Better inter-organisational collaboration.
              Greater use of electronic communication.
              Business process improvements, allied to a process rather than
               departmental or individual orientation.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                         PAGE 40
      5.8.4 Implementation Model


                       Capture all forms currently in use at the College




                    Load all forms onto the Intranet to increase availability




           Review local             Review and increase            Implement a system
       database usage and             communication                  to provide fillable
         centralise where               channels as                intelligent forms with
             possible                   appropriate                    routing, digital
                                                                   approval, automated
                                                                  processing, audit trails
                                                                       and archiving




      Analyse the underlying processes on the following Process Planning Sheet and
                                re-engineer as appropriate


5.9   Staff entitlement to ILT
      The College intends to expand access to ILT for staff:

              through strategic partnerships with other agencies and networks;
              through full involvement in national initiatives;
              by purchasing and developing integrated business information software
               to maximise the opportunities for the use of intelligent solutions in support
               of our staff’s information requirements;
              as part of its accommodation strategy including new build projects.


      The College will ensure appropriate access to ILT for all its 368 staff by:




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                          PAGE 41
      5.9.1 Ratio of internet-connected computers to permanent staff
              creating controlled access to business software applications for all
               business support staff, appropriate to their job function;
              providing sufficient networked computers to ensure a ratio of permanent
               staff to internet-connected computers of 1:1 by August 2002.

               This will be achieved by implementing the following ratios over the next
               three years:

                  Academic          Computers to staff Computers             to     staff
                  year              planned            achieved
                  1999 – 2000       1:2                      1:1.8
                  2000 – 2001       1:1.1                    1:1.56
                  2001 – 2002       1:1                      1:1.38
                  2002 – 2003       1:1                      1:1


      Additionally a number of loan laptop computers and data projectors are available
      to staff as a bookable resource to support teaching activities.


      5.9.2 Working towards access for all staff to the Internet and e-mail services
      The College ensures access for all staff to Internet and to e-mail services on
      demand through SuperJanet.


      5.9.3 Ratio of internet-connected computers to sessional staff
      The College will provide all 70 FTE sessional teaching staff with access to
      internet-connected computers, in staff rooms, to ensure a staff to computer ratio of
      1:5 in the year 2001.

       Academic year          Computers to sessional         Computers to sessional
                              staff planned                  staff achieved
       2001 – 2002            1:5                            1:5 (below College spec)
       2001 – 2002            1:5                            1:4.7




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                        PAGE 42
5.10 Materials and Resource development

      5.10.1 Adaptation of materials
           The College’s position on materials development is that it is not our core
           business and that whenever possible the College should purchase
           commercial materials and adapt for use. There is, for the foreseeable future,
           going to be a significant shortage of materials suitable for delivery to our
           learners. The College therefore intends to set-up a dedicated materials
           development team, as part of the CoVe initiative, to work with academics and
           support staff to fulfil the College’s requirement for online curriculum by:

                 converting existing paper based materials for web enabled delivery;
                 adapting commercial materials;
                 developing study guides and new materials;
                 develop learning strategies to meet different types of learning objectives;
                 developing test items that effectively measure the achievement of
                  learning;
                 develop online training environments that allow for collaboration between
                  learners and dialogue with tutors or subject-matter experts.


      All of the College’s online development activities will adhere to the Instructional
      System Design model. This model has been used for many years and is thought
      to be the best ‘standardised approach to developing technology-based training’.




      5.10.2 Integrated Development System
      The College will create an integrated development system focusing specifically on
      the common activities of learning materials development:


       Activity                      Comment
       Writing instructional goals   Developed from identified needs and the subject matter expert’s
                                     understanding of the curriculum area.
       Understanding the learner     Identified by curriculum managers and lecturers.
       Writing performance           A precise, measurable statement of the competencies learners will
       objectives                    demonstrate as the course progresses, the conditions they will be
                                     demonstrated under, and the criterion for acceptable performance.



NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                     PAGE 43
       Outlining course content      A road map for the course that associates competencies with
                                     learning activities to ensure that the teaching meets all specified
                                     competencies.
       Creating high-level designs   Determine how the course will be structured, what is going to be
       for courses (course map)      taught, sequencing and types of learning activities, the lesson
                                     length, and student evaluation methods.
       Defining treatments with      Define the theme, tone, setting and pacing, as well as choose the
       themes, setting, tone and     look and feel for the course.
       pacing
       Selecting instructional       Assign learner activities (strategies) that will be used to teach at
       strategies                    every level of the course map. The general sequence would be:
                                     1) pre-instructional, 2) information presentation, 3) student
                                     participation, 4) testing, 5) follow-through.
       Writing storyboards and       Develop the look and feel of the course output.
       specifying screen layouts
       Managing media to be          Organise all the learning objects (whether produced or acquired)
       used in the course            required for the course.
       Conducting course             Test the course to see if it correctly meets its objectives. Data
       evaluation                    gathered during the tests will be used to develop a final course
                                     evaluation.

      5.10.3 Staff development
      In addition to the staff development opportunities already discussed in this
      strategy, we are currently preparing a strategy for staff development in relation to
      the development and support of ILT based learning. This will allow staff to gaining
      the skills needed to actively participate in online learning course development. To
      support staff in their implementation and delivery of online learning the College will
      develop and deliver two new staff training programmes:

               Developing Online Learning: this will enable staff to understand the
                place online learning has within College’s strategy and the online
                development process. Staff will learn the skills necessary to participate in
                the design and development of online training materials and obtain
                practical experience by converting their existing paper based materials
                into online learning.

               Delivering and Supporting Online Learning:                      this will give staff an
                understanding of the skills required to fulfil the              roles of administrator,
                subject-matter expert, coach and assessor. It                   will introduce them to
                online tutoring methods and tools and when and                  how to use them most
                effectively.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                          PAGE 44
      5.10.4 Resource issues
      The College has invested heavily in its ILT infrastructure over the last three years.
      The next stage in its shift towards the online learning paradigm will have the
      following resource implications:

              Staffing: the College’s most valuable asset will need to be trained,
               supported and motivated
              Technical infrastructure: this will need continuous investment to keep
               pace with technological changes
              Learning materials: will need developing and adapting until such times
               as affordable, quality materials are commercially available
              Virtual Learning Environment: will need to be developed to provide the
               most appropriate online learning environment for our learners and staff


      5.10.5 Team working
      A team represented by College curriculum and learning resource staff will
      implement the development, evaluation and acquisition of learning materials. The
      College will, where possible, work with its academic partners to achieve
      economies of scale from purchases, share effort and learn from them.
      Commercial partnerships will be forged that bring financial benefit to the College.
      5.10.6 Intellectual property rights
      The College understands that there is a host of legal issues that relate to the
      copyright of others’ materials, as well as intellectual property rights for individuals
      creating materials, and for the institution as a whole.


      Clear procedures for the handling of intellectual property rights in any materials
      developed will be established. The College ensures that rights for learning
      materials developed by staff are contractually assigned to the institution. The
      College has systems in place to protect, to the best of its ability, on-line materials.


5.11 Guidance and support arrangements for staff use of ILT
      The College recognises that procedures must be in place that will support and
      guide staff in all aspects of ILT, particularly its use in the delivery of learning. It will
      achieve this by:

              providing new staff with an introduction to ILT Services and support
               mechanisms during induction;
              identifying staff ILT training needs and providing appropriate programmes
               of development both in-house and externally as required;



NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                               PAGE 45
              providing access to reliable management and corporate information at
               the desk-top;
              the provision of ‘Help Desks’ for staff;
              actively exploiting the leading edge of ILT to enhance and enrich College
               services;
              the promotion of best practice in ILT across all areas of the College;
              by developing integrated information systems that exploit ILT to achieve
               the most enterprising and informed management environment possible.


      The College will establish financial resources to ensure that all hardware and
      networks are closely aligned to good commercial practice.


5.12 The Role of ILT in the Management of College Information
      The College believes that the accuracy and effective utilisation of management
      information will be one of the key contributing factors to the future success of the
      organisation.


      Almost all business support systems contain information that can be used by
      managers and staff to directly improve the College’s services to students. The
      College, therefore, sees its ILT Strategy as an opportunity to create productive
      linkages in the management of both curriculum and business information systems.
      Management Information Systems for the College administration cover Finance,
      Student Records, Personnel, Learner Services and Property.


      5.12.1 Objectives
              To develop an ILT infrastructure that ensures the security of systems for,
               both College management information and individual student learning
               data
              To widen access to management information to all staff within the
               College
              To make information available in an appropriate and user friendly format.
              To ensure integrity of systems
              To provide information to support the management of the College
              To develop systems to improve efficiencies in working




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                        PAGE 46
      5.12.2 Key priorities
              Implementation of web based systems
              Introduction of electronic register system
              Introduction of online application and enrolment systems
              Full implementation of examinations software
              Integration of CELCAT and QLS
              Purchase and implementation of Human Resource system


      5.12.3 Finance
      The Finance system (QLF) is supplied by MicroCompass Systems Limited. It
      covers sales and purchase ledger and is also used for asset management. It links
      with the Student Records system enabling efficient processing of student fees and
      credit control. Access to the Finance system is confined to members of Finance
      staff.

      Monthly reports are extracted from QLF and e-mailed to managers as part of the
      College financial procedures. Ad hoc reports must be requested as required.


      5.12.4 Student Records
      The system (QLS) is also supplied by MicroCompass. It is used to track student
      contact with the College from enquiry through to destination. Heaviest use is
      made of the application, enrolment and student records areas, with partial
      implementation of the examinations software.


      Registers are currently manual records, limiting the College’s ability to monitor
      student attendance and absence. Student tracking at assessment level is
      undertaken within Curriculum Areas and there are no central systems for
      recording assessment results.


      An Access front end to QLS has been developed to give College managers
      access to on-line student information. This is supplemented by regular e-mailed
      reports on performance against retention and funding targets. Ad hoc reports are
      requested as required and produced centrally.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                     PAGE 47
      5.12.5 Personnel
      The College currently uses Personnel Partner for Personnel management. This
      links directly to Centrefile, the payroll bureau. The system is outdated and due for
      upgrade. It is supplemented by separate, in-house, systems for managing
      recruitment, staff development, agency staff, consultants, appraisals, reviews and
      absence. Access to the Personnel system is confined to members of Personnel
      staff.


