Blog from Jan 19, 2011

Unit needed to select online learning software that could be used with the UC-wide learning management system.

Several software programs would work, so choice was based on recommendations from other departments on campus--especially from one that previously worked with the same "instructional content" expert (non-technical) consultant whom the Unit hired for this current project.

Selected software product turned out to be very difficult to use in a large variety of ways.  Campus and UC-wide technical support for this LMS, e.g. for transferring material in, and adjusting features to work such as built-in email notifications and progress reporting, was very limited. Roll-out included several major glitches, such as unreliable indication of 100% of completion by individual users.  Only with much effort was Unit able to successfully get their locally-developed content to work adequately in the UC-environment.

On the plus side: claims that the selected software product was rated well on "accessibility" for users with disabilities turned out to be true, although one type of test format had to be discarded (column matching).  However, that format doesn't work well for accessibility in any environment.

Requirement: Administrative staff employee IT service user with limited technical skills, wishes to modify current leased campus office phone for hands-free use.

Steps: Browse campus phone service shopping cart, find only expensive wireless equipment, talk to staff in-person to confirm the selected equipment works with the user's phone set and voice connection line.

Results: Select very expensive (approx. $350 wireless) equipment, submit local online ordering form through IST staff website.  IST-Telecomm order, including change to connection service is automatically instigated in background.

Afterwards: Discovered that employee in neighboring cubicle has an unused, very inexpensive, non-bluetooth headset that will work with user's phone.  Cancelled $350 order.  Received email about background voice service activity and responded with cancellation request.