Collaborative Educational Services Update

We’re in the process of adopting the name Collaborative Educational Services to be inclusive of both educational technology shared services (e.g., Moodle) as well as collaborative programs (e.g., Applied Business Technology) and services (e.g. eTutoring). (Note: we currently refer to these areas as Collaborative Programs and Shared Services.)

This note is concerned specifically with the educational technology shared service area though – BCcampus now has 13 collaborative educational shared service applications either in production, development, or exploration. They are:

  • Desire2Learn
  • Moodle
  • Blackboard Collaborate
  • Adobe Connect
  • AskAway (online library reference)
  • eTutoring (online tutoring)
  • Medical Billing (electronic medical records)
  • Pressbooks (open textbooks)
  • Kaltura
  • Sandbox
  • Remote Web Based Science labs
  • Curriculum and Syllabus Management
  • Academic Integrity

So, lots of updates and upcoming meetings for these services are listed here; please have a look at those of interest. Watch your inboxes for follow up notes with details concerning some of the upcoming meetings.

Should you need any further information don’t hesitate to contact me (Lawrence Parisotto) or the appropriate client services manager for your institution and service. Updated BCcampus contacts are also listed for each service.

1. Operational Services


D2L was upgraded to version 9.4.1 recently and a test instance of version 10 will be installed soon. Monthly D2L administrators meetings have continued with participation of all D2L institutions. BCcampus will be hosting a D2L Regional User Forum on November 16 (see

  • Date: November 16, 2012
  • Proposed Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM PT (Please note that start and finish times have not been finalized)
  • Location: BCIT Downtown Campus, 555 Seymour Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 3H6
  • Senior Technical Analyst, Tier 3 and 4 Support – Dan Henigman
  • Helpdesk for Online Collaborative Programs using D2L – Helpdesk
  • Collaborative Programs Operational Coordination – Terrie McAloney
  • D2L Master Agreement – Lawrence Parisotto



The new collaborative educational services business process and model have been adopted for the Moodle collaborative educational service. Memoranda of Understanding, Letters of Commitment, Terms of Service and a Participatory Governance Council are all part of this service now.

The initial Participatory Governance Council meeting is scheduled October 3, 2012. Monthly Moodle administrators meetings have continued with participation of most Moodle institutions. A Moodle community of practice site has been established. Monthly Moodle seminars have been offered and will continue. The RFP for Moodle shared service application support was executed with a decision finalized in early September 2012. BCcampus will be hosting and sponsoring Canada MoodleMoot 2013 in February 2013 in Vancouver. Note the call for proposals ends soon for MoodleMoot!

  • Client Services Managers:
    • COTR, CNC, Selkirk, UVic, GNW MDM, ECUAD, VCC – Frank Fucile
    • Kwantlen, UBC FoM, SFU FoE, NVIT – Ian MacKinnon
  • Senior Technical Analayst – Dan Henigman
  • Infrastructure Manager – Brian Case


Blackboard Collaborate

We’ve started a discussion regarding renewal of current licenses with Blackboard Collaborate, our next step is consulting with user groups. BCcampus has scheduled a user group and community of practice meeting on October 25 (more details to follow).

  • Client Services Manager – Frank Fucile
  • Higher Education Provincial Pricing – Lawrence Parisotto


Adobe Connect

We’re still seeking clarification from Adobe on concurrent user licenses. BCcampus has scheduled a user group meeting on October 24 (more details to follow). A number of institutions and departments have inquired recently about the Adobe Connect shared service.


Client Services Manager – Frank Fucile

Helpdesk – Helpdesk

Licensing – Lawrence Parisotto

Senior Technical Analyst – Dan Henigman

Infrastructure Manager – Brian Case


AskAway (Question Point)

AskAway is a provincial post-secondary virtual reference service maintained by the BC Electronic Library Network and its partner libraries. Funding for this service has been provided by BCcampus and participating B.C. post-secondary libraries, while staffing for the service is provided by the participating libraries. This service uses Question Point application as its shared service.

  • Client Services Manager – Leva Lee


2. Services in Pilot Phase

Online Tutoring (eTutoring)

The eTutoring Project is a collaboration between B.C. post-secondary institutions working together to create an online tutoring service for learners across the province. The eTutoring Project is led and coordinated by BCcampus and the BC Electronic Library Network. The eTutoring Project uses an application called eTutoring hosted by BCcampus at Simon Fraser University. eTutoring allows tutors to work online with students synchronously through an integration with Adobe Connect, as well as asynchronously.

A proof of concept of the eTutoring collaborative service was conducted in July and August on a service called WriteAway, and we’re currently conducting a Privacy Impact Assessment. The WriteAway Concept Committee has planned the roll out of the WriteAway pilot scheduled for the fall term 2012. Note that other tutoring disciplines such as Math, Science and Business are subsequently planned for the eTutoring Project.

