ANGEL® 7.3 Implementation Guide
An Introduction to the ANGEL Change Management Framework
6510 Telecom Drive, Suite 400
Indianapolis, IN 46278
www.angellearning.com
Copyright © 2008 ANGEL Learning, Inc.
Last Update for Version 7.3 – April 2008
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Table of Contents
Introduction.................................................................................................................................... 3
Initiate ............................................................................................................................................. 6
Project Lead Tasks........................................................................................................................ 8
Policy Lead Tasks ....................................................................................................................... 10
Communication Lead Tasks....................................................................................................... 16
ANGEL Administrator Tasks ...................................................................................................... 18
Information Technology Lead Tasks ......................................................................................... 20
Education and Training Lead Tasks.......................................................................................... 25
Support Lead Tasks .................................................................................................................... 27
Appendix A: Sample Timeline .................................................................................................... 28
Appendix B: Project Checklist ................................................................................................... 29
Appendix C: Training Resources............................................................................................... 31
Appendix D: Communication Examples ................................................................................... 33
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Intr oduction
ANGEL Learning has provided this document to serve as a basic guide to the
implementation of the ANGEL learning management system (LMS). This implementation
guide identifies project phases using the Implementation Framework described below.
Also defined are many of the key decisions that should be made during each phase to
enable a successful rollout and continuous adoption of ANGEL. The owners of the
decisions have also been identified, but may vary depending on the organization of your
institution. This guide also provides an estimated timeframe for each of the project
phases. A sample timeline is provided in Appendix A.
Implementation Framework
The ANGEL Learning approach serves as a framework with significant latitude for
adjustment based on various factors such as available timeframes, capacity, resource
skill levels, and economic pressures. This framework is based on the Microsoft Solutions
Framework (a best practices guide to planning, building, and deploying projects), results
from our experience, and input from the ANGEL community. This facilitative process
assists our customers on building consensus throughout the project.
The phases shown in the following diagram provide major objectives and milestones for
the implementation team. These phases can be scaled to meet the time pressures of the
project, and can be performed iteratively to build on prior aspects of the implementation.
Throughout the implementation project, frequent and regular communication is essential.
There is (and should be) a healthy tension between scope, delivery date, and quality.
Initiate
Jointly develop
the Project
Charter and the
high-level
project plan.
Design
Define the
requirements,
scope, and
detailed project
plan.
Conduct core
team training
and education.
Develop
Install and set
up the system.
Implement
customizations.
Create training
and education
materials.
Convert existing
courses.
Begin training
for pilot
participants.
10% of time to pilot
40% of time to pilot
50% of time to pilot
3
Pilot
Refine
Conduct a
controlled live
environment
test.
Make revisions
based on
observations
and feedback.
Continue
instructor
training.
Prepare for
rollout in the
next term.
Create/convert
courses.
Obtain
feedback.
One term
Launch
Roll out and
support the
solution.
Continue review
and refinement
process from
term to term.
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Initiate
This phase consists of a cooperative cross-sectional team, with members of
administration, IT, and faculty working to construct a high-level project plan based on
information gathered by a series of meetings.
Objectives:
a. Deliver a short vision document (1–2 pages) outlining the goals for the
implementation and the desired timeline for the rest of the project.
b. Rough in the major responsibilities of each area.
Timeline: ~10% of total time to pilot.
Design
The design phase produces a definitive list of requirements—a hard scope of what is to
be expected. This phase drives decisions to be made during the project, such as training
and education programs, course conversion and content management, and potential
customizations and integration points. The support model for the distributed or
centralized administration of the system is also defined. The result of this phase is the
final project plan, incorporating milestones and dates for completion.
Objectives:
a. Deliver a list of requirements for the implementation project, including a timeline,
intermediate deliverables, and milestones.
b. Complete foundational training and education for core team members to give
them a context for decisions and activities (i.e., instructor/instructional design
training and technical training).
Timeline: ~40% of total time to pilot.
Develop
The development phase is the execution of the blueprint laid out during the design
phase. The system should be ready to be used for the pilot at the end of this phase.
Objectives:
a. Install and set up the system.
b. Develop integration programs and procedures.
c. Implement customizations.
d. Create training and education materials.
e. Begin converting existing courses.
f.
Begin training of pilot end users.
Timeline: ~50% of total time to pilot.
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Pilot
In this controlled yet live test environment, a limited number of participants are asked to
use ANGEL and provide feedback on the system and policies. Feedback is incorporated
into the ANGEL configuration prior to the system-wide rollout.
Objectives:
a. Conduct a controlled live-environment test.
b. Obtain feedback and incorporate appropriate changes into the material.
c. Continue instructional designer/instructor training.
d. Continue creating/converting courses to be launched.
Timeline: One term.
Refine
This phase is a continuous process of incorporating product upgrades and
customizations as well as policy changes in order to better serve the end users. The
refinement phase takes feedback from users, prioritizes their requests, and matches
suggested changes with the goals of the project. If the requests are deemed appropriate,
the design, development, pilot, and launch phases should be reused.
Objectives:
a. Make revisions based on observations and feedback.
b. Prepare for rollout in the next term.
Launch
In this phase, the final configuration is deployed to all users, training is completed, and
course migrations are prepared for live instruction. The support network should be
completed and in place for the initial launch to support the entire institution.
Objectives:
a. Roll out and support the solution.
b. Continue review and refinement process from term to term.
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Initiate
During the initiate phase, the framework for the entire project is established. A project
lead is designated who defines the personnel required to implement the application
successfully. The Project Charter is established to guide the rest of the project.
