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KU: What are the relevant dates (start of the selection process, date of selection, projected deployment)?

RS: This is difficult to pin down because the process has been fairly long, starting with the statement of vision in 2002. The latest round of work (by the functional and technical sponsors) started in February 2006 and produced a report in June 2006 that is available on the Web site. The Assessment Taskforce started in July 2006 and delivered their report to the FCET in October 2006. An alpha service will be available for experimentation and testing by early adopters in April 2007, when our spring quarter begins. The speed of implementation will depend on the flow of funds to support this new common service.

KU: Which parts of UCLA does this decision affect (a department, college, the whole university)?

RS: This service will be offered as an opt-in service to faculty and students. Departments, divisions, and schools will make their own choices based on how well the CCLE meets their requirements. We also anticipate that faculty will make individual choices to use some or most of the service features, such as for collaboration. Because faculty will continue to receive their support locally, we will be encouraging academic units to make collective decisions on whether and how extensively to use the CCLE service to ensure that faculty continue to find the support they need easily and that local IT staff do not end up trying to support multiple systems.


10 Responses to “UCLA Selects Open Source Solution, Part 2, Interview with Ruth Sabean”

1. heather.chakiris says:

March 12th, 2007 at 12:24 pm

Hi, Ruth. It’s great of you to make yourself available for our questions. Thanks!

n your interview you explained that UCLA’s decision to investigate a new learning management system stemmed from the university’s FCET’s “concern over the proliferation of ‘course-management system’ solutions in departments, divisions, and schools that required separate logins and made sharing of expertise, materials, new tools, and innovation difficult if not impossible across the campus.” Then later you said that Moodle “will be offered as an opt-in service to faculty and students. Departments, divisions, and schools will make their own choices based on how well the CCLE meets their requirements.” If Moodle is opt-in and not a common solution across campus, how does that address the original concern about the “proliferation of ‘course-management system’ solutions? Were there a few steps in-between the FCET report in 2002 and the decision that led to Moodle that aren’t apparent in the interview?

2. rsabean - march 13th, 2007 at 9:49 am

Hi Heather, You’ve put you finger on a really important issue. First some background. The “M” word (Mandate) is seldom used at UCLA — the one exception possibly being legal compliance. Decisions about technology and funding to support those decisions are made at the level of academic units. UCLA’s Common Collaboration and Learning Environment will be successful if it has value. Opt-in was a very important aspect of the FCET’s vision. They believed that value should be the driver of choice. The buy-in since the decision has been even greater than anticipated. Given the potential for a distributed implementation (a federated architecture with llots of Moodles running in local units), the challenge ahead will be to indeed implement a common experience for the end user. We will provide a common service and anticipate that many academic units will choose to use it, rather than run their own. Others may make that choice later when they have confidence that the common service provides the customization and autonomy they currently value from a locally provided service. Other units may continue to run their own Moodle service. UCLA, in short, has made two big decisions at the same time — Moodle and the provision of a common service.

Questions & Answers

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