FDE's systems selected by Ufi for learndirect
Ufi has selected Fretwell-Downing Education's integrated on-line learning support and business framework software as part of a £14m contract for its nation-wide information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure. The new ICT systems will transform the way millions of people can learn in the coming years, whether at home, at work, or in one of the new national networks of learndirect Learning Centres. A paper describing the Ufi system for delivering learndirect courses and how it may relate to local learning provider systems is attached here as a PDF and a Word file (you will need Acrobat to read the PDF file or Word97 to read the Word file).
The winning consortium, led by Logica, which also includes Cable & Wireless Communications, D J Associates and Interactive Bureau , will be responsible for developing a nation-wide network to support users via 100 Hubs and 1000 associated Learning Centres, creating the largest Learning Centre network in Europe. FDE's learning environment, Education Business System (EBS) and EBS Agent will be the core on which Ufi's system is developed.
Dr Anne Wright, Chief Executive of the UfI, comments, "This appointment marks a major milestone in the development of Ufi. Our ICT systems are central to our plans to develop a new way of learning which fits the needs and lifestyles of individuals, and the operating realities of our businesses. Our systems will allow us to deliver learning in new and more flexible ways. Ufi learning packages will be available on line, so that learners can mix and match them according to their needs. They will also get support from tutors and be able to interact with other learners via the website. In the future, learners will be able to keep track and record their progress through their own learning log."
FDE has already started to develop its systems to meet the specification of the learndirect lifelong learning model. The requirements validation phase has been completed and RAD (Rapid Application Development) workshops are now taking place based on the functional specifications.
The overall requirement is to provide a lifelong learning experience. In the learndirect model, seven categories of user are envisaged: potential customers, call centre staff, learners, tutors, learning hub staff, learndirect staff and content providers. Users will have a lifelong learning log from the time that they register, which can be accessed and extended as they do additional courses. Via a web interface, potential customers will be able to access a learning directory cataloguing courses offered all over the country.
learndirect requirements emphasise flexible, student-centred learning delivery and web-based student support, with facilities such as e-mail and conferencing with tutors and other learners. Administrative functions will be carried out through a mixture of web-based and client-server applications, developed by extending the functionality of FDE's current EBS software. A briefing paper describing the benefits of adopting FDE's web-based learning environment as a local learning provider offering for managing delivery and support of online learning is attached here as a PDF and a Word file (you will need Acrobat to read the PDF file or Word97 to read the Word file). . The paper is set in the context of the fact that, where a learning centre offers both learndirect and other learning opportunities, it will need to own and operate a separate system for managing and supporting 'Non-learndirect' learning.
To link to the Ufi web site, click here.