Project Lead
To ensure ownership and successful implementation of the solution, we recommend that
a project manager be identified to drive the overall effort. While such an approach may
seem intuitive, this critical success factor is often overlooked by many organizations.
Benefits of this approach include higher ownership of the solution, knowledge transfer
for long-term gain, and greater commitment as a whole.
Project Team
In this document, the areas of responsibility have been divided by task. The size of your
project team will depend on your institution. Appendix B provides a checklist with the
high-level tasks and areas of responsibility for each member of the team. Those areas
are as follows:
•
Project Lead: Overall responsibility for the project. The project lead has the
authority to make any decision required for the project.
•
Policy Lead: Owns the finalization of policies with regard to the project.
•
Communication Lead: Responsible for communication within the project team
and to the institution as a whole.
•
ANGEL Administrator: Responsible for configuring the ANGEL system and
policies. The ANGEL administrator also serves as escalation contact for ANGEL
support issues.
•
Information Technology Lead: Responsible for designing, setting up, and
maintaining the environment for ANGEL. The Information Technology Lead also
may be responsible for customizations to the system.
•
Education and Training Lead: Responsible for defining the instructional
techniques and guidelines for the institution, and for ensuring that all instructional
designers, faculty, and students are trained in the use of ANGEL.
•
Support Lead: Responsible for creation of the support policies, operation
procedures, and knowledge base. The support lead is also the first-level support
for questions from instructional designers, faculty, and students.
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Project Charter
The requirements documents developed during the evaluation and purchasing process
may be used as a starting point for the Project Charter. The document should contain a
high-level overview of each of the following areas:
•
Goals, objectives, and key stakeholders
•
Scope definition
•
Approach/methodology to accomplish the work
•
Deliverables
•
Roles and responsibilities
•
Acceptance criteria
•
Work plan (including activities and resources assignments)
•
Communication plan
•
Desired timeline
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Pr oject Lead Tasks
Many of the critical implementation decisions will be made during the design phase of
the project. Following is a list of the major objectives for the project lead:
Objectives:
a. Monitor overall project progress.
b. Assemble project team and leaders.
c. Attend ANGEL training.
d. Prioritize items to be implemented in each project phase.
e. Determine key deadlines and dates.
Monitor Overall Project Status
As in any project, the project lead has the responsibility of monitoring the progress of the
entire project. The method of monitoring varies depending on the institution, but may
include periodic meetings, email updates, and/or use of a project management software
tool.
Assemble Project Team
As discussed earlier, we recommend the organization shown in the following diagram.
Depending on your institution’s size and structure, the actual number of resources
involved may vary, but all these tasks must be covered. Each team member must have
the authority to make the decisions for his or her area of responsibility, and be able to
work with the other team members in a manner suitable to the overall goals of the
project.
Project Lead
Monitor overall project
progress.
Plan and manage the
project (facilitate meetings).
Review and sign off on
project deliverables.
Policy Lead
Comm. Lead
Determine system policies
and configuration settings
for ANGEL.
Determine data integration
approach, term rollover
process, and schedule.
Define migration plan.
IT Lead
Design and develop the overall
technical solution.
Ensure that ANGEL is operating
effectively.
Tailor ANGEL to meet institutional
requirements.
ANGEL Admin.
Determine approach for
communication within the
project teams, and for
gathering and reporting
information from all users.
Configure ANGEL to match
system policies.
Communicate with
administrators, faculty, and
students with regard to
project status, training, and
important dates.
Provide support to ANGEL
users.
Educ. & Training Lead
Serve as an escalation
contact for support issues.
Process SIS (integration)
tasks.
Support Lead
Define instructional techniques
and guidelines that the institution
will implement as best practices.
Serve as the advocate for
operations, product support, and
Help Desk.
Determine user community
requirements and user education
needs.
Design and implement support
and operations procedures.
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Each area may have one or more individuals contributing. If multiple campuses are
involved, we recommend that representatives from each campus be consulted by team
leads, in order to provide campus-specific voices in the process. Ideally, the project will
also have representation from the stakeholders in the project (instructional designers,
faculty, students, and so forth).
Attend ANGEL Training
The project lead should attend ANGEL training early in the project to help the project
decision makers understand how ANGEL works. The project lead should attend these
courses:
•
ANGEL Online Administrator Training
•
ANGEL Online Instructor Training
If the project lead cannot attend all of the training sessions, it is important that someone
from the project team attend the training sessions in the project lead’s place and
translate technical aspects into the appropriate policies for your institution.
Note: For information regarding additional ANGEL training offerings, see Appendix C of this
document.
Prioritize Items
During the design phase, a list of tasks will be developed. The project lead must
determine which items will be incorporated into each phase, based on the project’s
objectives, budget, timeline, and available resources. This process is continuous
throughout the life of the project as new requests come in.
Determine Key Deadlines and Dates
The project lead (with input from the other areas) must determine the final project
timeline. Following are some of the important deadlines:
•
Installation
•
Configuration
•
Pilot training
•
Pilot
•
Launch training
•
Final configuration
•
Production launch
Deadlines and their importance must be communicated to the other team leads so that
the project can proceed on schedule. If any deadline is in jeopardy during the project,
this fact should be communicated to the team so that appropriate alternatives can be
implemented as soon as possible.
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Policy Lead Tasks
Most of the policy tasks are completed during the design phase and determine the focus
and direction for the other team members throughout the remaining phases of the
implementation. The policy lead seeks input and representation from each of the other
leads to arrive at the best policies for the stakeholders and institution.
Objectives:
a. Determine system policies and configuration settings for ANGEL.
b. Identify ANGEL system editors and support providers.
c. Determine data-integration approach (account creation, enrollment, and so on).
d. Define term rollover process and schedule.
e. Define migration plan (if applicable).
