Urban Education Exchange is in need of a new e-learning and content management portal website to service our existing and future client base of teachers and schools. Over the next year, we anticipate rapid and dispersed growth both geographically and in the number and variety of users.
Urban Education Exchange
Urban Education Exchange’s mission is to eliminate the achievement gap in reading comprehension. We are one of the few organizations in the country focused on supporting elementary and middle school teachers with the resources needed for teaching reading comprehension to low-income and minority students. UEE’s clients consist of 51 schools across 8 states serving approximately 700 teachers. UEE provides these clients with: 1. A reading comprehension curriculum 2. Teacher training to support the implementation of the curriculum 3. Assessments and analyses that measure student achievement In-person training is available as an optional service. Approximately 25% of UEE client schools choose to have some level of in-person training.
Current Website and Infrastructure
UEE’s current website is running on a proprietary content management system developed by RunTime Technologies in New York, NY. While the current system does meet some needs well, being tied to a single vendor has impacted some expansion and growth plans in the past. The current site is hosted with Verizon in Cartaret, NJ. UEE does not have access to the source code of the
current system but can get the underlying data to move it to a new system.
Scope of Work
This section outlines the features and functionality the website will use. Optional functionality – that which would be nice to have in the project but which may be done at some point in the future – is italicized. • Users ◦ ◦ ◦ Users can self-register online User profiles can be filled out (year started teaching, personal info, geographic data) User email address is automatically validated 2
(Users continued) ◦ ◦ • Agree to appropriate copyright and IP agreements System will send automatic, periodic notices to users and groups of users identified by admin Users should be able to self-register for their school groups Additional organic groups around different aspects of teaching should be available Different user levels should have different permissions within the system UEE users will be system admins and have appropriate ability Group admins for schools should be able to perform simple admin task (password resets, add/remove users from their groups) Users will be linked to 3rd party vendors to purchase appropriate textbooks Clients will be provided with custom list of books based on needs (grade level, etc.) Individual passages in HTML format are the content Multiple questions are associated with each reading passage ▪ ▪ ▪ ◦ ▪ ▪ ◦ ◦ Each question has associated correct and incorrect answers Some questions will be multiple choice, some open ended Questions are tagged with the concept the question covers Submitted questions enter an approval queue for UEE to review Once approved, submitted questions are available to other users
Groups ◦ ◦
Administration ◦ ◦ ◦
Book Ordering ◦ ◦
Reading Passages and Q & A Database ◦ ◦
Users are able to submit questions for each passage
Users can rate and comment on passages and rate questions Users can select individual questions and print out: ▪ ▪ ▪ Student handout of the passage and questions Teacher answer key with passage, questions, answers and notes Users can filter available questions by Concept of Comprehension, type (multiple choice or open ended), popularity, etc
Additional Resources/Documents ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Categorize by state, grade level, etc. Private documents per user and per group Users can rate and comment on documents and multimedia materials Online videos and flash 3
(Additional Resources/Documents continued) ◦ ◦ ◦ • ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ • Slide presentations Ability to upload Word DOC and convert to HTML Wiki collaboration section for user-created curriculums Unit plans are instructional guides for teachers Encompass reading passages and additional materials Some users will use as-is, others will wish to customize on a per-user basis Users can comment on and rate unit plans Users will be able to save unit plans to their personal portal (see below) Users can print out teacher materials and student materials in a single click Unit plans can include text and graphics, ▪ Search ◦ Users should be able to search based on: ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ • ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ • ◦ ◦ ◦ Topic Grade level Concepts of Comprehension Keyword (full text search) User submitted tags for content Graphics can be selected from existing on-server resources or uploaded by end users
UEE Resource Signups Teachers can request UEE meetings and training sessions within the system Agree to terms and conditions online An automated invoice is sent to the client and triggers an internal workflow Invoices and payments are tracked within the system Clients pay for services online and receive electronic receipts Meetings are linked into UEE’s Exchange server and appear in a calendar Online forums for signed in users around different categories and grade levels Private per-group forums Per-state forums
Forum / Message Board
