Comparisons and advocacy

Choosing Student Management System for Higher Education in Australia

 
Picture of Sanjay Abraham
Choosing Student Management System for Higher Education in Australia
 

Hi all

I'm new here and doubt if i'm even posting this in the right place.

I came across Moodle when doing a Google search of 'eMinerva'. eMinerva is a student management system for Schools to Vocational and even Higher Education.

I've seen a demo and it seemed pretty good. Then I came across the page in a Moodle forum (which was brought up by the google search) where some people were saying that eMinerva isn't a very good system. Recently someone has added a post saying that it is good (this person works/used to work at eMinerva). At the end of the day it is very hard to get a good idea.

Anyway, the situation that I am in is that I work for a private higher education institution in Australia (ie we deliver BBA's, MBA's etc). I am struggling to find a student management system (SMS) that is suitable for higher education in Australia (that doesn't cost a fortune ie not one that only the Universities can afford to pay for).

Can anyone help with any suggestions? It would be ideal if I could get a list of SMS's out there (with associated price), but there doesn't seem to be any such listing.

At the very least the SMS would be a database which contains student data. Ideally it would have a marketing side to it (similar to a CRM), an alumni module, a student web portal (ie to access grades, submit assignments, obtain materials), act as a document sharing/distribution system, links up with financial system etc etc (ie don't know what else these SMS's should do)

Any help would be much appreciated.  

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: Choosing Student Management System for Higher Education in Australia
Particularly helpful Moodlers
> to find a student management system (SMS) that is suitable for higher education in Australia (that doesn't cost a fortune

Is your focus on the _management_ part, like admission, grades, credits earned, exams passed, graduated, etc.?

Moodle emerges as a LMS, a learning plattform, i.e. a medium to _deliver the content_. Virtual Classroom is a better term. Of course, as you have noticed, Moodle has a modular architecture so there are various "plugins" which handle the administration part.

Anyway ultimately you must judge whether Moodle is _the_ tool you were looking for. Moodle is cheap smile, based on simple and well-tested LAMP stack, modest on hardware requirements, easy to install and very easy to use. So you can't lose anything by doing a test run!
 
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Picture of Michael Penney
Re: Choosing Student Management System for Higher Education in Australia
Core developersParticularly helpful Moodlers
Hi, these would be my suggestions to start with:

1) Come up with a list of requirements for your SIS (it looks like you are on track-identify functional requirements for your
  • CRM
  • Alumni Portal
  • Student Portal
  • Document Sharing
Maximum budget--How much can you pay for these features?
Timeline-When do you need these features?

2) Then check with the Moodle partners, many of them have done similar systems, either by extending Moodle or by integrating with other systems, or some combination of the two, the best choices for this will depend on your timeline and budget and institutional mission (whether building new open source tools ties in with your institutional mission or not).

Expect to pay a good deal if your feature set is rich and you need them all right away, a typical Banner install for a 7000 student system would be ~ 1m US for the license/setup, and take 1-2 years to implement (staff training and file conversion can be very time consuming on this part).

For the financial side, you might look at Kuali financials, being developed by Hawaii, Indiana, Mellon, etc.

Perhaps you can do most to all of what you are looking for for a reasonable cost by extending Moodle, though (for instance the 1.9 gradebook looks like it will provide over grade tracking/reporting, help us finish the JSR-170 part so we can have a file repository, and with that Student, Staff, and Alumni portals will be much easier, and look at some of the creative ways the Moodle networking functions let you run multiple Moodle installs for different groups (student portfolios, etc).

The key is to get down your functional requirements for each component before going shoppingsmile.


 
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Picture of Dennis Janeczko
Re: Choosing Student Management System for Higher Education in Australia
 
Did you find / select a vendor to provide you SMS program? If you did, what did you go with, may I ask what it will cost.

Thanks
Dennis Janeczko
janeczko@hotmail.com
 
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Picture of Herman A. Serrano
Re: Choosing Student Management System for Higher Education in Australia
 

Hi - Although Michael's response is a bit dated his thoughts are right on. Gather your functional requirements because this will be key in selecting a solution.