Determine System Policies and Configuration Settings
The ANGEL environment installs with default system policies that may need to be
modified to meet your institutional needs. System policies are generally configured
based on the system rights level of the user. Therefore, enabling student access to a
system tool also enables the tool for all users with system rights higher than that of
student (staff, faculty, and so on).
Tip: System policies can be configured based on account group affiliation. This approach keeps
the policies from applying to all users.
Commonly modified system configuration policies and settings include the following:
User account creation. Any user with editing rights within a course or group can create
new user accounts from within the course or group. Consider restricting user-account
creation rights if you intend to automate or batch-create the user accounts, or plan to
require a more formal user-account creation process.
Note: The ANGEL license agreement is based on the number of active user accounts on the
system; therefore, it may be advisable to limit access to the account creation tool.
Course and group creation. Students and faculty can create community groups, and
faculty can create courses, by using the Create a Course and Create a Group options
located on their personal home page. Consider restricting access to these tools if you
plan to batch or automate the course creation process, or if you intend to require a more
formal course/group creation process. You also can restrict the number of courses or
groups that authorized users can create.
File upload quotas. Increasing or decreasing the default 10 MB per user quota setting
directly impacts your server hard drive capacity requirements. File quotas can be
uniquely configured by system rights (faculty, student, etc.), account group, or per user.
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Roster management. Any user with editing rights within a course or group can add,
edit, or delete roster entries from a course or group. Consider restricting roster
management rights if you plan to automate or batch the roster enrollment process, or
you intend to require a more formal roster enrollment process.
Public tools. The ANGEL login page provides public access to several tools, including
Library Resources, Course Search, and People Search. Consider restricting access to
one or more of these tools to restrict course, group, or student information from being
viewed by unauthenticated users. Public tools also can be disabled, renamed, or
redirected to other web-based resources or tools.
Note: Course, group, and student information (other than name, title, organization, etc.) will not
display in the Course Search, Group Search, or People Search tool results for unauthenticated
users unless the information intentionally has been made viewable to unauthenticated guests.
Academic codes and levels. The ANGEL application allows you to rename the default
academic levels (Campus, School, and Department) to match the terminology used by
your institution. In addition, the system can be configured to display full titles for each
academic code (for example, display “School of Liberal Arts” instead of “SLA”) and can
even filter course search and creation tools to display only select codes.
Tip: Standardization of academic codes and levels is especially important in ANGEL to restrict
instructor access to repositories, master courses, content templates, and content development
macros. Restrictions are based on campus, school, department, and course code information.
Branding of ANGEL environment. You can customize the ANGEL environment by
changing the title and banner image for the login page, or use the System Theme Editor
to change background colors, styles, and fonts to match those of your institution’s home
page. You also can embed the ANGEL login fields directly into an existing home page or
portal page.
Tip: Branding can be extended further to provide a different look-and-feel based on domain
settings or account groups.
Account groups and domain settings. Account groups and domain settings allow the
configuration of unique system policies and settings based on account group affiliation
(account groups) or based on the web address used to access the ANGEL environment
(domain settings). Therefore, you can specify unique system policies, branding, and
settings for different campuses, districts, programs (non-credit, credit, Adult Ed,
outreach, etc.), and user roles (faculty, students, staff, K-4, 6-8, 9-12, and the like).
Domain settings are unique in comparison with account groups because the domain’s
system policies apply immediately once the user has accessed the domain’s web
address. Consider a scenario in which users access a secondary web address for the
university’s outreach program (for example, http://outreach.myuniversity.edu). The user
would see unique branding and public links for the outreach program. Once logged in,
the user’s access to tools and courses is based on the other system policies that have
been set for the domain.
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In contrast, account group system policies do not apply until the user has logged into the
ANGEL environment. In situations where domain branding and account group–based
system policies are required, account groups and domain settings can be used in
combination to provide the most flexibility. For example, upon accessing the outreach
web address/configuration described above, the user would see the same outreach
branding as any other user accessing the web address; but upon logging into the
environment, a user affiliated with the K-4 account group might be restricted to using a
subset of tools to help focus the younger learner.
Identify System Editors and Support Providers
The ANGEL application supports the creation of system editors, who can be provided
with any subset of system administrator tools. Available tools include user account
manager; course, group, and repository managers, public tool editors (such as public
calendar, public announcements, etc.), and more.
In addition, system administration filters allow the restriction of system editors to access
only particular campuses, schools, departments, or semesters. This option is useful in
designating support providers (system editors) whose access can be restricted easily to
only those courses, groups, and learning object repositories that are affiliated with the
support provider’s campus, school, or department. This delegation of responsibilities
allows the system administrator to focus on system-wide tasks while empowering
campus, school, and department support providers to resolve local support issues.
Determine Data-Integration and Authentication Approach
ANGEL supports a wide array of options for the creation of user accounts, courses, and
roster enrollment. The IT lead should investigate these options and assist the policy lead
in determining the most effective data-integration approach for the implementation.
When determining data-integration processes, it is helpful to consider the following
questions:
Should user accounts, enrollments, and course “shells” be batch-created for
each student and course section?
Batch-creation of user accounts, enrollments, and course shells for each student
and course section eliminates the initial hurdles that a student and instructor
might otherwise face to begin using ANGEL.
By batch-creating the user accounts, enrollments, and course shells, the
instructor needs only to log into the environment (without first requesting a user
account), click the title of the class (to begin adding course content without being
required to create the course shell), and click the Class tab to view a list of all
enrolled students (without being required to enroll each student manually).
