Development: Types and Considerations

TLT focused on four major types of development:

  • integrations with Harvard systems
  • course administration tools
  • teaching and learning tools
  • development related to enabling extraction of data for educational research

At any given point, we had several current and pending projects in each of these areas. How did we decide what came next? This decision process was complex and fluid. Some of our key areas for consideration included:

  • User benefit (How many schools need this tool or functionality? How many courses? If the need is very school-specific, can we instead coach the school developers on developing this school-level need?)
  • Technical complexity (Do we decide to take on one major project or several smaller ones during a certain period of time? Do we have bandwidth to take on the associated operations and updates that come with a development effort?)
  • Viability of alternatives (Is there an off-the-shelf product we can license instead? Does Canvas have similar functionality? Is there a manual way to meet this need?)
  • Governance-driven priorities (What development needs to take place to align with our pedagogical partners across the University?)
  • “Project management triangle” (How much time do we have? How much money do we have? What level of quality do we need to achieve?)