A press release yesterday announces the selection of Elluminate for our synchronous desktop collaboration and communication requirements. This comes after a lengthy procurement process in which 14 vendors submitted tenders. Elluminate scored the highest on our educational and technical criteria. Our evaluation team think the product is particularly well-suited for distance education and includes features we consider essential such as breakout rooms when a tutor wants to split the class into smaller sub-groups. It’s already partially integrated with Moodle and we’ll be working further with Elluminate on that. As with the other enhancements we’re making to Moodle, that code will be made available freely to others who want it.
Elluminate will replace our in-house system Lyceum which is used extensively for language courses. On all of our courses it offers many new possibilities for learners to be brought together with tutors and with each other. Videoconferencing, audioconferencing, shared whiteboards, application sharing and instant messaging are about to become a lot more accessible to our learners and tutors.
Elluminate is providing a hosted service initially for us while we set up the service and do the integration work at the University. Watch this space for further details on the roll-out if you’re at the OU.