Similarly, a student can log in to view a list of enrolled courses and click the
course title to get started (without first requesting a user account or enrollment).
The removal of these barriers helps to promote increased rates of adoption for
new student and faculty users through word-of-mouth and campus
announcements.
Do users already have assigned usernames/passwords? If so, do they log in via
NT domain, Active Directory (ADS), LDAP, or POP3 services?
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ANGEL maintains its own database of authentication credentials (username and
password) by default; however, it also can be configured to authenticate against
one or more external methods, including Windows NT or Active Directory (ADS),
LDAP, or POP3. Use of these external authentication methods allows users to
log into ANGEL using the same username and password they use to log into
other campus resources. Because ANGEL does not store the external password
in its database, there is no need for users to synchronize their external
passwords manually with the ANGEL system, and no need for your ANGEL
administrator to send passwords to users.
Define Term Rollover Process and Schedule
Regardless of the data-integration approach used, it is important to define a process and
schedule for course availability and archival. As a best practice, for each new term we
recommend creating a new course shell for each course section. This approach provides
several advantages:
•
Support for course archival of previous terms based on standardized key
information (for example, semester, campus, school, department, course, and
section codes).
•
Early faculty access to a separate course environment to prepare materials for
the new term.
•
Extended student access to finish incomplete course lessons beyond the end of
the current term.
•
Student and faculty access to previous term course materials, grades, and
reports.
A common course availability and archival schedule includes the following items:
•
Date on which faculty will be given access to their courses for course preparation
purposes (for example, six weeks before the start of classes).
•
Date on which students will be enrolled into their courses, so that faculty can
view the roster (for example, two weeks before the start of classes).
•
Date on which students will be given access to their courses (for example, one
week before the start of classes).
•
Amount of time that courses from previous terms will remain available to faculty
and students (for example, the past three semesters will remain accessible to
users).
The dates determined above help to resolve other important timeframes:
•
When initial batch processes must take place to create the new course shells
and create/enroll faculty accounts.
•
When initial batch processes must take place to create/enroll student accounts.
•
How often the system should be updated to reflect student drop/add activity, the
addition of new courses, and changes in course information or instructor of
record.
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When determining the course availability and archival schedule, consider the following
issues:
•
How volatile are student enrollments leading up to the beginning of a new term?
At what point does drop/add activity cease? What specific point in the drop/add
enrollment process would provide the most static moment to perform the initial
batch enrollment process?
•
How much disk space will be required to allow one or more past terms to remain
available to students and faculty? How many terms in the past will faculty require
for easy access to their courses (consider courses taught annually and
biannually, instructors on sabbatical leave, etc.)?
Define Migration Plan
If your institution is migrating from another learning management system, it will be
important to define a migration plan to make the transition as easy as possible for end
users. At a minimum, the migration process generally involves the scheduled import or
transfer of existing course content, and clear communication of key migration dates to
the stakeholders, including students, faculty, and support staff.
Note: For more information regarding communication strategies during implementation, see the
Communication Lead Tasks section of this document.
The transition between learning management systems is generally easiest and most
effective leading up to the beginning of a new term, as opposed to being conducted midsemester. This transition period is also an opportune time to verify or reevaluate your
current naming conventions for usernames, course IDs, and course information; your
goal should be to ensure standardization, uniqueness, ease of use, and support of
ANGEL content repositories.
Key migration process decisions include the following:
•
Will all course content be migrated to ANGEL at the same time, or will specific
courses be migrated in scheduled phases (during the pilot phase, over several
terms, etc.)?
•
Will user accounts and account information be batch-created using an exported
data file from the previous LMS, directly from the student information system
(SIS), or by other means?
•
How long will you keep your current LMS to support the transition phase(s) to
ANGEL?
•
Who will research and test available content migration options to help determine
the institution’s recommended approach?
•
How will the migration information and schedule be communicated to
stakeholders?
•
Who will migrate existing course data (faculty, content developers, instructional
design staff, etc.)?
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Note: ANGEL provides course-content import toolsets for easy migration of Blackboard™ or
WebCT™ course content exported in IMS format. Existing LMS user accounts and user
account information also can be imported into ANGEL from any delimited data-export file.
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Communication Lead Tasks
The communication lead is responsible for maintaining clear and consistent
communication throughout the implementation process.
Objectives:
a. Establish internal communication.
b. Encourage faculty and student adoption.
c. Plan a formal introduction and rollout.
d. Encourage continuous improvement feedback.
Establish Internal Communication
All project team members must be aware of what the other parts of the team are working
on, including any issues or concerns that may arise. To facilitate that communication, the
following items should be considered:
•
•
Meeting minutes:
o Who takes the minutes?
o Who receives copies and how are they distributed?
o How are the minutes archived?
Issues and suggestions:
o What method is used for gathering issues and suggestions?
o How are issues and suggestions prioritized?
Encourage Faculty and Student Adoption
A good communication initiative provides detailed information early in the process to
ease faculty and student concerns. This communication should emphasize what to
expect and the benefits of change to your audience. Recommended communication
channels include the following:
•
A series of “town hall” meetings, conducted at multiple locations, to present the
vision and describe the process.
•
Periodic teleconference events (for large consortiums or institutions), each
hosted from a different member location, to serve as supplemental updates
throughout the process.
•
Email bulletins sent out at the completion of major milestones.
•
FAQ documents posted at a common site to serve as another channel of
information.
Plan Formal Introduction and Rollout
Your institution should take a well-planned approach to rolling out ANGEL to the student
body. For example, begin with an online announcement to introduce students to the new
system. A thoughtful approach informs students of the reason for the change, what to
expect, key dates, FAQs, and to-do lists before the transition. Appendix D provides
some sample communications.