      Reporting facilities are limited, although regular reports are produced for
      Governors.


      5.12.6 Learner Services
      Learner Services use QLS for recording enquiries and applications. Systems for
      recording course information are fragmented and there is not one central
      database of information used by Learner Services.


      Some centres have access to the CELCAT system, giving them on-line rooming
      information.


      Work is currently underway to develop a database linking to QL to enable staff to
      keep an up to date record of changes to classes, staff, rooms etc. This helps to
      ensure that Learner Services are responsive to customer needs and are able to
      provide up to date and accurate information.


      5.12.7 Property
      Property has responsibility for central time-tabling. This is undertaken using the
      CELCAT system. CELCAT currently operates independently of other systems in
      the College, but there is scope for it to link with QLS to reduce duplication of effort
      and data entry.
      Access to the CELCAT system is confined to members of Property staff and some
      Learner Services desks.


5.13 Student learning data
      The control of student access to College information will be the responsibility of
      the Network Manager and Information Manager, who must ensure that
      procedures exist to ensure that access rights conform to commonly accepted
      standards of security. The Network Manager and Information Manager shall
      determine what data is to be stored on the network for the purpose of essential
      back up.


NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                           PAGE 48
      All learners will have and be required to use a unique user account. This will allow
      us to:

              deliver software applications based on user need;
              monitor student usage of the network systems;
              ensure student data is backed up on a regular basis;
              enable privacy of data between learners;
              monitor printing volumes by individual.


5.14 Security of information
      Access to College corporate data is protected by a two-tier security password
      structure. In order to open any corporate database application, a user needs to
      log into Windows NT on a staff PC with recognised staff user account details, and
      then, in order to start the application, would need to log into QL. Access to
      corporate databases is only available from staff PCs.


      Access to the student and staff networked systems are via username and
      password. Usernames must be logical and identifiable. Passwords must have a
      minimum length of 6 characters and be changed at least every 60 days.
      Passwords are kept unique using the following non-disclosure controls.

              Passwords must never be shared or revealed to anyone else
              All passwords must be promptly changed if they are suspected or known
               to be disclosed
              If passwords are written down they must be securely stored
              The Network Manager must change every password on all systems that
               has suffered a successful attack, or if there is reason to believe that such
               an attack has taken place
              Workstations must not be left logged in overnight without prior
               arrangement with the IT Services team




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                         PAGE 49
 6    ILT infrastructure


6.1   Current ILT Infrastructure

      6.1.1 Wide Area Network architecture
      The College operates a Wide Area Network between all 4 main campuses within
      Hertfordshire. The sites are linked from Hitchin to Stevenage, Letchworth and the
      Centre for the Arts via 2Mb megastream lines provided by British Telecom. There
      are additional ISDN and DSL lines connecting outreach centres back to the
      College. The network is split in to two sections, Academic and Admin.


      Links are via Cisco routers and network devices communicate using Ethernet and
      TCP/IP protocol stacks. The current College Wide Area Network topology is as
      follows:




      6.1.2 Local Area Network architecture
      The centre of the College network is at Hitchin and follows a “Collapsed
      Backbone” architecture. This is effectively a multi-layer architecture. At layer one,
      the centre of the network, there is a high capacity, high performance switch
      housing the servers. Layer two consists of switches; individually connect back to
      the switch in the middle of the network. The bottom layer consists of a further layer
      of switches providing connectivity to the users.


NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                         PAGE 50
      The aim is to provided a good level of service to the user at the edge of the
      network, and to provide greater performance the nearer to the centre the data
      gets. At all times, the data flow takes the shortest path to the servers in the middle
      of the network.


      All sites have a star network topology. The edge cabinets on each campus
      comprise of a number of 3Com switches with either fibre or copper uplinks back to
      the core switches and routers. From the switches and routers we use Cat 5 UTP
      structured cabling to the desktop. The backbones and backplanes at each of the
      campuses run at 1Gb, with 100Mb to 95% of desktop PCs and 10Mb to the rest.


      In both Hitchin and Stevenage the core of the network comprises of a single
      3Com 9300 fibre switch (a single point of failure) with Gigaethernet connections to
      a number of 3Com superstack 2s. Each of the servers has a Gigaethernet
      connection to this core.


      6.1.3 Protocols
      Both networks have IP, IPX and RIP. As most of the servers are Novell based it
      would be advisable to eliminate those protocols that are not required. It is
      recommended that the College migrates to using only TCP/IP. This will provide
      several advantages:

              De facto standard for communication around the world;
              More efficient protocol than, for example IPX (approximately 30%-50%
               improvement);
              Simplifies the management of the client PC’s;
              Simplifies the routed network throughout the organisation.


      6.1.4 IP Address Scheme
      The existing IP address scheme for the admin network is using non-registered
      public addresses.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                          PAGE 51
      6.1.5 Current Hitchin Academic Network




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                    PAGE 52
      6.1.6 Current Stevenage Academic Network




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                      PAGE 53
      6.1.7 Current Letchworth Academic Network




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                       PAGE 54
      6.1.8 Current Centre for the Arts Academic Network




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                PAGE 55
      6.1.9 Current Admin Network




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE         PAGE 56
      6.1.10 Provision of PCs
      There are 403 PCs available for staff and 1114 PCs available for learners. The
      breakdown of computer by type is:

      Specification                           Students      Staff       Sessional   Total
      Total PCs                                 114         403               15    1532
      Total PCs for everyday use (not
      including Voyager PCs & Laptops)         1029         375               15    1419
      PC's (Below College standard)              0           0                0       0
      Mac (Below College standard)               3           0                0       3
      AMD K6/2 or PII                           410         125              15     550
      Athlon or PIII                            257          77               0     334
      Athlon XP or P4                           344         171               0     515
      Laptop AMD K6/2 or PII                     15          2                0      17
      Laptop Athlon or PIII                      43          3                0      46
      Mac (Pentium equivalent)                   37          10               0      47
      Voyager PCs                                5           15               0      20


      Specification                           Students      Staff       Sessional   Total
      PC's (Below College standard)             0%          0%               0%     0%
      Mac (Below College standard)              0%          0%               0%     0%
      AMD K6/2 or PII                           37%         31%              100%   36%
      Athlon or PIII                            23%         19%              0%     22%
      Athlon XP or P4                           31%         42%              0%     34%
      Laptop AMD K6/2 or PII                    1%          0%               0%     1%
      Laptop Athlon or PIII                     4%          1%               0%     3%
      Mac (Pentium equivalent)                  3%          2%               0%     3%
      Voyager PCs                               0%          4%               0%     1%


      Network                         Total     Students          Sessional Staff   Staff
      % on the network                100%        100%                100%          100%
      Total on the network            1532           1114               15          403
      Hitchin                         525             335               5           185
      CfA                              83             36                2            45
      Stevenage                       657             512               6           139
      Letchworth                      141             110               2            29
      Stevenage – Bedwell              21             20                0            1



NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                            PAGE 57
      Stevenage - Football Club    29          28                   0             1
      Stevenage - Marymead         24          23                   0             1
      Welwyn Garden City           52          50                   0             2


      6.1.11 Servers
      There are 33 servers on the College network.


                                   Total     Netware      Windows 2000       Unix/Linux
       Total Servers                33          19              10                4
       Hitchin                      19           7              8                 4
       CfA                          2            2              0                 0
       Stevenage                    5            4              1                 0
       Letchworth                   4            3              1                 0
       Stevenage - Football Club    1            1              0                 0
       Stevenage - Marymead         1            1              0                 0
       Welwyn Garden City           1            1              0                 0


      6.1.12 Printers
      There are approximately 203 printers across the College. These consist of
      approximately 120 Laser printers, and approximately 83 Inkjet printers. In future,
      the policy will be to purchase large network printers for computer rooms, learning
      centres and offices. Personal lasers will only be purchased for offices with low
      numbers of staff to share. Inkjet printers will only be purchased where there is a
      specific need for colour printing. Each Learning Resource Centre will have a high
      volume colour laser printer for student access.


      From October 2001 printer accounting software was available on the network.
      This will initially be used to restrict student printing to an acceptable level in
      Learning Resource Centres, but from September it is anticipated that all learners
      will have a printing allocation appropriate to their programme of study. Learners
      exceeding their allocations will be able to pay for additional credits.


      In future, to reduce printing costs, staff must only purchase recycled laser
      cartridges. The College will negotiate a contract for the purchase of all toner
      cartridges at preferential rates, and the contract will ensure that any damage to
      College printers created by a defective cartridge will be the responsibility of the
      supplier to repair. Purchase of laser cartridges should be centralised to an IT
      budget allowing the IT team to hold a buffer stock on each campus and supply to
      staff as needed. This will enable tighter control and monitoring of expenditure.

NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                       PAGE 58
      6.1.13 Voice System
      The College currently operates 4 * Avaya INDeX Digital Communication Systems
      in a network covering the 4 campuses. The campuses are connected using
      DPNSS signalling with 2Mb links, which are use for both voice and data. The
      INDeX processors are all running with level 7 series software. Incoming calls are
      answered by a central operator at Hitchin and then routed to other sites.


      There is a ten port Global Voice Manager which is programmed to delete
      messages after 10 days because of lack of capacity (8 hours), this is due to staff
      not retrieving/deleting messages, which means the system would quickly become
      full.


      Current problems with the system include:

              difficulties with the divert system when the main reception is not staffed –
               callers can get stuck in a loop;
              the limited capacity of the voicemail system;
              the call centre software is fixed at Hitchin, so even if another reception
               was staffed in the evening they could not have full system functionality.


6.2   Specification of ILT Equipment
      It is the policy of the College that under normal circumstances the higher
      specification computers should be given to learners. When new PCs are
      purchased a review of user needs is made and the new PCs are allocated to the
      most appropriate users, this allows us to move the older PCs ‘down the chain’.
      When a PC is deemed to have passed its useful working life it is given to the
      computing curriculum area for use on PC Support courses.


