Oncourse Enhancement and Development Process
The Oncourse enhancement process has been driven over the years by strategic requests from academic units in addition to feedback from individual faculty, staff and students from all Indiana University campuses. Work on selected requests continues while IU explores the future of learning technologies (see next.iu.edu) during a two-year evaluation period. This section explains the suggestion-gathering and prioritization process, roles and membership of committees and additional processes utilized to track a suggestion from origination to implementation.
What's the Status of Current Enhancement Suggestions?
Each year, IU faculty, staff, and students submit hundreds of suggestions for enhancements to Oncourse. For a list of the current status of specific Oncourse enhancement suggestions, see: Oncourse Enhancements Status. Most of the current work on enhancements addresses strategic needs and initiatives at the school and campus level in addition to completing IU’s move from original Tests and Surveys to the new Tests & Surveys tool. Individual suggestions are now being used to inform the evaluation around IU’s future teaching and learning environments being explored in pilots over the next two years (see next.iu.edu for further information about exploring the future of learning technologies).
Suggestions are gathered through an online form (Oncourse Suggestion Form). They are tracked and cataloged through Footprints, Indiana University's enterprise technology support management system. Once a suggestion is cataloged, it is categorized by functional area and weighted (based on occurrences) by the Functional Requirements Committee and is clustered into logical groups to be clarified and expressed in summary material and development requirements. Through an iterative process, these suggestions are passed to the Oncourse Priorities Committee which refers policy issues to the appropriate governance body and makes development recommendations to the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology. Below is diagram of the Oncourse suggestion prioritization process.
Oncourse CL usually has 2 releases per year corresponding with the academic calendar. The summer/fall release is scheduled between spring and summer semesters while the spring release is scheduled between fall and spring semesters. For detailed information about the enhancements planned for upcoming releases, consult Oncourse Enhancements Status.
The Office of the Vice President for Information Technology has steering committees in place to help develop strategies and establish priorities for shared administrative and academic systems. The Oncourse Priorities Committee has specific responsibilities for ensuring thoughtful and timely decisions regarding priorities for Oncourse, IU’s online collaboration and learning system, and for recommending policies to guide its effective use. In light of next.iu.edu, the OPC will also provide guidance to the Learning Technologies Steering Committee regarding any future selection of a new learning management system for Indiana University. Below is a list of current committee members:
The Functional Requirements Committee is comprised of academic, library and technology service providers as well as members of the development team who categorize and review suggestions. This committee initiates an iterative process with users, the Oncourse Development Team and the Oncourse Priorities Committee to establish specific functional requirements for proposed improvements, new features and tools. At the conclusion of the committee's process, a report including development information and functional requirements is prepared for the Oncourse Priorities Committee. The chair of the Functional Requirements Committee serves ex officio on the Priorities Committee. Below is a list of current committee members:
The Development Team is responsible for coding and implementation of approved enhancements. In addition to the primary responsibility of code development, the Development Team is often called on by the Functional Requirements Committee to assist in technical review and in preparing the report to the Oncourse Priorities Committee. This team provides an assessment of feasibility, determines if the required enhancement exists or could be developed in partnership with open source partners, analyzes the possible effect of user interface changes and provides a time (cost) analysis for developing or acquiring the enhancement. A member of the development team sits ex officio on the Functional Requirements Committee as a liaison to manage the information flow between the two committees.