In this modern age, there is a critical dependency on stable reliable technologies that are fully embedded to support learning and teaching. Educational institutions put a lot of faith and invest scarce funding into the hands of external service providers and suppliers. What happens when a technology is pulled in a way which is totally beyond the customer’s control – for example, if the platform is acquired by another company or they simply stop supporting it? What impact does this have on staff, students and the institution as a whole? Are institutions adequately protecting themselves by properly assessing and managing risks and do they have contingency plans ready to be implemented in the wake of a disaster? Are such plans even fit for purpose or do they simply serve as a tickbox exercise at the point of making the initial business case to senior managers? Do institutions simply assume that suppliers will never leave them high and dry?
The aims and objectives of this workshop are to
share examples of such situations;
work in small groups to explore practical and realistic strategies to avert potential crises.
This workshop is designed to fit with the theme of Collaboration and innovation in the open: taking risks, sharing lessons and the importance of open educational practice.
By the end of this session, attendees will
have a better understanding of the potential impact of the removal of critical learning technologies
devise practical solutions to deal with these situations
work with others to develop a risk analysis strategy
be able to apply what was discussed in the workshop and re-use the strategy at their own institution.
The workshop will commence with a panel of representatives from different institutions and sectors providing examples where suppliers have abruptly ended their contracts.
In groups, delegates will discuss the questions below before completing a shared, online Risk Analysis document:
Have you done a risk analysis of your managed or internally hosted services? E.g. VLE, assessment tools, lecture capture software, web conferencing software, media services
If these services stopped working tomorrow, what is your planned course of action?
What will be the impact of such situation on your institution, users and you personally?
What contingency plans should be in place?