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Course outcomes

posted Jun 24, 2009, 6:15 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 17, 2009, 6:29 AM by Eddie Woo ]
Part of the assignment involves relating the portfolio to the syllabus. Questions from: [link]
 
H1.1: Explain the nature and function of the intranet in the context of the school.
 
The Intranet is a communications and multimedia system and database that is designed as a solution to the need to: engage learning, allow for better teaching practice and enrich school life in the school environment. This has been an improvement from the last Intranet, & its accessibility make it more useful to students & teachers. It is a wiki, & its participants include the staff & some students, & is used by the school community, including students, teachers & parents. The participants collect the data that could be useful & stored it on the Intranet for other end users to retrieve & use. Data & information for this system include the collected data, the various files created from those & are uploaded onto the Intranet.
 
It is a website, which allows relevant information to be linked or searched. The Intranet is on an existing network (the Internet) that most people can access from home, but authentication is used in order to keep the information safe. Due to its accessibility, convenience & safety (it is reasonably safe) used as a communications system because of its accessibility, not just inside the school, & this conveniences allows for the many uses of the Intranet. For now, it is being used to distribute newsletters, the school event calendar, & other information that can be useful to everyone in the school environment. The use of RSS feeds also helps get users updated on any recent notices.
 
As multimedia system, the Intranet can combine the strength of different medium to present messages, which cannot be done in the normal classroom environment. The faculty pages were made to include data in different media to achieve different effects, such as promoting the subject.
 
The Intranet serves as a database, as many files are stored on it, available for end users to download. This includes the various programmes & syllabi on the website, as well as the store of newsletters.
 
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H1.2: Identify instances of the 7 processes undertaken by various participants, end users and people in the environment within this information system.
 
Collecting
 
Participants
Participants would be collecting data for the Intranet from various people. This includes getting files from other participants, and recording for the audio & video products of the Intranet. Images would also be collected at various events.
 
End users
End users can get important information (e.g. exam dates, newsletters) & other useful material (various uploaded files) from the Intranet.
 
Organising
 
Participants
The data that was collected in may not be in a format that can be used for the Intranet, and this would have to be changed. Compression would probably have to be used on non-text data to save space and reduce the time taken for the pages to load, and this includes changing the format of images, audio & video in order to achieve this. The layout of the Intranet would also be changed so that the portfolio is more user-friendly.
 
End users
When end users open compressed files (e.g. some images, audio, video), those would be decompressed.
 
Analysing
 
Participants
Labelling of photos and other graphics on the Intranet would be analysing. If numerical data was presented in graphical form, that would also be analysing. Analysis would be done by the project manager to see if the Intranet is achieving the outcomes it was designed to.
 
End users
End users may choose to use the 'search' function in order to find the information they want.
 
Storing and Retrieving
 
Participants
The content for the Intranet is stored on the web server, and this is retrieved every time the content is accessed by participants (& end users). When they upload files onto the Intranet, the file would be stored on the web server for the Intranet.
 
End users
Accessing any information made available on the Intranet would require the end user to retrieve data from the web server and temporarily store it on their computer. If they happen to want to download any files, they will have to store the files onto their computer.
 
Processing
 
Participants
Participants would be processing every time they change something on the Intranet, including when they add new data, remove existing data or just edit what they have. This also includes the creation of documentation of work done on the Intranet.
 
Transmitting and Receiving
 
Participants
Participants could be receiving useful files from other people. Transmitting and receiving would also be done whenever there is access to the Intranet.
 
End users
End users could be sending useful files to participants or providing feedback for the development of the Intranet.
 
Displaying
 
Participants
Every time anyone uses the Intranet, it will be displayed on their VDU. The analysis of the usage of the Intranet would also be displayed by the VDU, or paper if printed. Audio would be displayed by the MP3 speakers, earphones and on the computer when the participant needs to check over the recordings.
 
End users
As long as they use the Intranet, it will be displayed on their VDU. They may also choose to print certain things, which means the printed information would be displayed on paper. Speakers would also be needed for them to listen to audio recording that were made.
 
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H2.2: Explain how the intranet is a solution for an identified need, with reference to all 7 processes.
 
The Intranet is a solution to the identified need to deliver online content in order to: engage student learning, empower better teaching practice & enrich school life.
 
Collecting
Many files & all sorts of data will be gathered for the Intranet. The Intranet can help in the collection of data, as the need for certain data can be made known to the school through notices (which can be more visible than notices on various noticeboards around the school). There will also be a lot more people who can actively participate in the collecting process as they do not need to hand the data over to one person - they are all given the permission to upload the data to one database.
 
Organising
Having the data in a digital format allows for things to be organised in many ways, depending on whichever is suitable for the end user. This includes making certain files more suitable for end users, depending on their situation.
 
