Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Plane holts on runway

The launch of the pilot turned out to be a bit disappointing with a few technical problems that could not be resolved as quickly as we hoped. Fortunately the pilot launch coincided with half term and it turned out difficult to contact employers due to them taking time off, or staff needed to initiate contact had time off. This week I am hoping for a more successful story as the technical team work at fixing the last few bugs, and employers start to see the system. Release features are going to be limited but with the technical team still working hard the features will soon be growing. To begin with tools such as forums and calendars will be up and running along with linking to learner information from the university systems and courses run through SURF and Staffordshire University. At this point there is no link to college systems.

The one thing that is bugging me the most at this point is that Staffordshire University give access to tutors teaching Staffordshire awards at partner colleges access to University systems such as email & MyPortal, as they are funded by the university. Unfortunately support staff at the colleges don't not get the same level of access and as such are limited in their access to the support point at this stage, even at a most basic level this raises the question - how can support staff at partner colleges fully support learners on Staffordshire awards at those colleges when they can't use the systems themselves? From a technical perspective is it possible to get lifeRay to look at different LDAP systems to validate support staff rather than use just the university LDAP?

In the meantime I am working with Sam putting the final touches to our Project Update document for JISC - although time is running out on us to get it in before the deadline as Mark will need to take a look before it goes. We also have the monthly project meeting this week so any feedback and comments on the site can be collated there.

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