      6.2.1 Minimum specification for permanent staff
      Hardware
           1 PC per member of staff – minimum Pentium II 333Mhz
           Printing to individual or network printer
           Individual or shared telephone with voicemail


      Software
            Windows XP (including licence for home use)
            Office 2000 (including licence for home use)
            Sophos antivirus (including licence for home use)




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                         PAGE 59
      Network Access
              U:\ network data drive with at least 500MB of disk space
              Departmental shared S:\ network data drive
              Student & Staff shared resource R:\ network data drive
              College shared X:\ network applications drive.
              Internet access to all network data drives from any Internet connected PC
              E-mail account, initialsurname@nhc.ac.uk, with at least 40MB of disk
               space
              Internet access to e-mail account from any Internet connected PC
              Internet access to LearnWise from any Internet connected PC
              Internet access to Student & Staff Intranets from any Internet connected
               PC
              Internet access to e-Resources from any Internet connected PC
              Internet access to European Computer Driving License training materials
               from any Internet connected PC
              Internet access to the College’s Helpdesk from any Internet connected
               PC for fault reporting
              Printing to network printers from any Internet connected PC


      6.2.2 Minimum specification for agency staff
      Hardware
           1 PC per 5 members of staff – minimum Pentium II 333Mhz
              Printing to individual or network printer
              Individual or shared telephone with voicemail

      Software
            Windows XP (including licence for home use)
            Office 2000 (including licence for home use)
            Sophos antivirus (including licence for home use)


      Network Access
           U:\ network data drive with at least 500MB of disk space
           Departmental shared S:\ network data drive
              Student & Staff shared resource R:\ network data drive
              College shared X:\ network applications drive.
              Internet access to all network data drives from any Internet connected PC
              E-mail account, initialsurname@nhc.ac.uk, with at least 40MB of disk
               space



NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                       PAGE 60
                 Internet access to e-mail account from any Internet connected PC
                 Internet access to LearnWise from any Internet connected PC
                 Internet access to Student & Staff Intranets from any Internet connected
                  PC
                 Internet access to e-Resources from any Internet connected PC
                 Internet access to European Computer Driving License training materials
                  from any Internet connected PC
                 Internet access to the College’s Helpdesk from any Internet connected
                  PC for fault reporting
                 Printing to network printers from any Internet connected PC


      Note: Network access, e-mail and software licences are provided for the period of employment
      only.


      6.2.3 Minimum specification for learners
      Hardware
           1 PC per 5 students (currently 1:4.2) – minimum Pentium II 333Mhz
           Printing to individual or network printer


      Software
            Windows XP and Office 2000
            Sophos antivirus (including licence for home use)


      Network Access
           U:\ network data drive with at least 100MB of disk space
           Student shared resource R:\ network data drive
           College shared X:\ network applications drive.
           Internet access to network data drives from any Internet connected PC
           E-mail account, initialsurname@students.nhc.ac.uk, with at least 10MB of
             disk space
                 Internet access to e-mail account from any Internet connected PC
                 Internet access to LearnWise from any Internet connected PC
                 Internet access to Student Intranet from any Internet connected PC
                 Internet access to e-Resources from any Internet connected PC
      Note: Network access, e-mail and software licences are provided for the period of enrolment only.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                      PAGE 61
      6.2.4 New Classroom Specifications
      Hardware
           Minimum 1 PC – Pentium 4 2.4Ghz or better
           Printing to individual or network printer
           Interactive whiteboard
           XGA Data projector
           Microphone and speakers
           VHS video
           Digital camera


      Software
              Windows XP and Office 2000
              Sophos antivirus (including licence for home use)


      Network Access
           Access to all College services


      6.2.5 Arrangements for review and update
      IT Services will review specifications and suppliers at least annually to ensure that
      the College is using good commercial standard equipment and that networks are
      designed and operated to a high standard. The Director of IT will agree the
      specification of desktop PCs to ensure that the PC speed and memory enhance
      all user operations. PCs will be capable of running all current software as required
      by the customer.


6.3   Management of procurement
      Regardless of what budget is used, all purchases of hardware and software must
      be submitted to the Director of IT for approval prior to processing by Finance.
      This will:

              avoid duplication;
              provide consistency of supply and permits the negotiation of a better deal,
               particularly considering scales of economy;
              ensure that compatibility (hardware and software) will be achievable,
               through provision of proper technical advice & guidance;
              helps to ensure that the intended purchase will be fit for purpose;
              aids in the compilation & maintenance of the College IT inventory and
               supports the central control of all IT assets in the Helpdesk;



NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                         PAGE 62
              ensure College funds are being utilised correctly and that IT purchases
               are made with a view to fulfilling a particular aim (e.g. the strategic aims
               contained within this document or in support of an SMT approved
               project);
              ensures procurement decisions are based on value for money, ‘future
               proofing’, track record and dependability of potential suppliers.


      Procurement routes will conform to legislation and College Financial Rules for
      Business and explore creative partnerships with commercial and public sector
      bodies to improve procurement efficiency. Suppliers will generally be from mid
      range manufacturers ensuring whole life value for money Desktop PCs will be
      written down after 4 years – replacement planning to be based on this.


      6.3.1 I.T. Consumables
      The College has entered into a contract with suppliers after a thorough review of
      prices. All such consumables must be purchased from these companies to
      maximise the budget. These arrangements will be reviewed at least once a year.


      6.3.2 I.T. Hardware
      The College Financial Regulations stipulate that:

              all requisitions for single items costing more than £1,500 (or collected
               items on a single requisition totalling in excess of £2,000) shall require the
               authorisation of the Head of the Responsibility Centre;
              all requisitions over £2,000 must be signed by the Director of Finance and
               Property and all orders exceeding £3,000 must bear the signature of the
               Principal;
              all requisitions for items of Capital Expenditure with a value in excess of
               £1,000 must be authorised by the Director of Finance. Such authority will
               only be given where prior approval for the purchase has been given by
               the Finance and Property Committee either specifically or through its
               approval of the Capital Expenditure Budget which included the item;
              all requisitions for items of Capital Expenditure with a value in excess of
               £20,000 must be authorised by Finance and Property Committee and
               can only be implemented as part of the Capital Expenditure Budget
               approved by the Board of Governors or where the Board of Governors
               have given specific prior approval.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                           PAGE 63
      6.3.3 Competitive quotations or Tenders.


              For orders with an estimated annual value in excess of £5,000 but less
               than £10,000 (£400 per month to £800 per month for recurring
               expenditure), budget holders should seek at least two competitive
               quotations in writing
              For orders with an estimated value of £10,000 or more but less than
               £50,000 (£800 - £4,000 per month for recurring expenditure) three
               competitive quotations must be invited


6.4   Service Level Agreements
      It is envisaged that the IT Helpdesk will become the central contact point for all
      fault reporting and support enquiries, thus enabling us to:

              manage the flow of IT work more effectively;
              respond to problems more quickly;
              provide on-line support for problem solving via the FAQ (Frequently
               Asked Questions) and help guides sections;
              monitor the training requirements of staff;
              improve standards of service by measuring and monitoring targets set;
              track PC configurations and software upgrades.

      To enable this to operate, all IT and telephone support calls must be logged with
      the IT Helpdesk via:

              Intranet: http://intranet.nhc.org.uk/helpdesk;
              telephone: 4444;
              e-mail: ithelpdesk@nhc.ac.uk.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                      PAGE 64
      6.4.1 Targets for network reliability
      The service levels established by the College ensure that all users receive a
      consistently reliable, high-quality service.

                                              Response          Fix –            Fix – evenings/          % of
                                                                normal           weekends                 calls
                                                                working          (when            staff
                                                                                 available)
       Network Support Following a call logged by Helpdesk
                        st                                 2
       Provision of 1 level analysis          Immediate                                                   99%
        rd                                                               3                3
       3    party service         provider                      1 hour           2 hour                   99%
       contacted within
       Server Support Following call logged by Helpdesk
                        st                                 2
       Provision of 1 level analysis          Immediate                                                   95%
       Hardware fault (dependent on                             1 hour           2 hour                   95%
                                   rd
       stock availability and/or 3
       party contract)
                                                           3                 1                1
       Software fault                         Immediate         4 hours          24 Hours                 95%
       Server Administration Following request logged by Helpdesk with correct authorisation
       Password problem resolution            Immediate         30 mins          1 hour                   95%
       Server file restores                                     24 Hours         24 Hours                 95%
       New user accounts added to                               4 hours          24 Hours                 99%
       network (up to 5)
       New user accounts added to                               24 Hours         24 Hours                 95%
       network (up to 30)
       Update user accounts                                     30 mins          1 hour                   99%
       New software install                                     10 Days          10 Days                  95%


       1
           For software support, a ‘Fix’ will be a clarification regarding product functionality or the provision
       of a suitable avoidance/get around procedure.
       2
           The response will be provided on-line by the Help Desk.
       3                                           rd
           The solution will be dependent upon 3 party service provider agreements.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                               PAGE 65
      6.4.2 Targets for number of computers up and running

                                              Response          Fix –         Fix – evenings/           % of
                                                                normal        weekends                  calls
                                                                working       (when staff
                                                                              available)
       Desktop Software Support Following a call being logged by the Helpdesk re standard software
                                                        2                 1             1
       From staff or student user             30 mins           4 hours       4 hours                   90%
       Desktop Hardware Support Following equipment failure or enquiry being logged at the
       Helpdesk
                                                        2
       Ensure one PC available per            15 mins           2 hours       4 hours                   95%
       student (75% of PCs in any
       room)
                                                        2
       Ensure 90% of PCs fully                30 mins           24 Hours      24 Hours                  95%
       operational in work area
                                                        2
       Ensure printer available in            15 mins           2 hours       4 hours                   95%
       classroom or nearest room
                                                        2
       Respond to staff room PC               30 mins           24 Hours      24 Hours                  95%
       Call Reception and Management
       Calls answered - normal working        < 15 seconds                                              95%
       Calls answered –                       < 15 seconds                                              85%
       evenings/weekends
       Calls logged onto Helpdesk             10 mins                                                   90%
       Procurement and Product Fulfilment
       Request to provision of quotation      5 days                                                    95%
       Receipt/Delivery of order to           5 days                                                    95%
       installation (up to 4 units)
       Asset Tracking
       Register updates following             1 day                                                     99%
       Helpdesk notification – non
       project work
       Register updates following             3 days                                                    99%
       Helpdesk notification – project
       work


       1
           For software support, a ‘Fix’ will be a clarification regarding product functionality or the provision
       of a suitable avoidance/get around procedure.
       2
           The response will be provided on-line by the Help Desk.
       3                                           rd
           The solution will be dependent upon 3 party service provider agreements.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                              PAGE 66
      6.4.3 Typical ICT Install Projects
      The following project target times are for new installs and moves of single PCs.
      Projects involving a number of PCs may be achieved within these time-scales, but
      depend on other workloads at the time. (Where an existing PC requires a rebuild
      or a replacement this work will be carried out as part of the routine service).

