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Project Plan for Web Startup

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Project Plan for Web Startup Powered By Docstoc
					WebCT 6.0 Upgrade Project
         CCSN

       Version 2.0

    February 16, 2007
                                                               Contents


1 INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................... 1
1.1 OVERVIEW .............................................................................................................. 1
1.2 DELIVERABLES ........................................................................................................ 1
1.3 ASSUMPTIONS AND CONSTRAINTS ........................................................................... 2
1.4 DEFINITIONS AND ACRONYMS .................................................................................. 2

2 MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE ........................................................................................ 4
2.1 PROJECT LIFECYCLE ............................................................................................... 4
2.2 RISK AND ASSET MANAGEMENT .............................................................................. 4
2.3 STARTUP ................................................................................................................ 5
2.4 CLOSEOUT.............................................................................................................. 5

3 PLANNING AND CONTROL .......................................................................................... 6
3.1 ESTIMATE ............................................................................................................... 6
    3.1.1 Estimation Process ...................................................................................... 6
3.2 RESOURCE IDENTIFICATION ..................................................................................... 6
    3.2.1 Time ............................................................................................................. 7
    3.2.2 Materials....................................................................................................... 7
3.3 MIGRATION SCHEDULE ............................................................................................ 7

4 TECHNICAL PROCESS ................................................................................................ 9
4.1 CONSULTATION....................................................................................................... 9
    4.1.1 WebCT Help Desk ....................................................................................... 9
    4.1.2 Technical Training Needs ............................................................................ 9
4.2 HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE INFRASTRUCTURE ........................................................ 9
4.3 DATA INTEGRATION ................................................................................................. 9
4.4 MIGRATION AND PARALLEL VERSIONS ................................................................... 10
4.5 EXTERNAL VALIDATION OF SERVERS ..................................................................... 10
4.6 MAINTENANCE ...................................................................................................... 10
4.7 TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT ............................................................................... 10




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                                            1 Introduction

The Community College of Southern Nevada (CCSN) offers distance learning and hybrid
courses via WebCT. The current software version is Campus Edition 4.1, a single-server archi-
tecture which hosts both the application and underlying database at
http://webcampus.ccsn.nevada.edu/webct/public/home.pl on the internet. Just prior to announc-
ing its merger with rival Course Management Systems provider Blackboard, WebCT released a
dual-server architecture product referred to as Campus Edition 6.0, the focus of this project
plan. As its version number (from 4.1 to 6.0 with no version 5 between) implies, CE 6.0 is a ma-
jor shift in this product. This project plan provides guidelines for the transition at the Community
College of Southern Nevada throughout the Spring 2007 – Fall 2008 semesters.

1.1 Overview
This plan was initiated as a result of the decision by CCSN to migrate to WebCT CE 6.0. It will
be updated based on modifications of the project plan.
The intended purposes of this document are as follows:
         Define the expected extent of the overall WebCT CE 6.0 project.
         Establish the overall strategic timeline for the WebCT CE 6.0 implementation effort.

1.2 Deliverables
At the conclusion of this project, the College will have the following deliverables:
-Operational Dual-Server-architecture CMS
-Parallel Single-Server-architecture CMS > development server
-Project Plan
-Training Plan
-Distance Education Guidelines
-Training Materials (on College web site)
-Trained Faculty
-Migrated Courses
-Student Data Integration Plan
-Maintenance Plan
-Student Orientation Plan




