Questions and Answers regarding the RFP – A Good Practices Platform
The questions and answers below concern the Request for Proposal sent out on Tuesday 20 May 2014. The RFP included the possibility to send in questions until 27 June 2014. The responses were all published by 10 July 2014 on http://ecahe.eu/cequintrfp/questions-answers/.
What is the current WordPress version in use?
The current version is 3.6.
ECA wants a system that does integrate well with the WordPress site. Do you have any special technology in mind like PHP/Python/Java or are you open for suggestions/recommendations?
We are open to suggestions, but we are opposed to the use of Adobe Flash and to distracting design. The proposed solution should be an open source one.
What is ‘indentity kit’ (sections 4.2.4, 4.4.1, 4.4.2 in the RFP)?
The identity kit (see point 4 of the Annex 1 on the page 21 of the RFP) is a part of the fields of information describing the entity (Institution, School, Programme) for which a certificate is listed or a good practice is listed or submitted.
Who will add the peer reviewers?
ECA administrators (role in current WP CMS) will add peer reviewers. We see it as a new role with specific rights within the existing WP user management system. But we are open to ideas suggestions.
Who are applicants submitting practices?
They are institutions of higher education (universities, hogesholen) or individual programmes (example: International Business Management Programme) within these institutions. Do they need to create an account?
No, they can only submit good practices via online form.
Can you explain the different between good practices and certificates?
The certificate is awarded by ECA and it is not possible for institutions/programmes to apply for the certificate via the platform. ECA administrators will have to enter the information concerning the Certificates awarded. Institutions and programmes can only submit applications for good practices on this platform. We understand that certificates can be awarded at institutional or programme level.
Yes, the certificates can be awarded to Institutions (universities, hogesholen) or individual programmes (example: International Business Management Programme) within these institutions. But are the Good Practices programmes of institutions working on the certificate?
They might, but on the new platform certificates and good practices are distinct items. It is not possible for a certificate to be transformed into a good practice and vice versa. Is it possible for a Good Practice to become a Certificate?
No. But it should be possible for ECA administrators to add a good practice themselves bypassing the peer reviewers. Good practices entered directly by ECA administrators correspond to the good practices identified during Certificate procedures. Thus it is possible that for a same institution has both a certificate and one or more good practices.
What is the relation of the new platform with the NVAO GPIP? We see some similarity.
The new platform will be the successor of the NVAO GPIP. NVAO GPIP was only open to Flemish and Dutch institutions. The new platform will be internationally orientated. We do not want to replicate the old platform, but we are looking for fresh innovative ideas. That is why we chose not to mention the old platform in the RFP. Are there any old Good Practices in an existing database we also need to load?
Yes, once the new platform is operational, we would like to load the practices pre-existing on the current NVAO GPIP.
Is the online submission accessible to everyone? Or do we have to make an inlog specially for higher education programmes and institutions?
The online submission is accessible to everyone.
With the administration interface, you mean the area of WordPress? Or another interface of the NVAO? So the review of a practice is something that will happen in WordPress or in another interface.
We mean WordPress.
Page 19 tells us: Here an administrator can add a new Certificate or Good Practice or edit an existing Certificate or Good Practice.
No, page 19, section 4.5.2 states “Here an administrator can add a new Certificate or edit an existing Certificate”. It does not say anything about good practices. Is it an option to add a new certificate of good practice manualy?
Yes. Because they can put new certificates and good practices also via the submitting page.
This is also correct. Dependent on the review procedure is in WordPress or in another administration interface the administrator can give a go to publish a certificate or a good practice in the administration interface.
The administration interface should be WordPress or another open source portable solution. The administrator will publish the Certificates There is no review procedure for the Certificate. There is a review procedure for good practices, but Administrators should be able to bypass it and publish Good Practices themselves, because some of the good practices are identified during within Certificates and do not require to undergo an evaluation.
What is the name of the current theme used at http://ecahe.eu/?
The theme is custom built.
Can we mirror the current site locally?
Yes, under certain conditions.
What is the setup used in the webserver to integrated with Mediawiki? See http://ecahe.eu/w/index.php/Main_Page
The new platform is not supposed to have any link or integration with Mediawiki.
What is the current implementation used for email subscription?
There are updates send from the Mediawiki, but the new platform has no link with the mediawiki. No further email subscription is implemented.
What is the exact functionality of the search function? Can you be more specific?
The search function should give users the functionality to find (sets of) specific items (practices/certificates). We expect to surpass a hundred items in two years. Without a search the information would not be accessible anymore. In addition, filtering provides an easy way to make sets of items that share a specific characteristic.
Annex 1 tells us wich fields of information are available in the search function. Are you sure that the location in the identity kit is not searchable?
A search on location is nice to have, but not a must.
In which database is the search function going to search? Is it about a new to build database in WordPress or is it going to search in another NVAO database? Is there information available about this database? Can we get access? Or do we already know this database?
There is no database in use that should be searched. You are free to design a way to store date. See related question below.
Annex 1 tells us wich filteroptions are available. It’s about 5 possibillities to filter on. The practice categories is pretty extensive. Is it neccesary to first filter on Programme, School and Institutional level? The practice categories are for each lever different, so after the choice of the levels you need to get the choice of the associated categories. Is that right?
Regarding the practise categories, we do not have a preference. The two-step option, is fine for us.
The title of the good practices and certificates need to be searchable in filteroptions. The title of the good practices contains free text. That is difficult to filter on, what do you think about this point? We sure can put the title in the search bar.
If the title is in the searchbar, it can indeed be omitted from the filter.
On page 18 you mentioned: if an item as a period of validity (from-until), the date until should be later than the present day. This means that if the period of validity has ended, this item is no longer visible unless specifically filtered. Can you be more specific about this item? The searchfunction is searching in the database, when we say to an item that it’s no longer visible in the search results, it also disappears in the filter results. Unless we make an exception, but that will take extra work.
We would like to keep all items available even if their period of validity has ended. But we also do not want to mislead visitors by presenting obsolete items. The main issue here is the distinction between actual current items and “archived” items. If you can make this distinction crystal clear in the search results and in the presentation of the items, this would be fine. We would then not require the exception mentioned in the question.
Where do we have to store the submissions? In WordPress? Or do we have to store them in a database (can we get access to this database or maybe we already have)? Is it a requirement to put practices manually in the database?
There is no database in use for the items, submissions. You are free to design a way to store data. As long as the approach is easily understandable (and in line with the RFP) , we do not have a preference for the way data is stored.
Why do we need to send a submitted practice to a randomly assigned peer reviewer? We think it’s better that there is one designated representative who then passes the submission to the selected peer reviewer.
We want to randomise the system of evaluation. If this is not possible or feasible, you can propose an intermediate step.