       Outline Requirement                                             From agreed brief
       Existing operational PC

       Existing network and power points/existing furniture
                       Move an operational PC/printer within room      7 days
                       Move an operational PC/printer between rooms
                                                                        7 days
       New network or power point required/existing furniture
                      Network/power install                            3 weeks
                       Move operational PC/printer etc
                                                                        7 days
       New PC and new furniture
       Supply a new PC onto existing network, power and furniture
                     From stock                                        7 days
                       By purchase, assuming budget available
                                                                        8 weeks
       Supply a new PC onto new network, power either:
                     Existing furniture / new PC from stock            3 weeks
                       New PC and / new furniture
                                                                        8 weeks


      6.4.4 Systems to monitor, review and improve the service
      Monitoring and review of service level standards will form part of the College’s
      Quality Assurance Systems. The Technical Support Manager will publish a report
      detailing performance against service levels on the intranet, this report will be
      reviewed by IT user groups and SMT.


      Additionally a distributed Network Management Suite, which will allow us to:

                Set Baseline Alarms so the IT Services team are automatically notified if
                 our network performance degrades past a set point.

                Produce real time and historical statistic reports on the performance of all
                 the constituent parts of our network. This will enable us to identify weak
                 links and bottle necks and will be an invaluable tool when planning
                 network expansion and improvement.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                PAGE 67
6.5      Technical support
         The College will strive to provide an adequate technical support team that will
         ensure all IT functions are maintained and developed in a satisfactory manner.


         Technical cover will be provided in support of IT operations from 8:30 am to 5:30
         pm daily, Monday-Friday. The IT Services team will operate an appropriate roster
         to achieve this service.


         To provide continuous improvement of the service, the College will:

                         Review and improve the quality and skills of technical support staff to
                          match service level requirements.
                         Complete an annual review of service levels, projects completed, calls
                          recorded at the Helpdesk and other workloads to ensure that the
                          numbers of staff available for desktop support are sufficient to meet
                          service levels required.
                         Extended support times to meet the needs of the College.


         6.5.1 Staffing levels

                                                                         Director of IT




                                   Technical Support                                                             Information
                                                                                          Network Manager
                                       Manager                                                                Systems Manager




                                                                                             Network          Systems Support
                Hitchin             Stevenage               Letchworth
                                                                                          Administrator 0.5     Analyst 0.5




      Technical Support              Technical Support   Technical Support
          Engineer                       Engineer          Engineer 0.5




      Technical Support              Technical Support
          Engineer                       Engineer




                                     Technical Support
                                       Engineer 0.5




         During temporary shortfalls in staffing the College will either offer overtime, use
         learners from the local university or employ agency staff.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                                             PAGE 68
      6.5.2 Staff skills
      The following is a summary of the indicative skills/qualifications required:

              Director of IT: A computing related degree (or higher) with current
               technical skills and industry knowledge.
              Technical Support Manager: A computing related degree (or higher)
               with current technical skills and industry knowledge.
              Network Manager: A computing related degree (or higher), Novell CNE
               and current technical skills and industry knowledge.
              Information Systems Manager: A computing related degree (or higher),
               MCSE and current technical skills and industry knowledge.
              Technical Support Engineer: A computing related level 3 qualification
               (or higher) and current technical skills.


6.6   Disaster recovery
      Good planning is central to the College’s ability to recover from a disaster
      situation. Many risks can be reduced through preventative measures. The correct
      siting of equipment and the provision of protective equipment (e.g. fire detectors)
      all contribute to the overall security. However, there remains a need for planning
      to deal with risks that would be difficult or impossible to prevent. The procedures
      adopted for the College’s disaster recovery have been measured against the
      degree of risk that will be encountered and the cost and operational restrictions
      that prevail. Our disaster planning is coupled with the adoption of good
      operational practices, for example, regular backups, Uninterruptible Power
      Supplies, Virus protection, restricted access to server rooms, which all limit the
      damage should problems arise.


      6.6.1 Policy
      The Disaster policy sets out ways in which we will ensure the College is protected
      from accident, attack, intrusion, destruction, emergency, disaster and misuse.
      The College will:

              spend time, effort and money on protecting the College based upon a
               thorough assessment of risk, and their business value;
              make security part of the College corporate planning process;
              plan for and allocate adequate human and physical resources in line with
               these policies and procedures;
              align the Disaster Recovery Policy with other related College Policies;
              ensure that business activities are restored as quickly as possible
               following any security breaches, major disaster, emergency or failure that
               affects essential College services;

NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                          PAGE 69
              identify and provide an on-going programme of staff training, security
               awareness and support, to ensure effective implementation of the policy
               and procedures;
              identify clear responsibilities for the maintenance, implementation and
               operation of the policy and procedures;
              ensure that reviews of procedures and contingency plans are fully
               documented to suit the level of user requirements;
              ensure that mechanisms are in place to monitor, evaluate and review the
               policy and procedures.


      6.6.2 Compliance
      To avoid breaches in security, the design, operation and use of College systems
      must comply with all relevant statutory and contractual requirements.


      6.6.3 Security
      The College will ensure that it is properly protected. This includes consideration of
      the confidentiality, integrity and availability of both information and the systems
      that handle information. The College will perform risk assessments, prepare
      action plans, evaluate vendor products, participate on in-house system
      development projects, assist with control implementations, investigate security
      breaches and perform such other activities that are necessary to ensure a secure
      environment.


      6.6.4 Administration
      All users must sign both confidentiality and an information system security
      agreement prior to being given a user-ID allowing access to College information
      systems. Records of all the computer systems for which users have access will
      be kept up-to-date to ensure that user access may be revoked or amended at
      short notice.


      When an employee leaves a post, computer, disk and paper files will be promptly
      reviewed by their immediate manager to determine who should become the
      custodian of such files, and/or the appropriate methods to be used for file disposal
      or relocation. When a student leaves the College their access rights to the
      student network will be terminated. Computer access can be renewed by
      arrangement with IT staff.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                         PAGE 70
      6.6.5 Computer Viruses
      The College will install on all PCs, servers and e-mail systems, complete anti-virus
      solutions. Network-wide installation, configuration and updating will be via a single
      server.    Virus incidents are automatically reported and centrally logged.
      Immediate updates will be applied for new viruses detected. In addition, full
      monthly updates will be applied to all systems.


      To prevent any interruption to College business as a result of the introduction of
      viruses onto College systems, controls will be strictly observed by all employees
      and learners. Any employee/student who deliberately or negligently infects a
      computer with a virus is subject to appropriate College procedures.


      6.6.6 Backup and Recovery Procedures
      The College strategy will be to use a rotation scheme of daily data and weekly full
      backups. We will have tapes for each day of the week. On the first Friday of the
      month, we will use a brand new tape. The old one becomes the last full backup of
      the prior month. We label it as a monthly backup with the date the backup was
      performed, pull it out of our rotation and place it in the fireproof safe.


                                           Monday
             Data Backup




                                                    Tuesday


                                                        Wednesday


                                                              Thursday


                                                                       Friday

                                                                    Full Backup                        Friday tape stays in
                                                                                                           the rotation



                                                                    Is it the first
                                                                    Friday of the                        No
                                                                       month?




                                                                         Yes



                                                                      January
                              month is pulled out
                              First Friday of the

                                of the rotation




                                                                                  .......


                                                                                            December




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                                                   PAGE 71
      6.6.7 System Development and Maintenance
      Users must not develop or implement any application for business purposes
      without appropriate authorisation. All in-house software development projects
      must use proven development tools and techniques.


      New software in the development and testing stages must be kept strictly
      separate from operational systems. Where facilities permit, this separation should
      be achieved via physically separate computer systems; when facilities do not
      allow this, separate program directories and libraries must be employed in the
      operational system.


      6.6.8 Contingency Planning
      To reduce the impact of interruptions to business activities, the College will
      develop and maintain appropriate disaster recovery plans for critical business
      processes and services. This is to ensure that these business activities are
      restored as quickly as possible following any failure that affects essential services
      or facilities. In the event of a disaster, appropriate accommodation and resources
      will be supplied.


      6.6.9 Training
      As part of the induction process, new employees will be made aware of College
      security concerns. All employees will receive sufficient training and supporting
      reference materials to allow them to properly use and protect the College.


      6.6.10 Responding to Incidents
      All users of College systems and resources are required to note and report any
      observed or suspected security weaknesses in (or threats to) systems, resources
      or services.


      6.6.11 Management and Responsibilities
      The legal responsibility for disaster prevention rests with the Corporation.

              The Director of IT holds responsibility for the strategic management of IT
               disaster recovery.
              There is a requirement for all Managers to take appropriate responsibility
               to ensure the security of College systems, resources and assets.
              It is the responsibility of each College employee and student to adhere to
               all policies that relate to the security of the College and the continuity of
               College business.


NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                          PAGE 72
6.7   Software specification
      The College will endeavour to provide an appropriate range of industry standard
      software applications for use by staff and students. Network management
      software will be used to automate the installation, updating and removal of
      applications. Software auditing and metering applications will be installed to
      ensure compliance with software licensing requirements. The College will:

              Use industry standard software whenever possible.
              Provide standard images for all PCs.
              Ensure that standard software is available to all. The version of software
               to be at a level of no more than one earlier than the current release
               (technology allowing).