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1.3 Assumptions and Constraints
This project must be managed and completed by internal resources with a modest expenditure
budget for hardware, licensing, and training. Ideally, the project will be completed by fall 2008,
when the College may retire WebCT 4.1.
The retraining of the faculty and the conversion of all on-line courses to Web CT 6.0 is essen-
tial…and inevitable. The CMS provider has indicated that the current version (4.1) will not be
expanded or improved upon beyond its current form. Technical support will likewise end in the
future.
Training will be a complex issue. The training staff must first be brought up to speed with the
new version software, its various tool sets and operating methods. Support staff must also re-
ceive training in the operation of the database systems, which are an important part of the up-
dated CMS. Staff must complete all training and administration of the course conversion in ad-
dition to their regular duties at the college. Training sessions on WebCT 6.0 will be scheduled
and conducted by departments. If an individual faculty member is not able to attend the sched-
uled training session an individual session will be scheduled with personnel from the Distance
Education Office.
Training of the faculty comes with the assumption that most on-line faculty have working experi-
ence with Web CT. However, the existing skill sets and learning curves are as individual as the
faculty members themselves. The amount of time devoted to retraining faculty members will
vary. Training the faculty members and assisting them with converting their courses will need to
be built around their existing schedules of classes, committees and other activities on and off
campus.
It can be further assumed that the conversion of courses will be affected by the amount of con-
tent that will need to be redesigned, the amount of content that can/cannot be automatically
converted and the impact the introduction of institutional standards for on-line courses will have
on the time and effort needed to design/redesign each course. Nonetheless, all courses will
undergo a series of modifications and updates to allow for the migration to the new course ver-
sion.
CCSN will adopt a naming convention that will easily identify which shells are online courses
and which are hybrid courses on the WebCT 6.0 server. The naming conventions are essential
to ensure the timely and accurate transfer of student data from SIS to WebCT 6.0 course shells.
OTS will take the lead in the development of the naming conventions. It is also essential for the
timely and accurate transfer of student data that there be one course shell per section. WebCT
6.0 has a mechanism that allows faculty to update multiple course shells simultaneously. OTS
will be establishing a maintenance plan for WebCT 6.0 for the archiving of course shells.

1.4 Definitions and Acronyms
CMS – Course management system – the software that facilitates e-learning by providing a
suite of communication, content management, and student tracking tools.
Data Integration – the import/export compatibility between the Student Information System (SIS)
and the WebCT CMS.




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Migration – the process of transferring all components of an online course from WebCT v4.1 to
v6.0. Course migration is a combination of automated and manual processes that involves an
error report and corrections in the course that occur because of changes in the software.
MS-SQL – Microsoft Structured Query Language – database management software.
Powerlink – an optional component software package from WebCT that facilitates data integra-
tion between the CMS and the SIS.
Server – a computer software application (and the physical computer hardware on which this
software is installed) that carries out services on behalf of other software and computers (cli-
ents). This project requires two new servers: a database server (to store records of classes and
students) and an applications server (to run the WebCT GUI software).
SIS – the Student Information System is the set of databases currently stored at CCSN.
WebCT – Web Course Tools – vendor’s name for CMS product now in version 6.0.




WebCt6.0 Project Plan v2.0.doc (02/12/07)                                       Page 3
                                            2 Management Structure


2.1 Project Lifecycle
Major aspects of this project will be accomplished within the semester calendar, as follows:


FA 2006           SP 2007            SU 2007           FA 2007       SP 2008            FA 2008

 Planning                    Tracking                   Reporting


                    Set-up 6                 Testing                                            Retire 4.1

            Licensing


                                      Training         Training       Training


                                      Training         Training       Training   Training


                                SIS Pilot              Testing


                                                       Pilot Implementation      6.0 Live!



2.2 Risk and Asset Management
When possible, likely risks should be identified before this project begins. Once started all iden-
tified parties (Administration, Faculty, and Staff) require clarification of any identified and earlier
non-identified risks.
         Faculty training
         Academic leadership (from President, Vice Presidents, and Deans)
         Faculty buy in (via support group, cross-training, discussion forums)
         Unexpected delays or downtime due to WebCT issues
         Unexpected changes in technology
         Communication with adjunct faculty
         Unexpected downtime due to merger/migration difficulties (this should be minimal as we
         will build a parallel bridge approach)