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Encourage Continuous Improvement Feedback
Once the system goes into production, end users will have suggestions for
improvements. The communication lead should set up a protocol by which these
suggestions can be made, gathered, and reviewed. That information should be shared
with the entire project team for prioritization and inclusion in the next refinement cycle.
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ANGEL Administr ator Tasks
In addition to becoming comfortable with all aspects of the ANGEL environment, the
ANGEL administrator is responsible for using the ANGEL administrator tools to apply
system configuration policies, custom environment variables, and branding.
Objectives:
a. Learn ANGEL administrative and instructor toolsets.
b. Apply system configuration policies.
c. Apply ANGEL updates.
Learn ANGEL Administrative and Instructor Toolsets
As the application specialist for your institution, the ANGEL administrator must become
comfortable with both the administrative and instructor toolsets of the ANGEL
application. Several resources are available to the ANGEL administrator:
•
Online Administrator Training and Online Instructor Training
•
Administrator, programmer, and end-user documentation
•
Support portal, including administrator knowledge base
(http://support.angellearning.com)
•
Administrator online community (http://listserv.iupui.edu/archives/angel-l.html)
•
ANGEL Learning support staff (317-333-7300x2, Mon-Fri, 8am-7pm)
The ANGEL administrator should enroll in the Online Administrator Training course as
soon as possible once the ANGEL environment (or a test instance of the application)
has been installed. Many administrators prefer working in a separate test instance of the
application to allow experimentation with the available toolsets without worrying about
affecting the pilot environment.
Note: The Online Instructor Training course does not require installation of ANGEL to be complete
before enrollment. For information regarding additional ANGEL training offerings, see Appendix C
of this document.
Apply System Configuration Policies
Based on the decisions made in the design phase, the ANGEL administrator is
responsible for applying system policy and configuration settings for the ANGEL
environment. Most of these policies can be configured using the ANGEL System
Configuration Manager; additional system configuration can be accomplished through
the use of environment variables and INI settings.
Note: For information regarding how to use the System Configuration Manager, Environment
Variables Manager, and INI Settings Manager, see the ANGEL Administrator Reference. For
information regarding INI settings and environment variables, see the ANGEL Programmer’s
Reference.
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Apply ANGEL Updates
Depending on the institution, the application of ANGEL updates may be the
responsibility of the ANGEL administrator or the IT lead. ANGEL updates typically are
released the first Monday of each month. These updates are available in the ANGEL
administrator console. We recommend that each update be installed soon after its
release.
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Infor mation Technolog y Lead Tasks
The primary role for the IT lead during the design phase is to determine system
requirements for the pilot and final production environment, and to research other ITrelated tasks that have an impact on the design and development phases.
Objectives:
a. Determine server and network configuration requirements.
b. Investigate data-integration and authentication options.
c. Develop database and file server backup and maintenance plans.
d. Purchase and install hardware, operating system, SQL Server, and ANGEL.
e. Test and evaluate server performance.
Determine Server and Network Configuration Requirements
The ANGEL environment is implemented as an Internet Information Server (IIS) web
application, on a single server or in a session-aware, load-balanced configuration with
two or more web servers. The ANGEL application is composed of SQL Server
databases, a set of Active Server Pages (ASP) scripts, custom DLL components, and
files uploaded into the environment by end users. With the exception of binary files
uploaded by end users, all data for the environment is stored in the ANGEL database.
The ASP script framework provides session-state management and acts as a host for
the custom ANGEL DLL components.
In a production environment, the ANGEL database and IIS web application should be
run on separate servers to optimize system tuning and increase data security. For very
high-volume implementations, the database file system can be tuned to provide optimal
performance. Redundancy at the database layer can be accomplished using SQL Server
data-replication services or hardware clustering. Typically, database servers should be
dual- or quad-processor machines. Extremely active sites (with 100,000 or more users)
may require an eight-processor machine for fast response times.
When web server load balancing is used, a shared file system must be implemented to
store files uploaded by end users. This shared file space can be implemented on a
network-attached storage (NAS) system. The shared directory is linked to and from all
the web application servers by means of a virtual directory that references the shared
folder.
When determining server and network configuration requirements, consider the following
questions:
How many users will be using the system in two years?
We recommend basing system requirements on projections of the anticipated
number of active users and active courses one to two years into the future. File
and database space requirements depend on how much historical data is kept
live on the servers versus being stored elsewhere (such as in network-attached
storage).
The following formula shows the general rule for calculating file space needed:
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2 MB x (number of active users)
10 MB x (number of active course sections)
Database space required
For example, 10,000 active users and 1,000 active course sections would require
approximately 30 GB of file space.
For database space requirements, use the following assumptions:
•
•
•
Web-enhanced courses:
Online-only courses:
User account:
10 MB database space
50 MB database space
20 KB database space
For example, 10,000 user accounts would need 200 MB, and 1,000 active course
sections would need from 10 to 50 GB.
How many past terms will remain accessible on the server at any one time?
This total does not affect the CPU and memory requirements of the server, but it
does impact the amount of disk space you will need for the database and file
systems. For example, based on the estimates above, to leave 1,000 course
sections per term accessible for three terms would require an additional 10 GB of
file space, and an additional 30 to 150 GB of database space.
Do instructors/students have special disk space needs (extensive use of highresolution imaging, video, etc.)?
Institutions that make extensive use of video content, high-resolution images, etc.