Live Chat ◦ ◦ Live online user chatrooms Live chat with UEE staff UEE admins can create surveys and assessments Multiple choice, short answer and scale (1-5) questions Survey results can be summarized for UEE and filtered by user type, state, etc. Individual documents and other site additions can be created as drafts Specific UEE staff can be given permission to publish drafts Admin creation of additional workflow paths Automatic invoicing and billing UEE staff can create billable events Users get access to a personal portal page on login Able to edit and update profile and personal information The portal page is customized to their grade level, etc by default Users can enable and disable display of recent activities in the system ▪ ▪ ▪ ◦ ◦ Recent comments New Questions New passages
Surveys ◦ ◦ ◦
Internal Workflow ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦
Personalize Portal ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦
System-wide announcements posted by UEE Per-Group announcements posted by UEE RSS reading and display from external sources Photo and text slide shows Site theme/stylesheet switchable Support donations through link to PayPal and other providers Popularity and number of downloads of each reading passage Popularity and number of uses of associated questions User activity per group, state Group activity Custom user reports based on events, registration data, groups, etc. 5
Website Content ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦
Reporting ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦
Overall Website Goals
In addition to the actual functionality, it is important to keep in mind the goals of the website and our purpose while development is in process. These goals include: • Efficient, Intuitive Curriculum Delivery – Our users must be able to find and retrieve curriculum and supporting materials as smoothly as possible, with the ability to customize it for their students’ needs, and provide and make use of content-enriching user-feedback. UEE Control – The site should be administrated by UEE staff without the need to contract with an outside developer on an ongoing basis (not including server upkeep, patches, database maintenance, etc).
Proposed Website Infrastructure
The solution proposed must be based on a publicly available content management system that is in significant use. Single-vendor solutions will not be considered. Open source-based content management systems are preferred but not required. Custom features provided as a part of this project will be provided to UEE as source code.
Possible CMS: Drupal
Based upon our research and consultation with various technologists and businesses, one solution we see as meeting our needs would be a website built on Drupal, the most popular open source content management system. This PHP, Apache and mySQL-based CMS allows for deep customization through the use of custom add-on modules using a well-documented and feature-rich API. Numerous pre-built add-on modules that support some of the functionality we are looking to utilize are already available and will serve our needs either as-is or with some customization. As an example, the Drupal Poll module could support surveys. The FCKEdit module could support WYSIWYG editing within the browser. The Views module could be used for certain reporting. A combination of the available organic groups modules could allow for user groups and administration. The ability to hide/show blocks and other items on an end-user basis can be used for portal customization. Additional custom modules and PHP pages will be needed, of course.
The following deliverables are expected as a part of this project: • • • • Weekly progress reports and demonstrations as needed (phone/online is fine) First alpha in the first half of March Internal and client beta beginning of April Work complete by end of April
Term of Contract
In addition to the above deliverables, the developer will be contracted for a year of maintenance and additional updates. Further development and maintenance work will be awarded based upon developer performance and UEE needs. 6
Requirements for Proposal Preparation
Interested vendors should submit a proposal in Microsoft Word .DOC format to one of the email addresses listed in the Contacts section of this document. The document should include timeframes, technologies to be used, what, if any subcontractors will be used, testing methodology, two or more references from previous clients, and additional information as required to meet the guidelines presented within this document.
Evaluation and Award Process
UEE will be evaluating the proposals on the basis of multiple criteria. These include: • • • • • Meets needs of UEE’s current requirements Ability to meet UEE’s future needs Vendor’s proposed completion date Vendor’s willingness to work with open source software Vendor client and professional references
This Request for Proposals is being distributed starting on Wednesday, January 14th, 2009. Submissions of letters of intent and/or proposals, as well as questions and requests for information will be accepted up until Monday, February 2nd, 2009. The deadline for proposals may be extended an additional week to Monday, February 9th, 2009 based on the number of proposals and letters of intent received. UEE will make a decision within one to two weeks of the close of proposal acceptance, and work will commence immediately following.
For additional information, questions or to begin submitting a proposal, please contact us. Primary Contact: Jen Murtha, Manager of Web Initiatives 212-749-3558 x 3510
Additional Contacts: Jeff Fleishhacker, Senior Technology Associate 212-749-3558 x 3533
David Ciulla, Associate Executive Director 212-749-3558 x 3544