The VLE Consolidation Programme has completed a number of migrations from bespoke VLE to Blackboard Learn since 2016. This included three projects to migrate content from bespoke VLE to Learn for the Edinburgh Surgery Online (ESO) programmes:

  • PO264 eeSURG VLE Migration (MSc in Surgical Sciences)
  • PO265 ChM VLE Migration (ChM Trauma & Orthopaedics; ChM General Surgery; ChM Urology; ChM Vascular Surgery)
  • PO266 Ophthalmology VLE Migration (MSc Primary Care Ophthalmology; ChM Clinical Ophthalmology)

In August 2018 a decision was made by the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine to change the scope of the above projects to complete the migration of content only and to delay the implementation of Learn for all ESO Programmes until September 2019.

The Learn go-live project will oversee the preparation work to ensure that the ESO Programmes are ready to teach using Learn from September 2019. This will include usability work with students and tutors and engagement with ESO Academic eFacilitators to ensure a smooth transition in September 2019.


This project will oversee the implementation of Learn as the VLE for the MSc in Surgical Sciences, ChM Trauma & Orthopaedics, ChM General Surgery, ChM Urology, ChM Vascular Surgery, MSc Primary Care Ophthalmology, and ChM Clinical Ophthalmology for September 2019.

The overarching objective is to maintain a good student experience of the ESO Programmes and to ensure Tutors are supported in the transition to Learn.

In order to achieve this, this project will:                                                 

  1. Support the ESO team during the transition to Learn
  2. Ensure all ESO courses are ready for teaching
  3. Ensure tutors and students have the information they need to use Learn effectively from September 2019

Out of Scope

Migration of content

All content identified by the ESO team has been migrated from the bespoke VLEs to Learn by Projects P0164, P0265, P0266). Any content that has not been migrated will be managed by the ESO team with the exception of Ophthalmology videos, which are still to be exported from the bespoke VLE to Media Hopper (or alternative)

Assessed Discussions

Should the ESO team reject Learn as a suitable solution for assessed Discussions or other teaching processes/workflows, the identification and implementation of any alternative solution is out of scope for this project

Adaptation of external systems

It is understood that Labyrinth and PathCALs may be reviewed by CMVM but the timescale is unknown at present. Any changes to course content as a result of any changes to these systems is out of scope for this project

Further development of the bespoke VLE platforms

This is not in scope and a development freeze remains in place. Security patching and maintenance will continue and there is an accepted risk that the systems cannot be recovered in the event of failure. A Technology Risk paper outlines the current status and a Disaster Recovery Plan has been agreed. The fundamental failure of bespoke platforms is mitigated by content having been migrated to Learn during 2017-18

Objectives and Deliverables

Objective 1

To agree the tools required to deliver ESO Programmes using Learn

Deliverable 1

An agreed list of tools to be used for each ESO Programme by the end of 2018 (discussions, ePortfolio, reading lists, etc)

Objective 2

To deliver ESO programmes using Learn from September 2019

Deliverable 2.1

All ESO courses in Learn ready to teach from September 2019

Deliverable 2.2

Students, tutors and course organisers have the information they need to use Learn from September 2019

Deliverable 2.3

Communications programme running from late 2018 to provide information about the use of Learn from September 2019 to students and tutors

Objective 3

To decommission the bespoke surgical VLEs

Deliverable 3.1

An agreed decommissioning plan for the three surgical VLEs

Deliverable 3.2

An archive-only version of the three surgical VLEs will be available from Sept 2019 until September 2020, at which point they will be closed permanently


  • The overarching benefit of the project will be to ensure the infrastructure underpinning ESO teaching is resilient and sustainable
  • Learn provides access to a wide variety of tools to support delivery of teaching (e.g. PebblePad, Media Hopper, Turnitin). These can be added to Learn courses easily with no requirement for additional authentication
  • Moving to Blackboard Learn brings the ESO programmes in line with the rest of the organisation, providing a consistent user experience and facilitating cross-programme teaching
  • Learn provides a more sustainable VLE solution, allowing the School to take advantage of centrally provided IS support, training, documentation and consultancy as well as improved service continuity and disaster recovery provision
  • Reduced administrative effort required to support the VLE:

    • Courses and students automatically populated within Learn via a link form the student records system EUCLID
    • Learn can be configured to produce base student analytic data
  • Reduction in support costs, as Learn is funded out of the contribution made by Schools and Colleges to the central IS infrastructure


Success Criteria

  • ESO Programmes will be taught using Learn from September 2019
  • Bespoke VLEs will be archived from September 2019 and fully decommissioned in September 2020

Project Milestones

See Project Plan on Project Sharepoint site



PDF icon ESO go-live Project Milestones 01112018399.25 KB

Project Info

Edinburgh Surgery Online Learn go-live
ISG - Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)
Management Office
Project Manager
Karen Beggs
Project Sponsor
Anne-Marie Scott
Current Stage
Project Classification
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date
Overall Priority