Closure Report

Project Summary

The service launch was on time, matched the scope within the original plan and was met with a positive response across the campus. 

Additional activities such as the Student Helper initiative and School Replay Support brought extra value to the transition launch.

Media Hopper Replay has been successfully placed into service.   Huge thanks to all involved in the project for completing such a task while maintaining business as usual and other project initiatives.

Links to each of the workstream Objectives and Deliverables are below:

Rooms

Software

Integrations

Auth

Rollout

Service

 

Analysis of Resource Usage IS Apps:

Staff Usage Actual: 40 days (39.4 rounded up).

Note: PM time was not included as it was paid at 0.9FTE directly by Learning Teaching and Web to IS Applications.

If PM time is included IS Apps days would be 147 (146.51 rounded up).

Outcome:

ASTA recorded IS Applications time was far less than originally thought for Phase 1 as less development resource was utilised.   The majority of this reduction was due to the work being done within IS Apps Service Management and ITI.  The email alias uun@ed.ac.uk was introduced.  As Echo360 used the email as the primary identifier the implementation of uun@ed.ac.uk brought enormous simplification to our implementation process.    Thanks to those teams for driving that change.

Further work is being done to collate the days used across IS and this is being reflected in the budget at Programme Level.

 

Success Stories and Lessons Learned

What has gone well

Further notes

Delivery of a full lecture recording service

A full-service network covering central IS and the colleges was delivered alongside comprehensive training and a plan to encourage innovation with lecture recording.  The delivery achieved was more than a technology installation which is notable given the timescale for phase 1.  

A good example of this is the devolved admin network put in place by the service team before the launch and the subsequent ability for local admins to assist with the scheduling of lecture recordings once we had moved into teaching.

Close and effective collaboration across the project team and with key departmental stakeholders.

It was felt by all that the successful delivery of phase 1 of the project was determined hugely by the fact that the team(s) could work effectively in what was an extremely high-pressure and demanding environment.  There was an awareness and willingness to make this implementation happen.  A good example was the implementation of the uun@ed.ac.uk email address done outwith the scope of MLE003.

The relationships built across IS and colleges will be carried forward into service and planning for phase 2 of lecture recording where time will not be such an enemy.

Effective communications

Over the course of phase one it has been critical to establish and develop relationships with Communications contacts in schools and the wider University. This has allowed for a more tailored message about the programme and helped to boost engagement with key areas. 

The newsletter was particularly effective and well received. An example of its value would be in relaying the messages about microphones.  Appropriate microphone use has been identified across institutions as a problem area for lecture recording.  Effective messaging through the communication plan has played a part in minimising the occurrence of those issues at launch.

Quick reactions

The team responded to any issues that arose both quickly and effectively. Part of this was down to the co-location of the software and hardware service teams at the start of term.

Successful delivery with minimal issues

Even with such demanding timescales lecture recording technology is performing well – minimal issues/support calls. The system, training and communications have been effective and the programme has received Positive feedback from forums such as the Academic user group. Echo360 were onsite for the 1st week of teaching and stated this was the smoothest deployment they had witnessed.

Fitted more than the specified number of rooms

An initial commitment of 114 rooms was made with regards to phase one of the project. However – even with the hugely challenging timescales – there are now approximately 140 rooms which are enabled for lecture recording.

Student Helpers

More than building awareness the student helper initiative provided support for academics, with several instances where the helpers kicked off ad-hoc recordings for academics.  One course went as far as requesting (through support) that the helper attended the start of their lectures in week 2.

The support teams also reported the helper initiative was ‘very beneficial’.

Adaptive training

The rollout workstream delivered excellent engagement through the two training strands.  Strand 1 covered preparing for lecture recording.  This strand had the challenging task of delivering training 2 months before the launch of the service.  Strand 2 covered delivering lectures and began delivering 2 weeks in advance of the service launch.

Both strands were well attended, received positive feedback and delivered training in person, online hard copies and videos.  Feedback responses were used to adapt training where necessary and were regularly fed back to the service team. 

General improvements to teaching spaces

Signage was revamped, interactive lights were put in place and phones were installed in rooms.  A good example of the ‘full service’ that was delivered.

Combined Operational Level Agreement (OLA)

The combined OLA uniquely covered support teams across different division of Information Services and a major success of this exercise has informed what changes to support structures should be considered for the expansion to 400 rooms.

