University of the Highlands and Islands VLE Review

VLE review information

VLE review news

VLE procurement deadline extended

Following a request from some of the suppliers for an extension to the procurement deadline and to ensure that the university’s needs are met, it was agreed to move the procurement deadline from July to August. We will know who the supplier is at the end of August. There is no anticipated impact on other aspects of the project such as professional development.

9th July 2018

 

VLE Invitation to Tender issued

The mini-competition for the provision of a virtual learning environment for the University of the Highlands and Islands tender was issued on Monday 25th June. We will know who the supplier will be at the end of July.

28th June 2018

 

VLE training consultation

We should know the results of the VLE procurement process in July. As soon as the staff return from the summer break staff consultation will begin to identify schedules to inform the creation of the staff development programme. This will ensure that all staff and students are ready to use the new VLE in 2019. Staff on all online and some blended programmes will undergo training first, followed by staff on the remaining blended and f-2-f programmes. The training plan will be published once the consultation process is complete. Teaching in the new VLE will commence on 1st August 2019.

11th June 2018

VLE procurement timeline

The VLE procurement timeline has been agreed. We should know the outcome of the mini competition by July 2018.

21st May 2018

Procurement

John Smith and Andy Brown have had the first meeting with APUC and are agreeing the fast track timeline for procurement to allow the maximum time for staff development, student training and migration before the implementation of the new VLE in August 2019. Information will be published in News, here and (for staff) in Yammer.

23rd April 2018

Update on the first phase of the VLE Review

We'd like to thank the staff and students for their time, contribution to and engagement with the first phase of VLE review process. The outcomes of the various consultation activities led to number of recommendations that were presented to SMT, the Academic Council and the Partnership Council. The decision is that the university enters a ‘mini competition’ via the APUC framework to procure the VLE. APUC will be commissioned to assist with the process on 5th April. Updates will be posted on Yammer, the VLE Review Website and through the normal University communication channels.

4th April 2018

 

Newsletters

 

Background

 

Since the last VLE review that took place in 2006/07, the university has been operating a single Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) based on Blackboard and associated learning technologies, for example Blackboard Collaborate, Blackboard Mobile, Mahara, Medial Video Streaming and Office 365.

In line with the recommendations of the 2006/07 review LIS and L&T have maintained a watching brief in VLE development over this 10-year period. The following developments now necessitate a formal review:

  1. The institution’s Blackboard VLE contract expires at the end of July 2019.
  2. APUC has determined that Blackboard’s status as a sole supplier is no longer valid under procurement regulations and have introduced a new procurement framework agreement in April 2017.
  3. Blackboard plans to replace Blackboard Learn with Blackboard Ultra – a complete product redesign

In meetings held between August – October 2016, SET, QAEC and HEPPRC agreed that based on the circumstances described above and the university’s requirement for more flexible modes of delivery (with a focused reliance on synchronous communications) a review will be undertaken during the autumn and winter of 2016-17. This will evaluate the institutional VLE (FE and HE) provision and associated technologies informed by strategic drivers, delivery models, pedagogy, and student requirements.

The review should lead to the implementation of a flexible learning environment suited to the institution’s tertiary educational needs and requirements, thus future proofing fully online and blended curriculum delivery.

The results of the review will be part of a formal submission presented to relevant committees to enable an informed selection of an institutional VLE.

Note: teaching will continue in Blackboard until July 2019. If the decision is taken to move to a new VLE there will be a planned migration process

 

Staff

Test the VLEs

The four VLE vendors have provided sandboxes for staff to test the VLEs. LIS has uploaded content and the vendors have also provided content. Staff are invited to test all of the functions of the VLE

When we reach the formal procurement process we will be seeking volunteers from staff and students to work on a prescribed set of activities. If you would like to access the sand boxes or volunteer to join the testing group please contact UHI's Servicedesk. Please use the Subject "VLE review sandbox".

 

Yammer group

Staff may post questions and comments to the VLE review consultation group on Yammer. If you have not used Yammer before please see Yammer on Office 365.

VLE videos

LIS have created four short videos demonstrating the main features of the four VLEs:

VLE trials

You can try the four VLEs at:

John Smith has requested UHI sandbox space from all four suppiers and LIS is in the process of setting these up. Teaching material will be loaded into each VLE and there will be a prescribed set of activities that you can follow to get an idea of ease of use.

VLE demonstrations

 

There are four VLE suppliers in the VLE APUC framework (Blackboard, Canvas, D2L and Moodle). They gave live demonstrations in September. If you were not able to attend the demonstrations please view the recordings and send feedback to vlereview@uhi.ac.uk:


Blackboard Ultra and Blackboard Ally

Canvas

D2L

Synergy Learning Moodle


 Each vendor also has online demonstrations:

 If you have any questions please contact vlereview@uhi.ac.uk

 

Students

VLE trials

You can try the four VLEs at:

When we reach the formal procurement process we will be seeking student volunteers to work on a prescribed set of activities.

VLE features

LIS have created four short videos demonstrating the main features of the four VLEs:

VLE demonstrations

There are four VLE suppliers in the VLE APUC framework (Blackboard, Canvas, D2L and Moodle). They gave live demonstrations in September. If you were not able to attend the demonstrations please view the recordings and send feedback to vlereview@uhi.ac.uk:


Blackboard Ultra and Blackboard Ally

Canvas

D2L

Synergy Learning Moodle


 Each vendor also has online demonstrations:

 If you have any questions please contact vlereview@uhi.ac.uk