Analysing
Data uploaded onto the website can be categorised & labelled so that users can find what they need faster. Users can also perform searches on the website, which they cannot do with non-computer-based data used at school. This can be very useful if they lose any important pieces of information if that is also on the Intranet.
 
Storing & Retrieving
The Intranet is a database that holds many files, & its accessibility from home makes it a lot more effective at delivering content to students. Many files can be uploaded to the website, & students are free to download what they require. This also makes more useful content available to students. Announcements are also stored on the website & retrieved when an end user loads the page.
 
Processing
Interesting & useful information, including files & resources, can constantly be uploaded onto the website & made available to students. It would also be more convenient to replace one file when it is updated than having to run off many copies for redistribution.
 
Transmitting & Receiving
There would be transmitting & receiving whenever the end user downloads a file or even just views the content on the Intranet.
 
Displaying
The Intranet is a multimedia system, & so it allows for the combination of the strengths of different types of media to achieve a specific purpose. Although this cannot completely replace learning in a classroom, there are certain difficulties with presenting multimedia at school, but the Intranet manages to deliver the data to students at home. This can be very effective for learning resources, especially if the resource is appealing to the students. Online content also allows more interactivity than usual classroom material, which can engage students.
 
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H3.1: Evaluate and discuss the current/potential effect of the intranet on (a) individual students, (b) the school population (staff and students alike), and (c) the JRAHS information environment.
 
Individual students
 
Individual students can benefit from the resources that are on the Intranet, many of which may not have been known or accessible to them previously (e.g. they would have had more difficulty accessing resources like syllabi). They can also get the most recent versions of certain documents a lot more easily. In a way, it can also serve as some kind of 'backup' for the student, should they lose any of their documents. They can also do some of their work online (e.g. SRP diary), which will prompt them to do regular checks on their work as everything is timestamped. Communication with teachers could be improved as the Intranet develops so that any problems encountered out of school hours can be solved, but this may also hinder face-to-face communication at school, & could also be bad for learning because students do not have to pay as much attention at school - they could always ask later.
 
Potentially, they can submit all their work online, which can be convenient as they do not have to find the teachers (if due on a day when they do not have class). They could even be submitting their work at times outside of school hours, although this may not be beneficial because they can also get work outside of school hours. The use of technology to educate may cause school & personal times to overlap - it could be an extension of the case with telecommuters these days who may be living their home & work lives at the same time. It is also easier for students who missed school (e.g. due to sickness) to find out what work had been done & catch up, & they would not need to rely on others for accurate information.
 
However, as the Intranet develops, there would be pressure on students to check all announcements & updates regularly. Also, due to the reliance on each student's Internet, if their connection fails for some reason, they could be at a disadvantage.
 
Further development of the Intranet can also be done if students give useful feedback, which in turn would make the Intranet a more useful tool for them.
 
The school population 
 
The school population can benefit from the potential for communication even outside of class or school times. In the future, even holidays may involve getting schoolwork of some sort. Important & urgent announcements can be made when necessary, & others will be able to see them even though there is no direct contact. Events can probably be organised in a shorter length of time because communication with others involved can be done at otherwise inconvenient times. However, as communication can become so convenient, there is less need for careful planning beforehand. This is currently not a problem, but it could become one in the distant future.
 
There can also be better teacher-parent communication if the parent has access to the Intranet, as there is less reliance on the student to pass on messages. Parents can get a better idea of what is going on around the school, but this may put pressure on the staff to update everything on time, & this may be an increase to their workload. They would be seen to have more of a reason to keep the news & upcoming events up-to-date.
 
Extra-curricular groups can also benefit from the communications & database capabilities of the Intranet. They usually only have a limited amount of time together, & it is unlikely that every single member will turn up at any one particular meeting. With the Intranet, it is easier to spread messages to every member, & also gives the groups some flexibility in their planning & organising their gathering times. However, for certain groups, this can also demand members to become more active as they have time to participate & get active not only during school times, but also at home.
 
As documents can be distributed electronically, the school may be able to save on the amount of paper being circulated around the school. It also means that there is less/no paper wastage from people who do not need it but choose not to recycle it (either due to inconvenience or for other reasons).
 
The JRAHS information environment
 
The JRAHS information environment would probably not be quite that affected, although data would be collected off them more frequently as the Intranet develops to suit the needs of users. At the very least, student-related information, such as events & various promotional data, would be collected off them. They may also react differently when data about them (e.g. photographs) are being displayed on the website.
 
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H4.1: What emerging information needs is James Ruse likely to face in the next 5, 20 and 50 years? How will the intranet meet these needs?
 
It is hard to predict to what sort of extent technology will develop in 5, 20 & 50 years, but by then, technology will probably changed a lot, & there will probably be more effective ways to display & distribute information than what is being done now.
 