Participating Institutions: Douglas, SFU, Kwantlen, COTR

  • Client Services Manager – Frank Fucile
  • Helpdesk
  • Implementation – Lawrence Parisotto
  • Senior Technical Analyst – Dan Henigman
  • Infrastructure Manager – Brian Case


Medical Billing (Osler Systems Practice Manager)

The Applied Business Technology/ Office Administration online collaborative program (coordinated and supported by BCcampus) includes a Medical Office Assistant certificate. The electronic medical records course is a key element of the program supporting the current promotion of electronic medical records (EMR) and billing procedures by the B.C. Ministry of Health, B.C. Medical Association (BCMA) and Physician Information Technology Office (PITO).

The ABT/OA online collaborative and on-campus programs needed a new solution for medical billing software for student and faculty. Based on input and direction by the institutions interested in participating, BCcampus developed a business and operating model for a medical billing shared service and solicited a proposal in June 2012 for a pilot project from Osler Systems. The new BCcampus business model and process were used to implement the pilot shared service project on September 4 with the five participating institutions.

Participating Institutions: Douglas, Capilano, VCC, Camosun, CNC

  • Client Services Manager – Terrie McAloney (pilot phase)
  • Implementation – Lawrence Parisotto



BCcampus has a hosted instance of Pressbooks available for open textbook development. There will soon be a home page that will list a catalog of current open textbooks as well as some information and resources for open textbook development.


  • Client Services Manager – Scott Leslie


3. Services in Discussion or Exploration


A new opportunity has arisen for development of a pilot project for a Kaltura shared service – a meeting will be proposed for October 23 (more details to follow). A summary of previous work:

At a November 5, 2010 BCcampus Shared Service meeting, a number of institutions were interested in reviewing some of the potential solutions identified in the Summary Report – Media Servers, and interest in a further discussion on video streaming and hosting as a shared service. At a subsequent meeting in February 2011, 12 institutions indicated an interest in Kaltura as an video streaming/hosting application shared service and a pilot was proposed. In late June 2011, BCcampus requested proposals from both Kaltura and a local vendor. Further clarification and revisions of the proposals were required and final proposals from both Kaltura and the local vendor were received in late September 2011.

We presented a summary of two options at a September 30, 2011 meeting. Representatives at this meeting recommended Kaltura On Premises Edition to best meet institutional needs and requirements. Several institutions expressed interest in the Kaltura shared service pilot for a one year period. Unfortunately, the institutions interested did not accept the costing model presented.

At a further meeting in November 2011, BCcampus was asked to fund the Kaltura pilot shared service. We requested funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education in January 2012, but were turned down. The pilot project remained on hold through June 2012.

Through July and August 2012, BCcampus had further discussions with Kaltura based on several developments:

  • a B.C. university was considering Kaltura as an institutional solution,
  • this institution indicated an interest in hosting and supporting a provincial shared service infrastructure as well (should this institution implement Kaltura),
  • Kaltura has offered more competitive pricing and has shown a renewed interest in the BCcampus provincial shared service notion.

Next steps will be discussed at the proposed October 23 user group meeting.



The BCcampus sandbox is a place for research and exploration of new tools, as well as limited tests of applications that have promise. Applications are added either on request by multiple institutions (e.g., Big Blue Button) or as a result of environmental scans that indicate products emerging in the educational technology space (e.g., Instructure Canvas). These applications are moved through the BCcampus lifecycle approach toward adoption of a new shared service tool as is appropriate. Visit the sandbox at


  • Client Services Manager – Frank Fucile


Remote Web–based Science Labs

North Island College nas developed and successfully applied the concept of Remote Web-based Science Labs (RWSL), first to support remote access to a telescope, and most recently as part of the North American Network of Science Labs Online (NANSLO) project, to support the eventual implementation of an Associate of Science degree via distance education.

The concept has generated considerable interest in British Columbia, and has high potential as a collaborative educational shared service coordinated by BCcampus. A potential business model for this shared service, and readiness for its implementation, are the topics of a recent discussion paper.


Curriculum and Syllabus Management

A curriculum and syllabus management exploratory discussion took place at a meeting hosted by BCcampus on May 25, 2012. Follow up actions were identified as follows:

  • institutions were contacted to provide contacts to work on a ad hoc task force; an ad hoc task group was to be formed and a meeting arranged in mid to late September.
  • a survey will be developed by the task group and distributed to individual institutions as a needs assessment step
  • the task group will develop a survey and review results to assess needs and requirements in late October 2012
  • vendor demonstrations of appropriate products will be arranged as required in November 2012
  • if desired, the task group will also consider business process review and development to ensure successful adoption of the appropriate product(s)

Work will continue in the fall term, 2012.


Academic Integrity

This is in exploration stage only; an open source or other alternative to TurnItIn is being sought. Only one product has been reviewed to date, but did not meet initial requirements. Research will continue into alternative applications.

Posted by Lawrence Parisotto