Our CampusPress Journey so far...
Online Portfolio Review
In 2015-16, we reviewed our current online portfolio provision. Our existing tool (PebblePad) was heavily used by one subject area but little used elsewhere.
There was interest in our creative subject areas (Film, Music, Performance, Fashion etc) for a ‘real world’ tool that students might use in their future careers e.g. as Freelancers and for a tool that allowed them to be more creative (in terms of aesthetics!). WordPress was seen as a strong option and CampusPress was chosen for a pilot to complement PebblePad.
Approval & funding secured for a small-scale pilot for 2016-17
Pilot (licence) begins
Our pilot licence ran from 1 August 2106 to 31 July 2017. We made it clear to staff that there were no guarantees we would have CampusPress beyond July 2017 so it would be need to be trialed on discrete modules.
Introduction to staff
We ran briefing sessions for staff and signed-up lecturers from three schools to take part in the one year pilot. Staff were interested in a mix of blogging, portfolios and assessing websites.
Site Creation for the Pilot
The pilot licence permitted us to use 500 sites. We managed requests and numbers through a spreadsheet. We used the batch upload facility to manage the site creation efficiently. Creating the CSVs can take some time if you have a big cohort to do. However it enabled us to create multiple sites based on agreed templates.
Supporting Students & Staff
Staff were supported by the TEL team. Students were supported by staff plus our student online learning assistants were available for in-class demos and student drop-ins. The online user guide is excellent. IT Services also provided standard technical helpdesk support for students.
Crunch time! Had the pilot been successful?
We carried out a review mid-pilot as we needed time to make a business case for 2017-18 (if needed). We surveyed and spoke to staff about their own & their students’ experience. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. All staff on the pilot said they would use CampusPress again for 2017-18 if it were available.
Full Licence Approval
With a thumbs-up from the pilotees and an agreement to move PebblePad users to CampusPress over the next 2-years we made a business case and secured approval and funding for an institution-wide licence.
Preparation for institution wide implementation
We spent the summer months preparing CampusPress. Our IT Services department worked with CampusPress to implement Shibboleth authentication. We worked with staff on new templates, ran training etc.
We have over 2000 sites being used across the whole institution with more to come. We are now revising our processes for 2018-19. We intend to reduce the centralised administration by giving users more responsibility. We are also talking to CampusPress about new features.