(such as online arts colleges and medical schools) should modify estimates for
required file space per course to account for the average course size. Using
ANGEL learning object repositories is recommended for commonly referenced
media content to reduce the amount of redundant data stored on the file server.
What RAID configuration will best suit the OS and data drives?
We recommend RAID 1 or RAID 5 configurations on both web and database
servers to ensure uptime in the event of a hard drive failure. RAID 5
configurations are ideal, as they provide means to increase available space by
adding hard drives.
Note: For more information regarding system configuration requirements, see the System
Requirement Guidelines .
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Investigate Data-Integration and Authentication Options
The ANGEL application supports a wide array of options for the creation of user
accounts, courses, and roster enrollment. It is the role of the IT lead to investigate these
options and help the policy lead to determine the most effective data-integration
approach for your implementation. When determining data-integration processes, it is
helpful to consider the following questions:
Does your enrollment database or student information system support the export
of user accounts, enrollment, and instructor-of-record information?
Course creation, user account creation, and user enrollment can be performed
as batch processes by using the Batch Enrollment/Account Creation and Text
Import Wizard ANGEL toolsets. This technique works on any format of delimited
data file. Similar batch processes can be used to update the system to reflect
student drop/add activity, changes in user account information, etc.
Note: Course creation, user account creation, and user enrollment can also be performed
by the instructor, system administrator, or system editor using a one-by-one approach.
Instructors can also batch-enroll students or enable students to self-enroll into a course or
group.
To increase the reliability, accuracy, and efficiency of data integration, these
processes can be automated using the optional ANGEL Extended Enterprise
Integration (XEI) software package to perform real-time or near-real-time
synchronization of ANGEL with your student information system or database.
Note: For more information regarding the use of the Batch Enrollment/Account Creation
and Text Import Wizard toolsets, see the ANGEL Administrator Reference available on the
ANGEL support portal.
Do users already have assigned usernames/passwords? If so, do they log in via
NT domain, Active Directory (ADS), LDAP, or POP3 services?
ANGEL maintains its own database of authentication credentials (username and
password) by default; however, it can be configured to authenticate against one
or more external methods, including Windows NT or Active Directory (ADS),
LDAP, and POP3. Using these external authentication methods allows users to
log into ANGEL using the same username and password they use to log into
other campus resources. Because ANGEL does not store the external password
in its database, there is no need for users to synchronize their external
passwords manually with the ANGEL system.
Develop Database and File Server Backup and Maintenance
Plans
As with any mission-critical application, the ANGEL environment should have a backup
and maintenance plan to support rapid system recovery in the case of hardware failure.
Two steps are needed to complete a full backup of the ANGEL application:
1. Back up the ANGEL SQL Server database (using scheduled SQL Server
database backups).
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2. Back up the ANGEL file system (AngelSites directory) and database backup files.
(These backup processes typically should be scheduled daily, at a time early
enough to be completed prior to peak use time.)
When developing web server and database backup and maintenance plans, consider
the following questions:
Will you use the standard SQL Server backup and Windows Server NT Backup
utilities to back up the file and database servers, or will you use a third-party
utility such as Symantec (formerly VERITAS) Backup Exec?
Many administrators find the standard SQL Server backup and Windows Server
NT Backup utilities to be effective in backing up the ANGEL database and file
server, allowing easy restoration of the resulting backup files.
Third-party backup utilities such as Symantec (formerly VERITAS Backup Exec)
can provide more robust functionality, ease of use, and the ability to back up an
SQL database directly to a tape or network drive. (SQL Server backup must write
to the local drive before being backed up to a secondary location.)
Standard SQL Server backup and Windows Server NT Backup utilities provide a
cost advantage, though, as they are included with your database and server OS
licenses at no additional cost.
Will backups be stored to a different network drive or to tape?
It is a good idea to back up the database and file data to a secondary location
such as a network drive or tape backup system. If a tape backup system is used,
backup tapes can be taken offsite to provide a higher level of protection.
What type of backup is recommended and how long should backup files be kept?
Many institutions create nightly incremental backups of the file system while
performing a normal (or full) backup once per week. The SQL Server backup
utility always creates a full backup. The resulting backup files commonly are kept
for a period of several days to several weeks (depending on the institution’s datarestoration needs) before deletion or recycling.
What time of day/evening should the backup procedures be conducted?
The amount of time you will need for a scheduled backup depends on the size of
your database and the amount of time required to write to a tape or network
drive. If you are using the SQL Server backup utility, the file system backup
should be scheduled to run after the SQL Server backup has completed.
The ANGEL administrator may consider adding a global announcement to
the ANGEL site to alert users that the application may not be available or
fully functional during the specified maintenance window. This
arrangement provides a time for the server administrator to apply
server/application updates, and run backup and batch processes that may
slow server performance.
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Purchase and Install Server OS, SQL Server, and ANGEL
To begin this phase of the implementation, the IT lead needs to install the application
server(s) based on the system requirements determined in the design phase. Larger
installations that require the use of clustering and/or load balancing must be configured
before proceeding with the installation of ANGEL. Also, be sure to review the ANGEL
Installation Guide to prepare for installing the ANGEL application.
Test and Evaluate Server Performance
Server performance can be evaluated using several different approaches. For smaller
installations, the pilot itself can serve as an indicator of server/application performance.
However, evaluating server performance during the development phase is preferable.
This plan allows the server administrator to work through potential issues prior to the
pilot phase.
Some institutions find value in conducting a load simulation using a group of 20 or more
users to verify application responsiveness and functionality.
Software-based stress-testing tools, such as the Microsoft Web Application Stress
(WAS) tool, are easy to configure and allow the network administrator to simulate a
heavy traffic load to determine the servers’ maximum traffic capacity.