6.8   Asset Tracking and Security
      All new equipment, before distribution, is asset tracked, PAT (Portable Appliance
      Test) labelled and will have or has previously had a suitable security assessment
      carried out on its final location. All IT equipment is recorded on the Helpdesk and
      assets will be tracked throughout their life.


      A catalogue of all software purchased by the College will be maintained as a
      single inventory in the Helpdesk to include licensing information, location etc. The
      College strictly adheres to all software licensing requirements and is a member of
      the Federation Against Software Theft. Thus, no software will be lent out to any
      member of the College community without the proper licensing arrangements
      being in place.


      6.8.1 Marking
      Each asset will receive a ‘North Hertfordshire Numbered Asset Label’. This label
      is impossible to remove without damaging the equipment surface. The asset
      number will be added to the hardware inventory along with relevant information,
      (serial number, date of purchase, processor type, hard drive size, location,
      manufacturer etc).


      6.8.2 Portable Appliance Testing Register
      The asset label forms the basis of our PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) register.
      Additionally all removable power leads will receive an alternative ‘PAT lead label’.
      These numbers will be entered into our PAT Register along with relevant
      information (description, location, fuse rating, ‘next test due’ date, test class etc.).
      All new equipment is delivered suitably tested for electrical safety.



NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                            PAGE 73
      6.8.3 Security
      All new computer equipment will receive an ultra violet non-removable paint label
      stating ‘North Hertfordshire College’. This paint is etched into the surface of the
      equipment. The security of the item within the new location will then be evaluated.
      Items in particularly vulnerable areas will be provided with hardened steel
      anchorage cables and padlocks.


6.9   Sustainability of infrastructure

      6.9.1 Replacement policy
      PCs will be written down over 4 years and will normally be planned to have an
      operational life of at least this period. Replacement will be accelerated in areas of
      high data usage and manipulation. In other areas where only basic word
      processing is undertaken then replacement may extend beyond 4 years provided
      reasonable speed of operation is retained. Replacement PCs will be purchased,
      in accordance with the procurement policy.


      6.9.2 Maintenance
      All new computer equipment will be purchased with 3 year on site warranties. The
      will enable us to ensure rapid repair and provide controlled expenditure for the first
      three years of computer use. Routine maintenance of hardware will be
      undertaken on site by 3rd party suppliers on an 24 hour call out basis. Computers
      out of warranty will be repaired by the IT Services team, a cost benefit analysis will
      be made to identify whether replacement of parts or ‘cannibalising’ is the most
      effective route.


      Upgrades to College computers are completed on a project basis, normally during
      the summer. Upgrades of business support PCs will be completed as part of the
      IT Services operation on an as needed basis to ensure appropriate speed of
      operation is maintained at all times.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                          PAGE 74
 7      Schedule of Activities


7.1   Network Development
      The College will:

              Ensure continuous development of its networks so that full cross-college
               connectivity is achieved;
              Ensure that all network infrastructures are installed, operated and
               monitored to good commercial standards;
              Monitor and review all WAN (Wide Area Network) links on a monthly
               basis for performance and reliability. Data collected will be used to plan
               and implement expansion that will deliver broadband connectivity to meet
               demand in the next 2 years;
              Use current commercial routes for WAN connectivity and design in
               expansion options;
              Develop relationships with external partners to maximise the availability
               of ILT to learners.


      To support the high level of network availability required by the College, an
      enterprise wide network maintenance agreement on hardware communications
      devices will be provided by external consultants.


7.2   Local Area Network Integration
      Over the last three years faster and higher capacity PCs, servers and
      communications devices have been added to the network in various parts of the
      College. The College has also maintained physical separation of Admin. and
      Academic network for security purposes.


      The result of the changes, growth, additions and separation has resulted in an IT
      environment that appears slower than one would expect for a network consisting
      of fast PCs, servers and networking hardware. It has also resulted in restricted
      access to data and a need to purchase more hardware and software than would
      be necessary if we were to have a single network. It is now necessary to review
      and update the data network environment as a complete entity.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                       PAGE 75
      7.2.1 Backbone of the Network
      The backbone of the College network should be updated as follows:

              At the core of the networks a chassis switch should be installed. A
               chassis switch would improve the speed and reliability of the core. A
               suitable Cisco chassis switch would be a Catalyst 6000;
              Removing IPX would increase WAN link efficiency;
              The existing RIP routing protocol should be replaced by EIGRP. EIGRP
               has very little overhead and is a very fast, reliable routing protocol. In our
               network environment upgrading to EIGRP would require an upgrade of
               the Cisco IOS software to version 12.1;
              The existing WAN connection between Hitchin and Stevenage should be
               upgraded to a LES 100 circuit. This would provide a 100MB connection
               between the sites. Two Cisco 2621 routers should be used as the edge
               routers for the LES circuit. The 2621 is a dual 100MB Ethernet router;
              The existing WAN connection between Hitchin and Letchworth should be
               upgraded to a LES 10 circuit. This would provide a 10MB connection
               between the sites;
              To improve efficiency of the WAN connection, queuing and prioritisation
               of the traffic could be implemented.


      7.2.2 Firewall
      The College’s firewall is its most important line of defence between its network
      and the outside world. The existing firewall is Novell BorderManager software
      firewall. For increased security a second firewall will be added immediately
      behind the existing Cisco 4500 Internet router. This firewall should be of a
      different vendor in order to increase security. The network links between this new
      firewall and the existing firewalls should be changed to a private IP address.
      Network Address Translation should then be implemented on the new firewall and
      removed from the existing BorderManager servers.


      7.2.3 Internet
      The existing Internet connection is not of sufficient bandwidth for the number of
      concurrent users. The College has already investigated the possibility of
      upgrading the link. Two possibilities have arisen.

              Upgrade the existing 2MB link to 4MB;
              Install a second 2MB connection to Stevenage.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                           PAGE 76
      The installation of a second link would require extra servers for the firewall and
      some extra configuration work in order to correctly load balance the Internet traffic.
      Having 2 connections to the Internet will provide extra resilience but will not
      provide an aggregated 4MB connection.


      7.2.4 Internet Content Filtering
      The Internet and e-mail are important teaching, learning and business tools used
      everyday in College. But they can also provide our staff and students with access
      to inappropriate material, expose our network to viruses, and eat up valuable
      network bandwidth. The College will use a robust content filtering product to
      manage the risks associated with Internet and e-mail use. This will be an
      essential tool in ensuring compliance with the College’s Internet and E-mail Policy.


      7.2.5 E-mail
      The College should migrate to Exchange 2000 and Windows 2000 server.
      Exchange 2000 requires Windows 2000 and Active Directory. In order to maintain
      control through the existing Novell system, a product called Novell DirXML can be
      used for both the Active Directory and Exchange. This will allow synchronisation
      between the Novell and Microsoft servers. The existing admin DMZ (demilitarised
      zone) should be incorporated in to the existing DMZ.


      For added security a mail relay agent should be placed in front of the Exchange
      server. A UNIX based firewall would perform the task of the new firewall and mail
      guard. The mail relay agent would also provide the virus checking function.


      7.2.6 Admin. Network Integration
      The admin. network should be integrated in to the academic network to:

              provide appropriate access to College data for all users;
              reduce the administration overhead of managing two networks;
              remove the current security holes that are possible from the need to
               provide some links between the current systems;
              reduce the costs associated with the need to duplicate some network
               devices.


      All users should be moved to the Novell servers. The existing Novell NDS
      structure will then provide a single point of administration and security for the
      network. To incorporate the admin. network into the academic network, a number
      of changes will be required.



NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                          PAGE 77
              The existing IP address scheme would need altering on the Admin
               network. NAT would be used as a temporary solution to any IP address
               changes made to the servers;
              Migration of Exchange to Exchange 2000. This would also require the
               upgrade to Windows 2000. We would install a test copy of Windows
               2000 and Exchange 2000 before attempting any live installation;
              Any admin. client PC’s would now required a rebuild of their software.
               New IP addresses and new software, e.g. Novell client;
              Migration of any data from the existing NT servers to the academic Novell
               servers. This would also include any user names, passwords etc.;
              There is a need to upgrade to Novell NetWare 6 and this would be a
               logical time to do this work.


      The current academic network is well structured and will scale to meet the
      requirements of the admin. network quite easily. By incorporating the admin.
      network, we would no longer require the WAN links used by it. The existing
      student WAN connections and the replacement of the move to LES circuits would
      provide the admin. WAN connections.


      This strategy recommends a pilot of this new design to test for compatibility. This
      pilot would also allow a structured transfer of users from the admin. to the
      academic network.


      7.2.7 Proposed Wide Area Network
      The significant differences in this infrastructure over the current installation are:
               Hitchin to Stevenage now has one line with 100Mb capacity for all
                   voice and data traffic;
               Hitchin to Letchworth now has one line with 10Mb capacity for all
                   voice and data traffic;
               The internet connection to SuperJanet is now 4Mb;

               After year one the College will benefit from a reduction in leased line
                   rentals of £17,670 per year.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                         PAGE 78
NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE   PAGE 79
      7.2.8 Proposed Hitchin Network




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE            PAGE 80
      7.2.9 Proposed Stevenage Network




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE              PAGE 81
      7.2.10 Proposed Letchworth Network




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                PAGE 82
      7.2.11 Proposed Centre for the Arts Network




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                         PAGE 83
      7.2.12 Network Integration Project Plan




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                     PAGE 84
      7.2.13 Standard Operating System and Desktop Applications
      The College currently runs two desktop operation systems, which are both old and
      need upgrading:

              Academic User: Windows 95 (Not supported by Microsoft from
               November 30, 2001).
              Admin. User: Windows NT 4 Workstation (Not supported by Microsoft
               from June 30, 2003).