Currently, there is also a push for a digital education revolution, so many more resources will probably have to become available through digital means. Students will also have their own laptops which they will use at school, & the Intranet would be the best way to distribute any electronic files to the students. Communication can be a little weak around the school, but can be more effective with the Intranet, as all important notices can be posted up in places where people will be able to see them (for example, there are numerous noticeboards around the school. If all the data were put on numerous webpages on the Intranet, they would be a lot more convenient to review at once).
 
There is also an issue with updated information reaching students on time. Things frequently change with the times, & if the Intranet were to develop fully, it would have to be constantly updated so that students are always able to access accurate & current information.
 
As the Intranet becomes more & more convenient to use, it will probably be used for a lot of information that 'enriches school life'. Extra-curricular groups may find the Intranet a useful tool for their own communication purposes. There are also the digital learning resource projects people have to make for various subjects, & the Intranet will be an ideal place to upload these for the use of the general school population. The problems that can occur with the school network as well as its limited access also makes the Intranet a good alternative to turn to for resources, & it could be that the Intranet eventually replaces the school network in certain ways (e.g. as a database for resources).
 
In 20 years, many things could become digitised. As the Internet now contains so much information, students would probably expect more & more to be available - after all, things on the Internet are conveniently accessible & probably more updated. However, this would mean that less focus is placed on using books & actually spending time trying to find books by going to the library. The Intranet may expand to include resources apart from the schools', & the school library may given permission to be digitised by then so that students can access electronic versions of books (otherwise, books would be wasted). The 'search' feature of the Intranet also allows students to find information faster.
 
As more research goes on & more is discovered, in 50 years, there will also probably be more content for students to cover in their high school years. Time at school may not be sufficient to cover all this extra information, but the Intranet can deliver this information to them at times outside of school hours (if school hours still exist by then). Things like educational excursions could even be recorded so that the student can watch the whole thing as if they were there.
 
Speed of delivering information may also become an issue (including students actually spending time going to school or going to the library [mentioned above]). Instead, maybe teachers in their lessons can be sent through the Intranet & displayed as a hologram on the student's desk. It could be that students would no longer have to attend school, & the Intranet provides all the data they would need. The Intranet might even become synonymous with the school...
 
No matter at what stage of development, the Intranet will have to constantly be updated to keep up with technological advances & to provide accurate, up-to-date & useful information to the school community. It is digital & therefore easily edited & processed, & as of now, will be more easily adapted to any changes in technology, which is one of its advantages over information distributed by non-computer-based means.
  
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H6.1: Based on your answer to the H4.1 question, propose a solution for the 2010 apocalipticDesign team to develop and implement next year.
 
Now that the Intranet allows easy distribution of materials, it should be natural for students to expect more & more resources to be made available. Up until now (or at least the start of this year, when the new Intranet was releaesd), there probably has not been much use of the Intranet, so many of the resources around the school are either not digitised, or digitised but not available to the students. A lot of data conversion, then, would have to be performed. Some of the data may also be more effective when presented differently (but limitations existed as to the medium used when they were still non-computer-based), & the 2010 aD team could consider remaking the data in alternative media.
 
With the digital learning resource as an assignment being introduced to various faculties around the school, they could improve on the goal of engaging student learning by uploading a few of those onto the Intranet.
 
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H7.1: Explain the management techniques used during this project.
 
The project prospectus was one of the management techniques used during this project. This included information about the personnel, objectives, method, available resources, as well as a context diagram. With this information, we get an idea of who we will probably need to work with to complete the project, even before we start. This prevents problems such as not knowing who to go to for help on the site. The objectives serve as a reminder for what the Intranet is supposed to achieve so that we remember to actually work towards developing the Intranet as a solution to identified needs. This makes sure that even before project work has started, we have an idea of what we have to do, so that time is not wasted on 'trying things out'. Available resources list the information technology that would probably be needed in the development of the system so that we considered what we could do before we actually attempted it & realise we could not. The context diagram is important for people to understand how the system fits into its environment, & what kind of interactions there will be.
 
A Gantt chart was used to plan out the different stages of the project & their deadlines. This also shows the dependence of certain tasks on others. It shows the progress in respect to the entire project, & it is quick to see what should have been done at a certain point in time & if anything is behind schedule. This should help to keep the project on task.
 
The project register was used to record the progress made on the project. Other documentation for the project is also included, as well as discussions of problems & solutions (which may be useful later so the same mistake is not repeated). Communication with participants (which was not all that extensive in this project) was also made easier with a project register, as they could get a rough idea of what was going on even without needing a detailed explanation. A record of the details can also be useful in case anything needs to be looked over again, & I could keep track of ideas that were not touched for weeks.
 
It was hard to notice some of the problems that were in the system during development. Also, the system from a participant's point of view can be very different to what the end users see it as (usually, they would see a system with problems that the participants overlook). However, the end users are the ones will be using the system. By getting feedback & suggestions from end users & other participants, these problems could be fixed & the system could be improved upon.
 
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H7.2: Create your project register Repository - an index of all your project register posts.
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