WebCt6.0 Project Plan v2.0.doc (02/12/07)                                              Page 4
2.3 Startup
In order to begin the successful migration to the new Version 6.0, the following will need to be
completed:
    1. Installation and testing of new servers (Spring 2007)
    2. Server management training for key staff (Spring 2007)
    3. Installation of Microsoft SQL Server software when released (Spring 2007)
    4. Installation of WebCT Version 6.0 to new server (Spring 2007)
    5. “Train the Trainer” workshops in WebCT V6.0 (Spring 2007)
    6. Workshops to introduce existing faculty to Version 6.0 Tools (begin Spring 2007)
    7. Establish support and discussion sites within WebCT V6.0 and CCSN web site (Summer
       2007)
    8. Identification of appropriate “PowerLinks” modules, acquisition and installation (Spring
       2007)
    9. Course migration begins (Spring 2007 through Fall 2008)

2.4 Closeout
    1.   Has training for all faculty members been completed? (Spring 2008)
    2.   Has course conversion been initiated for all existing courses? (Spring 2008)
    3.   Are the first courses converted on line for (pilot Summer 2007) and Fall 2007 launch?
    4.   Do the first courses meet institutional standards? (Fall 2007)




WebCt6.0 Project Plan v2.0.doc (02/12/07)                                        Page 5
                                            3 Planning and Control


3.1 Estimate
It is estimated that the complete process of converting to WebCT V6.0, training of the faculty
and the necessary redesign of any or all courses will take eighteen months to complete. This
time frame is determined by the following assumptions:
    •    The need to train the training staff before faculty training can commence
    •    The introduction of institutional standards for DE courses
    •    Varying learning patterns and pace of DE faculty members
    •    The yet unidentified complexities of converting courses from the current V4.1 to V6.0

3.1.1 Estimation Process
Conversion of courses will also determine the amount of time and effort that will be required.
It’s expected that courses locally originated by instructors will require a great deal more conver-
sion time than courses packaged by publishers. Unfortunately, a specific amount of time cannot
be provided at this stage. Courses will require individual assessment. The ease and thorough-
ness of moving content through WebCT’s “Conversion Tool” has yet to be determined. These
factors will gauge the amount of time that will be required to move courses into the new operat-
ing system and can better be determined once we have converted the first couple of courses to
V6.0. Departments who have adopted the “Department” course model will be assisted by Sun-
gard with the course conversion process.

3.2 Resource Identification

The available resources for the training and conversion of courses include the following:
    •    Members of the DE and OTS staff teams for the purpose of training faculty
    •    Staff members to assist with course redesign and migration
    •    The WebCT platform, which can contain support sites and discussion groups for faculty
         undergoing the conversion and redesign process
    •    CCSN web site for additional communications and information pages
    •    Continuing support materials from WebCT
    •    Any additional support materials or person power as deemed necessary or desirable by
         area vice presidents.




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3.2.1 Time
The training process for key personnel will begin immediately. Software installations can be
completed in spring 2007 and training shells created.
Introduction of institutional standards for DE courses can be completed in the fall 2007. Small
group faculty training in Version 6.0 can begin by January 2007 and continue throughout the
year.
Given the unknown variables listed earlier (faculty mastery, conversion difficulties) it is sug-
gested that the entire 2007 year and 2008 year be allocated to the complete process. Depend-
ing on the outcomes of early workshops and difficulties encountered, training may have to be
repeated, modified or enhanced to bring all faculty members up to new standards. The existing
contract with WebCT for Version 4.1 has been extended through 2008 and it is possible to run
both versions in tandem. The College should take full advantage of this time to prepare the
faculty to operate in the new version.

3.2.2 Materials
A “Train the Trainer” workshop through Sungard was conducted in spring 2007 semester.
Specific training modules created by Sungard and WebCT must be identified to support the con-
tinued training of the faculty.
The WebCT platform and CCSN web site will be the utilities used to create training sites and
discussion areas for trainers and faculty.