      It is important for the College to consider whether Windows XP’s new features and
      technologies can provide additional business value compared to the current
      proven operating system Windows 2000. Following are some of the features that
      should influence our Windows upgrade plans:

              Management/Administration Improvements: features such as system
               restore, remote assistance and new group policy elements to provide
               higher levels of manageability compared to Windows 2000 or Windows
               9x;
              Compatibility/Usability Features: users or administrators can specify
               an application to run whichever Windows mode is most suitable. This
               compatibility mode will save many us from immediately incurring the
               costs associated with obtaining compatible versions of our older
               applications;
              Deployment Improvements: to support rapid deployments of Windows
               XP, tools are available that enable administrators to migrate users’ data
               and application settings from their existing desktops to their new
               Windows XP desktops;
              Support Considerations: Microsoft typically supports a desktop
               operating system for four years. Windows 2000 has been available since
               early 2000, which means that Microsoft will likely support Windows 2000
               only through 2003. By selecting Windows XP as the desktop standard,
               we will have the ability to leverage the entire 4-year support window for
               our desktop users;
              OS Stability and Service Packs: from a code perspective, Windows XP
               is quite similar to Windows 2000, so the potential for major new bugs
               should be limited to some of the new features and functionalities, and
               should not be related to the core OS itself.


      This strategy recommends deployment of Windows XP to all desktop users during
      summer 2002. It further recommends that from now on all new desktop PCs
      purchased should be installed with Windows XP immediately (curriculum
      allowing).




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                      PAGE 85
      7.2.14 Software usage
      The College software portfolio (Operating Systems, Office Productivity and
      Internet Tools) and planned 2002 upgrades are as follows:


       Application            Current College standard           College standard August
                                                                 2002

       Network                Novell NetWare 5.1, Windows        Novell NetWare 6.0,
       Operating              NT, Windows 2000, Linux            Windows 2000, Linux
       System(s)

       Desktop                Microsoft Windows 9x, Windows      Windows XP, MacOS 8.0
       Operating System       2000, Windows XP, MacOS 8.0

       Office                 Microsoft Office 2000, MS Office   Microsoft Office 2000, MS
       Productivity           for MacOS                          Office for MacOS

       Internet Browser       Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5,   Microsoft Internet Explorer
                              Netscape 4.7                       6.0

       E-Mail Server          Linux, Exchange 5.5                Exchange 2000

       E-Mail client          Pegasus Mail, Outlook 2000         Outlook 2000

       Web Server             Apache 1.3                         Internet Information
                                                                 Services 5.0

       Virus Detection        Network Associates                 Sophos

       Internet filtering     Cyber Patrol Proxy                 SurfControl

       Domain Name            Novell 5.1                         Novell 6.0
       Servers (DNS)

       HTML authoring         FrontPage 2000, Dreamweaver        FrontPage 2000,
       tool                   4.0                                Dreamweaver 4.0

       Caching Proxy          Novell BorderManager 3.6           Novell BorderManager 3.7
       server

       Database               MS Access, MS SQL Server 7         MS Access, MS SQL
                                                                 Server 2000




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                             PAGE 86
7.3   Planned Voice System Developments
      There are a number of problems with the existing telephone system including:

              incompatibility with high speed LES lines;
              insufficient capacity of the voicemail system;
              limitations of the switchboard based only at Hitchin and problems with call
               diverts;
              lack of uninterruptible Power Supply backup at the main Hitchin
               installation.


      An upgrade to the telephone system has been identified which will address these
      issues:

              to take advantage of the new LES backbone the phone network needs to
               be upgraded to allow transmission via TCP/IP;
              the new voice manager will increasing reliability and capacity from 8
               hours to 80 hours;
              the latest software versions will allow networked PCs to operate as the
               switchboard regardless of location;
              to increase system stability a UPS has been included at the Hitchin site.
               This will protect the voice manager in the event of power disruption.


      The current rental agreement was signed on 04/07/2001 for a minimum of 3 years
      9 months. There will be a new four year contract after which the College can
      review it telephone requirements.


      7.3.1 CPU-X with level 9 software
      The CPU-X and software upgrade would provide Learner Services with all the
      functionality they require. Benefits include:

              The Operator positions can be distributed over the network as needed;
              High levels of functionality to the operators;
              Increases in processor performance and memory capacity;
              The Message desk can be integrated with our e-mail system;
              Back-up operator mode;
              Hot desking now available on a single site or over a network.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                        PAGE 87
      7.3.2 Imbedded Voice Manager
      The new voice management option would be connected direct to the backplane of
      the INDeX, freeing an analogue port. The System Manager can be flagged if
      users have not retrieved messages within set parameters. Options for call
      recording, integrated messaging and questionnaire mailboxes are also available.
      80 hours storage is standard.


7.4   Planned ILT Infrastructure Developments
      In addition to the proposed changes in the College’s wide and local area
      networks, specific ILT developments over the next year are included in the
      following section.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                   PAGE 88
7.5   College ILT Action Plan: 2001-2002
       Objective                                  Link to     Target                                         By Whom           Completion
                                                  Strategic                                                                    Date
                                                  Plan
       To improve the printing services and       2,6,7       To install PCounter software and the           Network Manager   10/10/2001
       to provide cost saving efficiency within               automated NetPrint Money Loader machine        LRC Manager
       Hitchin and Stevenage LRCs
       To purchase and install 4 new, high        2,6,7       To upgrade the 4 main Academic servers         Director of IT    15/10/2001
       performance academic file servers                      (FS1 & FS2) in Hitchin and Stevenage           Network Manager
                                                              Centres
       To purchase and install 1 new, high        2,6,7       To upgrade the main corporate file server at   Director of IT    1/2/2002
       performance corporate file server                      Hitchin                                        IS Manager
       To install 1 new corporate file server     2,6,7       To implement a corporate file server at        Director of IT    1/2/2002
                                                              Stevenage                                      IS Manager
       To install 1 new corporate file server     2,6,7       To implement a new Helpdesk/Intranet           Director of IT    1/2/2002
                                                              server                                         IS Manager
       To provide network drives for all staff    2,6,7       To provide all staff with a secure network     Director of IT    1/3/2002
                                                              area to store their files                      Network Manager
       To implement new virus protection          2,6,7       To provide a stable and manageable virus       Director of IT    1/8/2002
       software                                               protection environment at reduced cost         Network Manager
       To purchase and install a new, high        2,6,7       To upgrade the College’s main Firewall         Director of IT    15/10/2001
       performance Firewall file server                       server and improve the Internet access         Network Manager
                                                              response time and security
       To purchase and install a new, high        2,6,7       To upgrade the College e-mail server in        Director of IT    31/12/2001
       performance Exchange server.                           order to improve its response time and to      IS Manager
       To provide load balancing by                           achieve improved load balancing on the
       separating and implementing the PDC                    Admin. network servers                                           31/1/2002
       and Exchange server’s activities in
       different file servers




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                                                           PAGE 89
       To implement groups in the e-mail      2,6,7   Improve the speed at which regularly          IS Manager        31/3/2002
       address book                                   e-mailed groups can be accessed.
       To implement a single e-mail system    2,6,7   To provide a unified e-mail system for all    Director of IT    1/6/2002
       cross-College                                  College staff using the .ac.uk domain.        IS Manager
                                                      To improve College communications by
                                                      providing a single address book.
                                                      To provide the ability to quickly
                                                      communicate with identified groups by
                                                      adding commonly e-mailed ‘Groups’ to the
                                                      address book
       To purchase/install the VLE Software   2,6,7   To establish the College’s on-line learning   Network Manager   31/11/2001
       and the relevant hardware (a server,           environment                                   IS Manager
       etc.).                                                                                       Director of IT

       To install and implement the VLE.                                                                              31/01/2002
       To purchase/install the appropriate 2,6,7      To increase the Admin. network bandwidth Director of IT         31/12/2001
       data networking switches on Admin.             and improve the network performance and MIS Manager
       network.                                       its response time.                       Network Manager
       To change the Admin. network router                                                                            31/12/2001
       configuration in order to perform IP
       routing as opposed to bridging
       To purchase and install 2 new, high 2,6,7      To improve the performance, availability Director of IT    31/12/2001
       performance file servers to facilitate         and accessibility of the MIS Systems by Assistant Director
       the upgrading of the MIS systems.              installing the new QLE / QLX systems.    of CIS
       To upgrade the SQLServer 6.5 to                                                         IS Manager
       version 7
       To install an additional 2Mbps circuit 2,6,7   To increase Internet bandwidth, introduce Director of IT        01/07/2001
       with Internet access                           fault tolerance and improve access speed Network Manager
                                                      and response times




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                                                  PAGE 90
       To appoint      a   Technical   Support 2,6,7   To improve helpdesk, telephone and IT Director of IT            31/01/02
       Manager                                         support services to the user community Personnel
                                                                                              Manager
       To provide technical support training 2,6,7     To improve technical support services on Director of IT         31/3/02
       (A+ course) to the technicians.                 the College systems                      Personnel
                                                                                                Manager
       To establish a Cisco Academy at 1,2,6,7         To offer Cisco technical / professional short Director of IT    31/01/02
       Goldsmith Centre – Letchworth                   courses.                                      Network Manager
                                                       To increase the revenue /income stream.
       To establish and configure a BT 2,6,7           To increase the WAN bandwidth to 10Mbps Director of IT          31/08/2002
       LES10 Services system                           between the Stevenage and Hitchin centres. Network Manager
                                                       To improve the WAN performance and
                                                       overall network response time
       To implement the ZENworks for 2,6,7             To   improve  the  College   network Network Manager            31/03.2002
       Servers Version 2.                              management systems, services and its
       To upgrade Novell 5.1 to version 6.             capabilities
       To review the College networks and to 2,6,7     To develop and implement a single and Director of IT            31/01/2002
       propose/implement      an    efficient          global network to serve both Admin. and Network Manager
       single/global network                           Academic areas                          IS Manager
       To purchase and install computing 1,2,6,7       To establish Stevenage Football Club Director of IT             31/01/02
       and networking (with Internet access)           Learning Shop. Provision to increase Network Manager
       facilities in a new Learning Shop               participation     and     provide  learning
       based in Stevenage Football Club                opportunities in local communities
       To establish a new Learning Shop in 1,2,6,7     To increase participation and provide Director of IT            15/02/02
       Marymead, Stevenage                             learning opportunities in local communities Network Manager
       To purchase and upgrade the Sunrise 1,2,6,7     To improve the Helpdesk functions and Director of IT            31/03/02
       Helpdesk software – Enterprise                  operations.                                    Technical
       Edition.                                        To enable staff to log the faults via the Support Manager
       To purchase and install a new, high             Intranet and track the progress on their calls
       performance file server to host the
       software


NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                                                      PAGE 91
       To implement a new College-wide 1,2,6,7               To enable staff to have greater access to Director of IT          4/02/2002
       intranet system.                                      publish and review College information.   IS Manager
       Implement a new desktop operating 2,6,7               To improve the stability and reliability of Director of IT        31/07/2002
       system on all College PCs                             College PCs.                                Technical
                                                             To provide learners access to the latest Support Manager
                                                             industry standard software
       Staff development session of the use        1,2,6,7   Curriculum Areas better informed and able      Director of IT     1/07/2002
       of the internet and online learning.                  to integrate into curriculum which offers      Academic
                                                             variety and stimulation to the student         Development and
                                                                                                            Quality Co-
                                                                                                            ordinator
       A cross-College group will be formed        1,2,6,7   Further develop the functionality of the       Director of IT     4/02/2002
       to progress the continuous                            College web site, increase its content and     Deputy Principal
       development of the College web site,                  the frequency with which it is updated
       with staff identified with responsibility
       for providing content. Staff resources
       will be identified to undertake web
       developments
       The College will host its web site          2,6,7     Easier access for updating, faster access      Director of IT     1/05/2002
       locally                                               for people accessing the site, reduced costs   IS Manager
       Ensure IT User groups meet once per         2,6,7     Effective communication between IT             Director of IT     1/02/2002
       term                                                  Services and users
       Develop a Smart Classroom (B115) at         1,2,6,7   Ensure have access to all available ILT        Director of IT     1/02/2002
       Hitchin                                               technologies so that they can make
                                                             informed decisions about the future needs
                                                             for the Stevenage Campus
       Proactively purchase a range of new         1,2,6,7   Inclusive learning helped by increased         Technical          1/07/2002
       assistive technologies.                               access to assistive technologies               Support Manager
       Host the College web server locally,        1,2,6,7   Users will have access to up-to-date           Director of IT     1/05/2002
       provide regular updates and increase                  College information                            IS Manager
       functionality




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                                                           PAGE 92
       Connect the Sports Hall, Student      2,6,7     Users will have access to College networks       Director of IT    1/03/2002
       Union and Crèche at Hitchin to the              and data                                         Network Manager
       network.
       Implement Novell iFolder              2,6,7     Users will be able to access, organise, and      Director of IT    1/06/2002
                                                       manage their files from anywhere, anytime        Network Manager
       Implement a new Internet and E-mail   2,6,7     The College meets its obligation to protect      Director of IT    15/02/2002
       policy for staff and students                   itself with a robust policy and informs all      Personnel
                                                       users of any College monitoring activity         Manager
       Implement a new Data Protection       2,6,7     Will enable the College to implement             Director of IT    15/02/2002
       policy for staff and students                   compliance with the Data Protection Act          Personnel
                                                       1998                                             Manager
       Upgrade the capacity of the College   2,6,7     Increased capacity to store voice messages       Technical         1/05/2002
       voicemail system                                                                                 Support Manager
       Upgrade the Hitchin voice CPU         2,6,7     The ability for roving Customer Services         Technical         1/05/2002
       system                                          workstations will improve for accessibility by   Support Manager
                                                       phone outside core hours
       Implement a Network Management        2,6,7     Enable us to track and report performance        Network Manager   1/05/2002
       Suite                                           of all the constituent parts of our network
       To develop an e-mail to SMS gateway   1,2,6,7   Enable Learner Services to send learners         Director of IT    28/2/2002
       with a 3rd party provider                       SMS messages to their mobile phones




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                                                      PAGE 93
7.6   College ILT Action Plan: 2002 - 2004
      Specific long-term ILT developments include:

       Objective                             Link to     Target                                            By Whom            Completion
                                             Strategic                                                                        Date
                                             Plan
       Develop a strategy for                1,2,6,7     Embed the use of ILT into the delivery of all     Director of IT     9/2002
       mainstreaming ILT developments                    courses                                           Director of
       into curriculum areas                                                                               Curriculum
       Work with curriculum areas to         1,2,6,7     Curriculum areas begin to place more              Director of IT     9/2002
       enable them to make better use of                 emphasis on the use of ILT for teaching and
       ILT - this would include staff                    learning
       development opportunities
       Implement Customer Relationship       1,2,6,7     Develop systems to support the relationship       Director of IT     7/2003
       Management systems                                with learners from pre-enrolment through to       Deputy Principal
                                                         alumni                                            Head of Learner
                                                                                                           Services
       Develop the full potential of the     2,6,7       Improved benefits from Voyager that inform  Distributed              1/2003
       Voyager library management system                 our management decision-making. Greater use Learning
                                                         by staff and students                       Manager
       Develop and implement a thorough      2,6,7       The College is protected from accident, attack,   Director of IT     1/2003
       IT disaster recovery policy and                   intrusion, emergency, disaster and misuse
       implementation plan - implement as
       funds allow
       Develop a system to create            2,6,7       Accurate and up-to-date inventories with          Technical          1/2003
       hardware and software inventories                 minimal human resource to complete                Support Manager
       centrally and automatically
       Implement a system to automatically   2,6,7       Increase ability to satisfy demand for IT         Network Manager    1/2003
       audit the use of IT equipment and                 equipment
       ensure utilisation rates are high



NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                                                       PAGE 94
       Develop the College’s                   2,6,7     Staff access to an effective                      Director of IT    1/2004
       telecommunications infrastructure                 telecommunications infrastructure, providing      Technical
                                                         unified messaging services                        Support Manager
       Implement an online assessment          2,6,7     Enable academics to create and deliver a          Director of IT    1/2003
       tool that interfaces with the College             comprehensive range of tests, quizzes and         IS Manager
       VLE                                               surveys
       Develop Resources for supported         1,2,6,7   Provide alternative routes to access learning     Director of IT    1/2004
       independent and distance learning                 from the College                                  Director of
                                                                                                           Curriculum
       Provide at least one Smart              1,2,6,7   Increase staff/learner access to ILT              Director of IT    1/2003
       Classroom in each division
       Implement a corporate information       2,6,7     Provide staff with an individualised single       Director of IT    1/2003
       portal                                            access point to all their College data            IS Manager
                                                         requirements
       Implement an academic information       2,6,7     Provide learners with an individualised single    Director of IT    7/2003
       portal                                            access point to all their College data            IS Manager
                                                         requirements
       Develop collaborative learning          2,6,7     To share resources, expertise and                 Director of IT    1/2003
       materials development                             development effort with partners to achieve our
       arrangements with academic                        requirements for online learning materials
       partners in Hertfordshire.
       Position the College to take            2,6,7     To increase access to learning for learners       Director of IT    7/2004
       advantage of new technologies in
       the home, e.g. interactive TV, DSL
       (digital subscriber line)
       Student individual learning accounts,   2,6,7     A unique student identifier used by all College   Director of IT     1/2004
       single permanent identity linked to               systems                                           Assistant Director
       student records, LRCs, MLE,                                                                         of CIS
       network id, Connexions, etc.                                                                        IS Manager




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                                                       PAGE 95
       On-line enrolment and enrolment      1,2,6,7   Easier enrolment for learners                  Director of IT     1/2004
       kiosks in the community                                                                       Assistant Director
                                                                                                     of CIS
                                                                                                     IS Manager
       Implement Electronic Attendance      2,6,7     Improve the attendance recording operation     Director of IT     1/2004
       Recording                                      and accuracy for the College                   Assistant Director
                                                                                                     of CIS
                                                                                                     IS Manager
       Implement a computerised appraisal   2,6,7     Increased awareness of College targets, work   Director of IT    1/2003
       system                                         expectations and current activity.             Personnel
                                                      Eliminate the need to have countless paper     Manager
                                                      reviews sent around the College                IS Manager




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                                                                 PAGE 96
7.7   Developments in Management Information Systems
      The College is embarking on a major upgrade programme of Management
      Information Systems. Changes will be carefully managed and reviewed to
      ensure that systems are meeting the needs of end users in addition to
      external demands from agencies such as the LSC.


      7.7.1 Finance
      The College purchased QL-x in December 2001. This is the starting point
      for the extension of access to on-line information to all budget holders.


      In addition the College is considering the purchase of an e-procurement
      system to improve the efficiency of ordering within the College.


      The two products together will revolutionise the operation of finance within
      the College, enabling on-line raising and authorisation of orders and
      invoices and reducing the paper trail currently associated with purchase
      decisions. Information will be at managers’ fingertips, with QL-x providing
      facilities to configure screens to meet individual needs.


      7.7.2 Student Records
      The College purchased QL-e in December 2001. The system provides a
      tool kit to enable far-reaching development in the capture and reporting of
      management information.


      Initially the focus will be on improving the access to student information for
      staff. QL-e will enable appropriate staff to have access to class and student
      information in an intuitive and user-friendly format.


      Future developments will include the availability of on-line application and
      enrolment for learners and on-line data verification and capture from
      students. In addition the system provides the potential for capture of
      attendance and assessment information.


      Some areas of the current QLS are not used to their full potential,
      particularly examinations and registers. It is planned to fully implement the
      examinations system for the academic year 2002/3.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                  PAGE 97
      The review of the College registration system is a key priority for 2002/3.
      Currently manual registers are used and the standard of completion is
      unsatisfactory in many areas. There are a variety of register systems
      available including OCR, swipe cards and wireless systems. The College
      will conduct a thorough review prior to making any purchase decision.


      QL-e includes functionality to allow the ‘translation’ of information held in
      third party packages into the QL database. As College systems develop this
      will give the flexibility to ensure that data is only captured once and reduce
      the need for re-keying of data.


      7.7.3 Personnel
      The College will purchase a new Human Resource system to underpin the
      implementation of the Human Resource strategy.


      Initially the focus will be on implementing effective systems for recruitment
      and staff development, in addition to maintaining employment records.
      Particular attention will be paid to the development of reporting capabilities
      within the system.


