At Cambridge we estimate that we will need 2 technical support people
for the campus (i.e. 20,000 users) to maintain the software/hardware
including sickness and holiday cover, which is similar to our
experience/projection with BlackBoard, CourseWork, Moodle and dotLRN.
Additional resource is planned for contributing back to the code
base, but optional for the incoming institution. Faculty support is
also in addition, but the level required here will vary tremendously
across institutions, according to campus readiness and whether
introduction is a conversion process or a new product introduction
process or enhancing use process.
The key point is that there are minimum levels of support in each of
different skill set areas and it is not a linear projection.
On 22 Feb 2006, at 16:24, Michael Penney wrote:
> Hi Keiko, thanks for the report! Does your Sakai staff member do
> faculty training as well?
> Do you feel that one FTE/1400 users is about the 'right' amount of
> support for Sakai?
> On Feb 22, 2006, at 8:09 AM, Keiko Pitter wrote:
>> Given the recent discussion involving Sakai, thought I'd share
>> College's experience with Sakai.
>> Whitman is a small liberal arts college in rural Walla Walla, WA,
>> with 1400
>> student FTE and an IT department with just 20 staff. Yet, we are
>> in the
>> middle of a successful Sakai pilot. In fact, it looks like we will
>> have a
>> full implementation in fall 2006.
>> We had been using Blackboard for the past six years-just the Basic
>> When faced with the need to either move to the Enterprise version
>> or to
>> pursue another option about 1-1/2 yr ago, we decided to pursue Sakai.
>> Although we could have experimented/piloted with Sakai for free,
>> we joined
>> Sakai Educational Partners Program (SEPP) for $5,000/yr in
>> November 2004 to
>> show our serious commitment to the project. The membership was not a
>> requirement---in fact, there are many institutions that are using/
>> Sakai without joining SEPP or the Sakai Foundation. Just about
>> every process
>> happens transparently in the public forums.
>> Although Whitman College seems to be doing fine with one staff
>> member (with
>> good Java knowledge) supporting this project, there are consultants
>> available who assists smaller institutions with Sakai
>> implementation. I know
>> of one consulting firm that currently supports about 50 institutions
>> throughout the US - all small colleges (2,000-6,000 students). Also,
>> consortia of small colleges are finding Sakai to be a strong
>> platform since
>> it is not simply a course management system, but rather a
>> framework that
>> supports all levels of collaboration, including inter-institutional.
>> While it's too early to discuss TCO for Sakai, I am certain that a
>> supported instance of Sakai will be quite a bit below the cost for
>> Blackboard Enterprise. So far, assessments of faculty and students at
>> Whitman are uniformly positive. The Sakai tools are agnostic to
>> size of
>> school..and the array of tool choices is growing based on the
>> models that we in higher ed need.
>> And for that shameless plug---my Sakai staffer, Mike Osterman, and
>> I will be
>> presenting/sharing our experience at the EDUCAUSE Western Regional
>> Conference on April 24-26 in San Francisco. Our presentation is
>> titled "Can
>> Sakai be implemented at a small liberal arts school?" Do join us.
>> Keiko Pitter
>> Chief Technology Officer
>> Whitman College
>> Walla Walla, WA
>> Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE
>> Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://
> Michael Penney
> LMS Project Manager
> California State University, Humboldt
> [log in to unmask]
> Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE
> Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://
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