I work for a company called Campus Management Corp in the US and we have a fully functional SIS with a Portal, Alumni system, CRM, Financial Aid, BBAY, Registration, Admissions, Financials (accounting package), HR, Fundraising, and more. Potentially the most comprehensive SIS out there. 

Pricing on most SIS is based on number of students you have. We have developed an fully integrated and syncronized solution with bi-directional updates between our administrative system SIS and the academic side (CMS/LMS) using Moodle.

Feel free to contact me and I can put in touch with someone that can give you additional details. Our website is http://www.campusmgmt.com. Take a look at it and go through the demos, they are informative. Don't hesitate in contacting me if you have additional questions.

Regards,
Herman A. Serrano
Sr. Solutions Manager - CampusLearning

 
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Picture of Mahendra Nikam
Re: Choosing Student Management System for Higher Education in Australia
 

Hi,

If you still looking for an Education Management Software, you should definitely have a look on CloudEMS.   

 We came across a nice Education Management System Software for Colleges/School (CloudEMS) which will satisfy your requirement. This software integrated with CRM, SMS System, Financial System, Admissions, HR, Library system, Examination, Employee and more systems as required for institutes, colleges and Schools .In CloudEMS-Education Management Software also enables you to assign Online assignments to your students and students can view and submit their assignments, access grades, obtain materials etc as soon as they login to their portal

 If you can have additional details so please visit our website http://cloudeducationerp.com.


 
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Picture of Pam Atkins
Re: Choosing Student Management System for Higher Education in Australia
 
I am looking at the same problem. Moodle functions well as a LCMS, but I need a system that can track student progress and welfare and this can involve many things that happen outside the Moodle.
Most of the systems I have looked at are too focussed on needs of younger students (e.g. parental involvement) or US systems (e.g. calculating GPAs or adding irrelevant financial factors). They are/seem too inflexible for easy modification.
I wish there soemthing as good as Moodle but focussed on this aspect of the education enterprise.

 
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Picture of Matt Gibson relaxing in the Alps
Re: Choosing Student Management System for Higher Education in Australia
Plugin developers
Student progress tracking is on the roadmap for 2.0 (January 2009). What you need is Moodle, integrated tightly with a Student Information System Like SIMS. Not available yet, but on the way (we all want it).
 
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Picture of Hansruedi (Lori) Lorenz
Re: Choosing Student Management System for Higher Education in Australia
 

I have been surfing the net for a while and have found a few Australian programs that appear to meet AVETMISS reporting requirements and my needs. Eminerva, TED, Corskills, Wise.net, VETtrak and WinSAS.

VETtrak (http://www.ozsoft.com.au/infopack/) say that they have developed the back end to migrate this program with Moodle. (http://www.ozsoft.com.au/api/ ) I have no idea what is involved to marry these two programs, but it would safe a lot of double data entries and the associated mistakes.

Has anyone migrated these two programs or is interested to share the costs for the development or has simply a better idea?

 
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Me
Re: Choosing Student Management System for Higher Education in Australia
 
Hi Lori,

Did you ever get Moodle and Vettrak integrated at all. We are keen in doing the same for one of our divisions who uses VETtrak.

Regards,
Grant Beevers
Endeavour College of Natural Health
Brisbane, Australia
 
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Picture of Hansruedi (Lori) Lorenz
Re: Choosing Student Management System for Higher Education in Australia
 
No. I went with Oncourse. It is open source and can do about anything you could hope for. As of now it is not integrated with Moodle either, but as more people learn about this program, sooner or later it is bound to happen.

Cheers Lori
 
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Picture of Rob Merkus
Re: Choosing Student Management System for Higher Education in Australia
 
Opus-College is a free and open source Student Information System in development:
http://www.opuscollege.net/OPUS.php?page=homeENG

Developed by the Radboud University in the Netherlands and already in use in Mozambique
 
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