Tuesday, 28 August 2007


Had a meeting this morning to discuss access and management of the forums within lifeRay. The main solution to managing the forums is to focus the information much like we already do in Blackboard. Thus tutors will be managing something they already take control of in the VLE. This way link tutors manage the overall generic work based learning forums and the subject specific forums are managed by tutors involved on the course. In order to ensure that the correct tutors get the right permissions we need to ensure that the right information is collected at registration (and kept up to date by the user). We need to ensure we cover main job roles in each of the institutions and the faculties/departments each institution has.
One bonus would be if we can show the different forums under different areas so that they could be under the generic WBL Support page and then the Learner sub category (and those categories under it) are also displayed under Learners Public area as the main category. This is being investigated by the technical team.
The technical team have managed to investigate further into the use of LDAP within lifeRay and copying data across (very like the tool in HIVE) into a local database and it is looking good. It could be an easier issue than previously thought (thanks to the new version of lifeRay - this should be up on our severs by the end of the week). We are planning a meeting with the Corp. Info people for two weeks time so that we can start looking at linking with their data too.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Timescales and planning

Had a few meetings recently, and will be having a few more, about the functionality of the support point and what will be possible for the end of September. The main one is LDAP authentication of users to access data from the university. We will need learners and tutors to go through this process to prove they are who they say they are. We need some way of verifying the employers now :)
Other than authentication we are looking at different ways of giving access to the forums and prioritising the different functions of the support point. To get everything together at once might be difficult but once the pilot is out functionality can be added as we go along. We do need to think about evaluation after the Christmas holidays to look at what everyone thinks, how often they have used it and also if they have any extra requirements that have not been considered.
Rather depressingly I have had no response from those sector skills councils I contacted about RSS feeds so it is looking like another load of emails.

Monday, 13 August 2007

Moving Closer

After a well rested week off I was busy last week catching up on everything the team had been up to as I missed a team meeting. I have also worked at updating the Google Group with all the registration screen shots and what information will be used for each login.

The project will be using its own database for the pilot phase of the project due to the time/ staff restrictions in place and also due to data protection issues. This is mainly because learners don't have to give employers access to their study information even if they have paid for it. This also allows the database to be used for other purposes in the future (i.e. Careers/ Competitive Workforce/ Marketing etc). It is important that we make it clear to all stakeholders involved in the pilot that the information in the site will be viewable by other users (mentors, learners, employers, tutors etc).

Everyone has given the thumbs up to the project leaflet so copies are now being printed and will be going out to project partners and to university staff.

The HIVE meeting went well, I was able to use it easily to upload some learning objects from the last project, however it was less obvious if IMS packages were used how they would be viewable through VLE's etc. The case studies really helped and also gave other departments ideas on how they would be using the repository.

There was also a meeting with AimHigher as we discussed their involvement in the project pilot phase. It was agreed that their role would be more as advisors with regards to setting up the pilots but they will be in charge of any focus groups.

I have contacted a number sector skill councils, based on their websites, about the possibility of them setting up RSS feeds to both their news and events items.