USER STORIES FOR TECHNICAL AND FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS GATHERING AND EVALUATION
General Manager & Director for the Open Source Initiative
Friday November 6th from 3-4:15PM
A common approach deemed critical to LMS reviews is to create a list of features that align with an institution’s instructional and learning priorities  (often through surveys, polls, etc.), and then review systems using a rating matrix that compares each system against that features list . Unfortunately, approaches that rely on “side of the box” functionality, checked off by review committees, or technical analysis through IT departments is fraught with assumptions, ambiguity and subjectivity . In addition to other critical activities (communications, costs analysis, etc.), “user stories”  provide review committees with an evidence-based approach for determining, not if a feature (or technology) is present, but rather if a specific teaching and learning (or technical) affordance is possible within a proposed LMS.
While incorporating user stories requires greater commitment from all participants, their use fosters greater depth in product evaluations; enables the evaluation of a broader set of systems; ensures current and desired (teaching & learning, business, technology) practices are the focus; reduces bias, and; provides additional resources (e.g. training materials) once a system is selected.
About the presenter:
Patrick Masson is former Director of Technology, SUNY Learning Network (now OpenSUNY); CIO SUNY Delhi, CTO UMassOnline, UMass Office of the President Career in higher education focused on supporting online education and the technologies that support it. He has been involved in four LMS reviews at the departmental (UCLA School of Dentistry), campus (SUNY Delhi) and system level (SUNY, UMass).
1. “Selecting a Learning Management System,” EDUCAUSE Review, 2014
2. “Choosing a Learning Management System,” Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL), 2015
3. “The Problem with LMS Reviews,” UMassOnline, 2011
4. “User Stories,” Mike Cohn, Mountain Goat Software