Note: For more information regarding the Microsoft Web Application Stress (WAS) tool, visit
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;313559.
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Education and Tr aining Lead Tasks
The education and training lead is responsible for learning the ANGEL application,
determining training needs, developing and delivering training sessions for faculty and
students, and updating documentation with custom configurations.
Objectives:
a. Develop expertise in the ANGEL environment.
b. Determine training needs and develop training sessions.
c. Define content development/conversion best practices.
d. Review and update end-user documentation.
Develop Expertise in ANGEL Environment
To prepare for the development of training topics, the ANGEL trainer must become
familiar with student and instructor toolsets. Several resources are available to the
ANGEL trainer:
•
Online Instructor Training course
•
End-user documentation (available for download from
support.angellearning.com)
•
ANGEL knowledge base (support.angellearning.com)
•
ANGEL online community (http://listserv.iupui.edu/archives/angel-l.html)
To jumpstart the learning process, the ANGEL trainer should enroll in the Online
Instructor Training course and review the ANGEL end-user documentation.
Note: For information regarding additional ANGEL training offerings, see Appendix C of this
document.
Determine Training Needs and Develop Training Sessions
Orientation sessions are a good way to introduce new students to login procedures and
the most common application tools. While many institutions find that no additional
training is necessary for students, faculty users generally require a more comprehensive
selection of training topics (due to the greater number of toolsets they use to create
course content, view student reports, and track student grades).
Define Content Development/Conversion Best Practices
Your institution’s instructional design lead and early adopting faculty users are ideal
candidates to research and suggest best practices for course development, sharing of
course content, and conversion of course content from previous course management
systems.
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Learning Object Repositories
ANGEL learning object repositories, master courses, content templates, and HTML
Editor macros allow instructional designers, course coordinators, and instructors to
share instructional content and resources. Access to these tools can be restricted to
courses and groups, based on campus, school, department, and course codes.
Content Conversion
In general, course conversion approaches include the automatic conversion of WebCT™
or Blackboard™ IMS exports (using the ANGEL Import tool), or the creation of the
course from scratch, using existing electronic course materials and ANGEL batch
toolsets. The best approach will vary for each course, depending on the content and
structure of the source course. Importing course content by using the ANGEL Import tool
sometimes requires the imported content to be restructured due to different content
organization approaches among different LMS products.
Note: For more information on WebCT™ and Blackboard™ conversions, refer to the WebCT™
Switcher’s Guide and the Blackboard™ Switcher’s Guide, available on the ANGEL support portal.
Review and Update End-User Documentation
If the project team chooses to configure unique system policies and configurations for
the ANGEL system, the ANGEL documentation will require a review to identify areas
that may need to be revised. If some or all of these system policy decisions are made
early in the design phase, the education and training lead can make notes on the topics
that require revision during the first read-through of the documentation. Other project
members may be able to offer assistance with this task throughout the implementation
project.
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Suppor t Lead Tasks
The role of the support lead involves developing application expertise on the ANGEL
application, developing help procedures, and identifying commonly asked questions.
Objectives:
a. Develop expertise with ANGEL end-user functionality.
b. Define a support issue escalation protocol for ANGEL.
c. Document commonly asked questions.
Develop Application Expertise
The support lead has many resources available to gain expertise on the ANGEL
application. In addition to participating in pilot training sessions, the support lead should
assist with review of the ANGEL documentation, identifying areas to be revised for
institution-specific configurations. The ANGEL knowledge base is another useful
resource. Documentation and the knowledge base are available online at
support.angellearning.com.
Note: For information regarding additional ANGEL training offerings, see Appendix C of this
document.
Define Support Issue Escalation Protocol
The process for resolving user support issues can be made more efficient by escalating
more difficult support issues to support team members who develop expertise with the
ANGEL environment. Ideally, all support members should develop a comfort level with
the application in order to handle common support issues, but be provided with a
documented escalation procedure for issues that require more involved research or
knowledge of the application. Issues that cannot be resolved by the support team should
be escalated to your institution’s designated ANGEL administrator.
Document Commonly Asked Questions
Consider documenting application questions that come up during implementation, as it is
likely that other project team members and future end users will have the same
questions when they begin learning the new application. The resulting document
provides a great start toward creating a knowledge base or frequently asked questions
document for use by the support staff and end users. Further, the resulting set of
knowledge articles can grow over time and help define a base level of end-user support
issues. These issues should be able to be answered using online resources or first-tier
support staff.
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A ppendix A: Sample Timeline
Initiate
Project Kickoff Meeting
Define project schedule.
Complete Project Charter (objectives, constraints, assumptions, roles and responsibilities).
Design
Administrator training.
Instructor training.
Install hardware.
Installation Planning Meeting
Install ANGEL.
Configuration Meeting
Complete and review ANGEL configuration design.
Content Conversion Meeting
Determine and document course cleanup approach.
ANGEL Data integration and Term Administration Meeting
Determine and document ANGEL administration procedures.
Determine user training needs.
Identify support resources.
Develop
Configure ANGEL.
Import/create content.
Develop and review launch communications.
Develop and review training.
Document support procedures.
Pilot
Complete course conversion, cleanup, and review.
Deliver pilot communications.
Deliver training.
Complete ANGEL administration procedures.
Pre-Pilot Status Meeting
Begin pilot.
Refine
Post-Pilot Status Meeting
Refine configuration.
Refine support.
Refine training.
Refine communication.
Launch
Complete course conversion, cleanup, and review.
Deliver launch communications.
Deliver training.
Complete ANGEL administration procedures.