Good governance

The programme structure worked in a positive manner with the Implementation Steering Group empowered to provide project sign off every 2-4 weeks and escalate to a board who were then freed to take a broader perspective on lecture recording rather than be embroiled in the day to day of an implementation delivering at an unprecedented speed.

Piloting Services

Auto Scheduling of lecture recordings and Chalkboard recordings have been in pilot alongside the service launch.  Both have provided the new service with some of its most notable feedback.

 

 

Lessons

Further notes

Audio levels and tech in the rooms

All institutions that have installed lecture recording have observed that audio issues are the main cause of lecture recording failures in quality.  Although good communications and signage have mitigated this somewhat at the university, there have still been issues that have seen the initial sound level in a handful of rooms reworked.  The lessons here will be fed into the installation plans for phase 2.

The ability to react quickly to audio issues and more general AV concerns in rooms also points out one of the benefits of lecture recording for the support team in that quality can be checked online quickly and easily.  The team can now take to the time to check AV quality.

Compressed timelines and demands on people

The timeline for phase 1 followed on from the compressed timeline of the procurement.  In all we went from zero, through a complicated procurement and a demanding implementation of a full service in eleven and a half months.  Almost all staff were not dedicated solely to lecture recording.  Staff were having to cover the increasing demands of the project with business as usual work. 

Sign off was required at an accelerated rate which felt out of kilter for some service owners when compared to the timelines of other work.   

Although the procurement and implementation timeline given on the 26th of September 2016 by University Court is unlikely to be repeated, if it should be then a review of key stakeholder’s responsibilities should be done to make sure a healthy work life balance is promoted.

Scheduling and setting up the back office to match our requirements

The timeline, complexity of the implementation and the late signing of the contract gave the team a very narrow window within which to analyse and prepare the service. 

The launch was successful.  Inside the project missteps when made because of the three points above would cause high stress and additional demand on the team.  The example of this was setting up the back office of the service to match the expected workflows of lecture recording.   Our requirements in this specific space were not well enough defined, early enough on.

Continued analysis of phase one issues/errors

This will be significant for future phases of the project given the increase in the number of rooms being fitted with the technology, the volume of classes being recorded and the increase in complexity of future use-cases e.g. automated recordings, flipped classrooms etc.

Auto scheduling questions

Although successful we will take the feedback on scheduled recordings and ask course organisers and course secretaries the correct questions when rooms bookings begin for phase 2.  Communications will be done through the timetabling unit as part of communication processes that already exist as wee align business processes between the timetabling and lecture recording service teams.

Universal definition of terms

A source of confusion in phase one of the project was the lack of an agreed & unified definition of key terminology – ‘schedule’ or ‘group’ can both mean different things to different individuals/areas. To eliminate this and help reduce misunderstanding it would be a benefit to create a formal Glossary of Terms which would then be maintained on an on-going basis and can be referenced or linked to at any point to provide clarity.

Engagement with key areas at the earliest possible time

Because of the constricted nature of our implementation timeline engagement with some key stakeholders across the university (although done as early as could have been) felt ‘late in the day’ for some. This had the effect of placing an increased pressure on communications.

The team will enjoy more time to implement future phases and so the difficulties of our phase 1 timeline should be mitigated.

Tailored communications

We should continue to drive communications at school level to ensure the content/message is as specific as can be and to help drive engagement.

Overruns

Teaching time is set at 50 minutes for the standard lecture.  There have been instances of overrunning lectures where the last couple of minutes of a lecture is cut off.  Adjustments within the confines of the technology and the schedule for teaching are being considered at the Programme Board although changing the duration of a lesson would most likely require agreements beyond the remit of an Information Service led Programme Board.

Outstanding Issues

None

Project Info

Project
Lecture Recording Implementation
Code
MLE003
Programme
ISG - Lecture Recording (MLE)
Management Office
ISG PMO
Project Manager
Colin Forrest
Project Sponsor
Anne-Marie Scott
Current Stage
Close
Status
Closed
Project Classification
Transform
Start Date
01-May-2017
Planning Date
n/a
Delivery Date
n/a
Close Date
27-Oct-2017
Programme Priority
1
Overall Priority
Normal
Category
Discretionary