      Longer term developments are likely to include the capacity for staff to book
      and have annual leave authorised on line and for managers to have access
      to appropriate staff records to review absence and sickness performance.
      Centralised appraisal records which can be reviewed and updated on-line
      will be a further development in this area.


      7.7.4 Learner Services
      The implementation of QL-e will help to improve the service provided by
      Learner Services, particularly configurable screens to enable fast and
      efficient data capture from enquirers. Easy access to information will enable
      staff to be responsive to customer needs.


      There is scope to integrate other Learner Services systems to improve
      efficiency, for example the Arriva bus pass system.


      7.7.5 Property
      The integration of CELCAT with QLS will be essential to ensure the
      successful implementation. Integration will improve efficiency and will also
      improve the availability of management information on room utilisation.


NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                  PAGE 98
      7.7.6 Future developments
      In the longer term the College will be seeking to improve the efficiency of
      data storage and retrieval, particularly in respect of Student Records. The
      need to meet the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act will be a
      particular driver in this.


      Systems will be reviewed with the objective of identifying and purchasing an
      appropriate document management system for implementation by
      September 2003.


      The development of systems will be an ongoing, iterative process. As new
      technologies develop the College will embrace them and seek to utilise
      them in ways that will provide continual improvements in our services to
      both learners and staff.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                PAGE 99
 8    Budgets


8.1   Planned ILT expenditure 1999-2002
      Significant investment is still needed to ensure that the strategy continues to
      improve access to ILT by students and staff; responds to changes and
      developments in technology; and enables us to exceed national
      benchmarks. Agreed priorities were finalised by the College SMT during the
      summer of 2001 and they will continue to monitor expenditure.


      8.1.1 Monies received under the National Learning Network initiative
      The College received £77,900 in the 2000-2001 year for ILT developments
      from the National Learning Network initiative. A further £35,000 will be
      made available for 2002-2003. The planned use of this money is as follows:

       Activity          October   April       Planned College Use
                         2000      2001
       LAN               £8,700                This will be used to contribute to the
       Infrastructure                          development of local and wise area
                                               network links on our four main
                                               campuses. It will also be used to
                                               replace key servers.
       Local learning              7,200       This will be used to release ILT
       materials                               Champions from their current
       development                             activities to participate in learning
                                               materials development projects.
       MLE         s/w             £20,000     This was used to contribute to the
       licences                                purchase of the College’s VLE
                                               (LearnWise) and associated training.
       IT Equipment                £22,000     This will be used to purchase
                                               network ready PCs and printers,
                                               laptops for loan to staff contributing
                                               to materials development projects
                                               and electronic whiteboards.
       LAN                         £20,000     This will be used to contribute to the
       Infrastructure                          development of local and wise area
                                               network links on our four main
                                               campuses and wide area network
                                               links to community learning places.
                                               It will also be used to replace key
                                               servers, including one for the VLE.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                   PAGE 100
      8.1.2 Use of own funds to support ILT in the College



                                             2000 – 2001     2001 – 2002
        Capital invested in hardware         £212,320        £90,000
        Capital invested in networks         £42,000         £72,659
        Capital invested      in   curriculum £0             £0
        software
        Total capital                        £254,320        £162,659
        Revenue for IT Support Service staff £294,648        £246,168
        Revenue for peripherals, spares & £92,980            £98,940
        consumables
        Revenue for data links and Internet £92,300          £100,000
        connection
        Total revenue                        £479,928        £445,108


      The IT Capital Budget is used to purchase and support ILT equipment,
      software and the network infrastructure within the College.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                            PAGE 101
 9   Key Outcomes and Issues 2000 - 2001

      The College ILT Strategy, which was submitted to Becta in 2000, detailed a
      three year plan for using communications, information and learning
      technologies as an important platform for the achievement of the College
      strategic goals of entrepreneurism, efficiency and effectiveness. That
      strategy detailed action plans for the development of a curriculum delivery
      model appropriate to the market forces, student expectations and available
      technologies in the new millennium, in parallel with the creation of a
      technical infrastructure and resource base, which will support and enable
      this change.


      We are now in a position to review progress against the achievement of
      these goals, and to revise the strategy in the light of experience and a
      rapidly changing technological and economic environment. Good progress
      was made in achieving our target infrastructure and resource base in
      2000/01. We have also benefited from collaboration with the other
      Hertfordshire Colleges in the development of ILT initiatives and the
      Hertfordshire Ufi hub. In order to achieve our goal of using ILT to foster
      flexible, accessible delivery of the curriculum on a life-long basis,
      considerable resources have gone into increasing the open-access
      computing workshop facilities in Learning Resource Centres at Stevenage
      and Hitchin.


      The College is committed to providing our local communities with first class
      facilities and opportunities, and to working in partnership with local groups.
      For example, we have now opened Learning Shops in Letchworth and
      Welwyn Garden City, and will see another two open in 2002. We have also
      developed an industry based learning centre in Stevenage dedicated to
      training employees of local businesses.


      We have also seen much development in the College’s network and
      desktop infrastructures and their use. We have seen a significant increase
      in the number and quality of computers available to staff. The emphasis of
      infrastructure development in the current year has been to improve the
      robustness and speed of the local and wide area networks, and to increase
      the availability of ILT in classrooms and to staff.




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                 PAGE 102
9.1   Update of Activities 1999 - 2001
       Action                                       Progress
       Train all academic staff to an appropriate Ongoing via ECDL programme
       level of competence in ILT/ICT
       Post training support for staff from Help Ongoing, with full schedule of
       Desk and ILT Champions                    VLE training to start in 2002
       Pilot on-line learning via College network   Spring 2002
       Introduce FENTO standards                    Will be developed during 2002
                                                    for support staff as part of a ESF
                                                    project
       Disseminate models of good practice          Ongoing
       Secure staff intranet developed to enable Complete
       and encourage sharing and collaborative
       working in curriculum development
       Increase use of assistive technologies Complete
       and portable computing for learners with
       special needs
       Monitor changes to teaching and learning     Ongoing
       Introduce opportunities for Independent To commence 2002
       and distance learning
       Set up Community-based guidance, Planned centres all operational
       Learning Centres and Information points
       under Ufi
       Implement year-round enrolment               To commence 2002
       Implement remote        access    to   NHC Completed
       network for students
       Create ICT Learning Bases                    Completed
       Increase availability of ICT to enhance Initial targets met
       teaching and learning in classrooms
       Improve information on availability of       Initial targets met
       learning resources
       Develop NHC Learning Intranet                Completed, development        will
                                                    now focus on the VLE
       ILT Champions in place                       Completed
       Introduce corporate minimum standard Completed
       software on all PCs
       Standardise and        maintain   Academic Completed
       Network desktop
       Increase student access to ICT               ILT Strategy targets met
       Managed learning environment to track To commence 2002
       activity and achievement on the network



NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                    PAGE 103
       Student    attendance         tracking    and To commence 2002
       monitoring
       Student individual learning accounts, To commence 2002
       single permanent identity linked to student
       records, LRC, MLE, network id, travel
       pass etc.
       QLE - secure browser front-end to student To commence 2002
       records
       Increase staff access to ICT                   ILT Strategy targets improving
       Helpdesk - quality of service, reduced Completed
       downtime on workstations
       Technician support for Learning bases Completed
       and use of ICT in classrooms
       Helpdesk support        for     staff    users Completed
       increased in scope
       IPTV/video streaming on LANs                   No current plans
       Increased performance on WAN - Planned update April 2002
       additional circuits or possibly change to
       BT Cellstream
       Improve enrolment services -speed and Completed
       flexibility
       Improve information services                   Completed
       On-line enrolment                              To commence 2002
       Enrolment kiosks                               No current plans
       Computer assisted timetabling available Completed
       to managers
       Improve communications                         Completed
       Collaborative arrangements to create and To commence 2002
       support ICT learning centres throughout
       North Hertfordshire and to share
       resources and expertise
       Provide technical support to ICT learning Completed
       centres
       Use of ICT to support remote learners          Completed
       Position NHC to take advantage of new No current plans
       technologies in the home.
       Increase access to IT key skills               Completed
       Introduce unitisation                          To commence 2002
       Rationalisation of the - curriculum through To commence 2002
       modularisation, enabling individualised
       learning programmes



NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                    PAGE 104
 10     ILT Glossary of terms

 APL            Accreditation of Prior Learning
 BECTa          British Educational Communications and Technology agency
 CD-ROM         Compact Disc-Read Only Memory
 CLAIT          Computer Literacy and Information Technology
 DLT            Data Linear Tape
 DSL            Digital Subscriber Line
 ECDL           European Computer Driving Licence
 EIGRP          Enhanced Inter-Gateway Routing Protocol
 FAST           Federation Against Software Theft
 FENC           Further Education National Consortium
 FENTO          Further Education National Training Organisation
 FTE            Full Time Equivalent
 HR             Human Resources
 ICT            Information And Communications Technology
 ILT            Information And Learning Technology
 IP             Internet Protocol
 IPX            Internetwork Packet eXchange
 ISDN           Integrated Services Digital Network
 ISP            Internet Service Provider
 IT             Information Technology
 ITT            Invitation To Tender
 JANET          Joint Academic Network
 JISC           Joint Information Systems Committee
 LAN            Local Area Network
 LES            LAN Extension Services
 LRC            Learning Resource Centre
 LSC            Learning And Skills Council
 MIS            Management Information System
 MLE            Managed Learning Environment
 MS             Microsoft
 NIC            Network Interface Card
 NILTA          National Information and Learning Technologies Association
 NLN            National Learning Network
 NOF/CMF        New Opportunities Fund/Capital Modernisation Fund
 PC             Personal Computer
 PDC            Primary Domain Controller
 QA             Quality Assurance
 RAID           Redundant Array Of Independent Discs
 RIP            Routing Information Protocol
 SLDD           Students With Learning Difficulties and Disabilities
 TCP/IP         Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
 UTP            Unshielded Twisted Pair
 UKERNA         UK Education and Research Network Association
 VLE            Virtual Learning Environment
 WAN            Wide Area Network




NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE COLLEGE                                                  PAGE 105

				
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