Pre-Launch Status Meeting
Begin launch.
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A ppendix B: Pr oject Checklist
Project Lead
Prepare Project Charter.
Define goals and objectives.
Define scope.
Define project team.
Define timeline.
Develop project plan.
Assemble project team.
Attend ANGEL training.
Confirm goals and objectives.
Prioritize wants and needs against goals and objectives.
Set key deadlines and dates.
Monitor progress of project.
Policy Lead
Determine data-integration approach.
User accounts batch-created?
Enrollments by batch?
Course shells batch-created?
Determine authentication approach.
Define migration plan.
Determine ANGEL system administrators and support providers.
Determine term rollover process and schedule.
Determine system policies and configuration settings.
User account creation.
Course and group creation.
File upload quotas.
Roster management.
Public tools.
Academic codes and levels.
Branding.
Account groups and domain settings.
Communication Lead
Establish internal communication.
Meeting minutes.
Mechanism for issues and suggestions.
Communication between leads.
Encourage faculty and student adoption.
Town hall meetings.
Teleconferences.
Email.
FAQs.
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Announcements.
Continuous improvement feedback.
ANGEL Administrator
Learn ANGEL.
Apply system configuration policies.
Apply ANGEL updates.
Information Technology Lead
Determine server and network configuration.
Investigate data integration.
Define integration with current Student Information System (SIS).
Investigate authentication.
Develop web server and database backup and maintenance plans.
Purchase hardware and software.
Install server OS.
Install IIS.
Install SQL.
Install ANGEL.
Test and evaluate performance.
Education and Training Lead
Develop expertise with ANGEL environment.
Determine training needs and develop training sessions.
Define content development/conversion best practices.
Plan learning object repositories.
Plan content conversion.
Review and update end-user documentation.
Support Lead
Gain application expertise.
Define support issue escalation protocol.
Document commonly asked questions.
Develop end-user policies and procedures information sheets.
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A ppendix C: Tr aining Resour ces
Online Instructor Training
This two-week self-paced training window provides a practical focus on key aspects of
ANGEL for instructors and instructional designers. The course is moderated and
typically requires 15-30 hours to complete. Topics include the following:
•
Content development
•
Effective utilization of assessment and collaboration tools
•
Advanced course design
Onsite or Remote Instructor Training
For groups of up to 12 participants, the full-day onsite workshop provides detailed,
hands-on activities. Topics include the following:
•
Content development
•
Effective utilization of assessment and collaboration tools
•
Advanced course design
An optional remote format is conducted in four sessions, two hours each, using
application sharing and phone conferencing tools. Participants in both formats have
access to the Online Instructor Training course.
Onsite or Remote Advanced Instructor Training
For groups of up to 12 participants with previous ANGEL and course management
system experience, the full-day, hands-on onsite workshop covers selected advanced
topics, including the following:
•
Sharing content using learning object repositories and master courses
•
Personalizing learning paths and enabling dynamic alerts using agents
An optional remote format is conducted in four sessions, two hours each, using
application sharing and phone conferencing tools.
Online Administrator Training
This four-week self-paced training window provides a practical focus on key aspects of
ANGEL for administrators. The course typically requires 15–30 hours to complete.
Topics include the following:
•
User account management
•
Importing to and exporting from the ANGEL database
•
Administration tools
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Introduction to portal customization
Remote SQL Query Training
This hands-on workshop covers the use of SQL Query language, the SQL Query
Manager, and the ANGEL database schema to teach participants how to create custom
reports, troubleshoot user data issues, and more. The SQL Query training course is
conducted in four sessions, two hours each, using application sharing and phone
conferencing tools.
Environment Programming and Portal API
To help programmers to understand and apply the ANGEL application programmer
interface (API) and other customization tools, we offer three one-day courses:
•
Environment Programming
•
Portal API
•
Component API
The Environment Programming class is a prerequisite for the other two courses. This
workshop format focuses learning on specific customization experiences and outcomes
selected by the participants. Due to the nature of these workshops, size is limited to
three participants.
Technical Consulting Services
One of the strengths of ANGEL is its ability to be tailored and enhanced to meet
customers’ specific requirements. Our experienced consultants are available to help you
through all or any part of the implementation process—defining requirements, analyzing
solutions, implementing the solution using the ANGEL APIs and other technologies, and
deploying the tested capability. This type of consulting includes the following common
projects:
•
Single sign-on authentication
•
Custom integration with enterprise systems or applications
•
Enhanced reporting
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A ppendix D: Communication Examples
Introduction letter outlining reasons for change
“For every school that grows, there comes a time when the school facility itself becomes
a limitation. At that point, the school is rebuilt, its peeling wallpaper and leaky ceilings
are repaired, or it moves to some swanky new building across town. Hundreds of
students have sent us suggestions for features they’d like to see implemented at <Your
Institution> (maybe you’re one of them!), and we’ve been listening.”
Assurances that the change will be as seamless as possible
“Every attempt will be made to make this exciting change as seamless as possible for
students and faculty. There will be no major interruption of service. Students can post
assignments or inquiries in the current environment until <Transition Date>, and log in to
retrieve content or email right up to launch day on <Transition Date>. Make sure that you
are aware of all key dates.”
Expectations for completion of an orientation session
“Students must complete the ANGEL Orientation and fill out their new User Profile
before submitting any messages or assignments in classes.”
Direction for familiarization
“What can you do now? Take the time now to get familiar with the important facts, dates,
and policy changes related to this school transition. Get all the facts on the following
pages to make sure that you’re fully prepared for launch day. Have a question? Check
out the FAQ, or email our hotline at <Support Desk>.”
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