Australia: Victoria Loses The Run Of Its e-Learning Iniatitive

Key contractor says it’s ‘not a technology issue’

In 2009, CSG won the contract to provide Victoria with Ultranet, a state-wide e-learning platform meant to provide test results, teacher feedback, homework activity, attendance and timetables as well as provide an environment for online learning and collaboration.

Then CSG sold its technology division to NCS Australia a few moths ago.  This development caused some disquiet and the Auditor-General decided the matter warranted some scrutiny. The subsequent report advised Victoria to consider scrapping the whole scheme once hosting and maintenance contracts expired in 2013. Originally bearing a cost of AU$62 million, it is anticipated the final cost will be almost three times that – approximately AU$180 million.

It also noted that advice from other departments to delay or can the project were disregarded, and concerns raised in further reviews were dismissed.

Teachers received coaching on how to use the system up to two years before the system was actually live, and an August 2010 ‘pupil free day’ that was meant to facilitate a large Ultranet trial did not go as planned, due to technical difficulties.