3.3 Migration Schedule
Fall 2007
    1.        Division of Business, Industry and Public Safety
              • Department of Accounting, Finance and Computer Office Technology
              • Department of Business Administration
              • Department of Public Safety and Human Services
              • Department of Resorts and Gaming
    2.        Division of Arts and Letters
              • Department of Art and Art History
              • Department of Communication
              • Department of English
              • Department of International Languages
              • Department of Performing Arts




WebCt6.0 Project Plan v2.0.doc (02/12/07)                                      Page 7
Spring 2008
    1.        Division of Advanced and Applied Technologies
              • Department of Applied Technologies
              • Department of Computing and Engineering Technologies
              • Department of Media Technologies
    2.        Division of Science and Mathematics
              • Department of Biological Sciences
              • Department of Mathematics
              • Department of Physical Science

Fall 2008
    1.        Division of Health Sciences
              • Department of Dental Science, Diagnostic Evaluation and Rehabilitation Services
              • Department of Health Related Professions
              • Department of Nursing
    2.        Division of Social Science and Education
              • Department of Education
              • Department of Human Behavior
              • Department of Philosophical and Regional Studies




WebCt6.0 Project Plan v2.0.doc (02/12/07)                                      Page 8
                                            4 Technical Process


4.1 Consultation

4.1.1 WebCT Help Desk
         Determine whether an Administrative helpdesk is available and/or necessary from
         WebCT
         Determine whether an onsite consultation from WebCT is available and/or necessary

4.1.2 Technical Training Needs
    •    Determine technical training needs
    •    Attend Application Administrator Workshop to “learn about new concepts, features, and
         roles and will also explore strategies for communicating effectively with the system and
         database administrator.”
    •    DBA Mentoring offered through WebCT “to develop an in-depth understanding of the
         WebCT Campus Edition 6 database architecture and common maintenance tasks.”

4.2 Hardware and Software Infrastructure

For both servers, OTS will
    •    install and patch the operating system,
    •    set up internal and external DNS,
    •    supply the static IP address,
    •    configure the firewall for external access, and
    •    setup VPN access for the WebCT Administrator

The WebCT Administrator will
    •    Install, configure and test MS SQL software (ensure that the CE 6.0 database is opti-
         mally configured for data import)
    •    Install, configure and test WebCT CE 6.0 application and database software

4.3 Data Integration
    •    Obtain information on current state of SIS integration
    •    Obtain information from SIS and WebCT on SIS interface with WebCT 6.0
    •    Research installation procedures and software/hardware prerequisites or requirements
         (if any)
    •    Identify and contact fellow SIS /WebCT users who have similar project plans




WebCt6.0 Project Plan v2.0.doc (02/12/07)                                        Page 9
    •     Install, configure and test SIS interface according to timeline
    •     Identify procedures and standards for 6.0 live SIS /WebCT integrations

4.4 Migration and Parallel Versions
    •     Determine target parent learning context prior to migration (i.e. Business Department is
          the target parent of the course Intro to Business)
    •     Migration of established/redeveloped pilot courses
    •     Verify details of any tools or areas in CE 6.0 that may need to be revised before the
          course is made available to instructors and students.

4.5 External Validation of Servers
Develop a plan to test the integration and the performance of the servers and courses for con-
sistency both on and off campus. (Make sure that the servers and courses are demonstrated
completely operational at other sites beyond the CCSN OTS department)

4.6 Maintenance
          Backup and restoration procedures for servers
          Backup and restoration procedures for WebCT application software
          Backup and restoration procedures for Courses
          Routine scheduled maintenance (WebCT, database)
          Archiving courses (end of semester)

4.7 Training and Development
WebCT 6.0 Tools Training will be aimed at teaching revised interface and new technical tools to
faculty whose courses have been migrated
Phase training will be implemented in semester waves:
Faculty who will teach in _______ will participate in
Fall 07                              Spring and Summer 07 training
Spring 08                            Fall 07 training
Fall 08                              Spring and Summer 08 Training




WebCt6.0 Project Plan v2.0.doc (02/12/07)                                          Page 10

				
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