Aorakinet-Cantatech Collaboration Project/VLNC Technical Priorities 2010-2012

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The table below is an attempt to prioritise the Virtual Learning Network's technical requirements for 2010 -2012.

VLNC Technical Priorities 2010 - 2012
Item Impact on Learning Impact on VLNIS Sustainability Urgency (Due by date?) Importance (justifications) Notes / Difficulty
Provide a Mahara service High: ePortfolios enable a structured way to reflect on and plan learning Low - High: High use of VLNIS ePortfolio could provide a case for a sustainable ePortfolio service Mid March 2010 High: An ePortfolio service is required by ICTPDREC and (some) learners My portfolio or own service: We have 2 choices with regards to using Mahara:
  • Install and run the service as part of the VLNIS
  • Take advantage of the (currently) free Mahara service - Myportfolio

Running our own service:

  • ownership we have influence/control over.
  • Able to transfer data in/out easily via export function.
  • Able to monitor usage/cost etc


  • Cost (virtual server?) Time?
  • Potential negative impact on a national eportfolio service

Mahara Service - My portfolio hosting


  • Free cost.
  • Expert hosting available


  • unknown duration of free hosting.
  • uncertain model for joint management (-Richard Wyles has offered to develop a joint
    management model for the service).
  • Potential difficulty over migrating
    data if need to move hosting

Any ePortfolio will be more manageble with SSO.

Provide a single-sign on service for the VLNIS Medium: Schools will be able to manage user accounts and commission users as required. High:  VLNIS  End of Term 2 2010 High: SSO will increase the sustainability and manageability of all VLNIS

Needs to be ESSA compliant yet easily managed by schools.  A flat tree structure with groups for schools /admins.  Probably openldap/fedora type directory (or can ESSA do this?). Will Paul Seiler pay for this?  This service is a kingpin of future VLNIS development.

Functionality Requirements

  • Authentication of users
  • LDAP compliant
  • Accounts can be managed by schools e.g. password changing etc.
  • Association with multiple groups
  • How do we manage account provision/commisioning in the services that use VLN SSO?
Enable a parental portal for MOE Moodles High: Parents will be able to access SMS data about assessment and attendance Low: Little impact on sustainability. End of 2010 Medium: A parental portal is being provided as part of the MLE work.  Our schools will required this.  We cannot allow standalone LMS's to be more functional than clustered LMS's The parental portal is open source.  Management of users will require SSO to be manageable.  Need to investigate system requirements with Catalyst/dataview.
Integrate Moodle with Google Docs High: Provides a collaborative workspace for teachers and learners Low: Little impact on sustainability. End of Term 2 2010 High: A collaborative workspace is required for some VLN courses Looks quite easy to do with little resource required.