If BUCS hosted, what would we do?

A number of external projects are being discussed which would involve BUCS offering a Moodle hosting solution. So if they did, how would e-learning be involved? what benefits would there be to our users? Note … there are a number of risks for us (e-learning) which I’ll document offline 🙂

To start with, the model would be BUCS buy in our skills on running the Moodle application and staff training. So the standard service we’d offer to BUCS is;

  • installing Moodle – either the current stable version we are on, or on before. Note, if more than one hosting service then they are all on the same version.
  • migrating any content – if there is content on our existing service we’ll migrate this across. If the content is on another server (ie., not hosted at Bath), we’ll advise. Or charge as a separate work package
  • staff training for their Administrators. The Moodle install would be vanilla, therefore, it is not connected to any user management database. hence, courses and accounts will need to be created and managed locally. This would be best through csv uploads. Within the package we’d provide 1 days training for their administrators to become accustomed with the software and complete tasks. If they need it connected to an external user record system this would be charged as a separate work package
  • customisation. developing an appropriate theme would be included. This will be managed through offering a few out of the box themes, and changing the colour pallette, and including logos
  • monthly community merges – keep the software up to date

What it would not include;

  • staff development – they’d be directed to our FAQs, How Tos and Case Studies. If they’d want staff development (CPD-esk) this would be charged as a separate work package
  • monitoring and reporting – they’d use the GUI. If they need more extensive reporting (via sql) these would be charged as a separate work package
  • help desk support outside of the named administrators (who we have previously trained)
  • any integration of Moodle with a third party (via a block)

At the end of the year we’d need to look into software upgrade (to keep all the versions inline)

BUCS would be expected to provide these services not on our Moodle Servers – the University service must be isolated from the hosting solution

What would be in it for us? How would our users benefit?

  • there should be an improvement in the performance, testing and architecture. The more services they offer, they need to introduce load balancing, performance testing etc., this will have positive impacts on the service provided to staff and students at the University.
  • cross fertilisation of ideas between all the different installations. For instance, some hosted services might use Moodle in a way which is not common to the way we use it. however, we can benefit from there experiences

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