AVU Consultant for the Development of Learning Management System (LMS)

Jul 27, 2016

Vacancy Notice: Consultant for the Development of Learning Management System (LMS)
The African Virtual University (AVU) is seeking a Consultant to develop the Learning Management System (LMS) The successful candidates will be appointed for 21 working days. 

The services to be provided and the scope of the work are indicated in the Terms of References (ToRs).

1. Introduction: The African Virtual University (AVU), www.avu.org, is a Pan African Intergovernmental Organization established by charter with the mandate of significantly increasing access to quality higher education and training through the innovative use of information communication technologies. 

A Charter, establishing the AVU as an Intergovernmental Organization, has been signed so far by eighteen (19) African Governments - Kenya, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, Benin, Ghana, Republic of Guinea, Burkina Faso, Niger, South Sudan, Sudan, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria and Cape Verde. 

The AVU has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya and a Regional office in Dakar Senegal with Host-Country Agreements and Diplomatic Status with the two governments.

The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) is an academic network that enables Africa’s brightest students to become innovators that advances scientific, educational and economic self-sufficiency. 

AIMS has a pan African scope and currently has its operational centres of excellence in South Africa, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, and Tanzania and soon in Rwanda.
The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at AIMS is a five-year investment from The MasterCard Foundation that will enable AIMS to strengthen capacity and scale up existing initiatives in mathematical sciences training and STEM coordination at national and pan-African levels. 

This investment will contribute to the STEM human capital needed to transform the continent, and increase the number of African STEM scholars, particularly women, leading technological innovations that can address development challenges and drive wealth creation in Africa.

2.0. Scope of Work
The consultant is expected to undertake a need analysis, design and upgrade the AIMS Learning Management System. 

The AIMS LMS will be based on the last stable version of Moodle platform and will integrate all the needed Moodle tools and plugins. 

The main functionalities to be provided are as follows:
  • Modern, easy to use interface
  • Personalized Dashboard to display courses the way you want
  • Collaborative tools and activities such as forum, wikis
  • Register users for current and future courses, calendar
  • Train or learn asynchronously or synchronously (24H/2H availability)
  • Support for self-paced or blended learning. Offer a mixed curriculum that combines classroom learning and virtual courses easily
  • Skill and knowledge tools for various analysis and result measurement, and tools for tracking progresses for groups and single students (results/activities)
  • SCORM Compatible and mobile rendering
  • Support Creative Commons licensing
  • Course management provides the following; creation of courses, assignment module, grade management module, quizzes module, survey module, and timetable module etc.
  • Self-generation of analytics and a variety of reports, preview reports before exporting, filter reports based on user groups or courses, demography and print reports in PDF, Excel formats or other file formats
  • Integration of Learning Experience APIs or plugins providing learning analytics including experiences, scores, progress, teams, virtual media, real-world experiences (not just completions)
  • Multiple learner communication features such as Social Medias, chat, forums, SMS messaging, email, communities and discussion threads
  • Build a straightforward and easy to navigate courseware which can be assigned by academic program managers or learn independently using the Open Access courseware
  • Manage Courses, Classes, Clients, Locations, Books, People, Lists, Forms
  • Support Secure authentication and mass enrolment
  • High interoperability; Freely integrate external APIs and content or allows creation of your own plugin for custom integrations
  • Ability to integrate external learning platforms and video conferences management systems such as blackboard
  • Track student’s progress; both educators and learners can track progress and completion with an array of options for tracking individual activities or resources and at course level
  • Secure authentication and mass enrollment
  • Detailed reporting capability: View and generate reports on activity and participation at course and site level
  • Support embedding of external resources: Teaching materials and include assignments from other sites and connect to the grade book in Moodle.
  • Integrate collaborative API (Google Apps, Facebook, twitter etc.; Built-in collaborative publishing features to foster engagement and encourage content-driven collaboration
  • Group management; Group learners to share courses, differentiate activities and facilitate teamwork
  • Multilingual capability (English, French)
  • Web services support; XML-RPC, AMF (Flash), REST, SOAP (PHP)
  • The portal should be secured and in line with local and international internet and digital regulations.
2.1 The Consultant will be Required to:
  • Collect and assess the needs of AVU for the LMS
  • Develop customization strategy identifying requirements for functionality improvement, new functionality, Plugin or API integration for the LMS portal
  • Apply the AIMs logo and brand identity and marketing materials to all the web pages
  • Develop and maintain a state-of-the-art look and feel for the LMS Portal
  • Ensure that complete security measures are in place to safeguard the portals
  • Ensure that the CMS support Multi – Lingual structure
  • Provide support in importing/exporting the content into the new platforms
  • Have the Platform developed and hosted in AVU cloud
  • Ensure that indexing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Piwik stats and Google analytics integration
  • Installation and configuration new plugins and tools that implement new functionalities
  • Train AVU staff to provide continuous support.
3.0 Deliverables and Expected Outcomes
  • LMS portals’ needs collected and assessed.
  • LMS portal design, development and implementation work plans developed.
  • LMS developed according to their requirements and hosted in AVU cloud.
  • All Web portals integrated and developed with an open source CMS.
  • A state-of-the-art look and feel for the Portal developed in line with AVU marketing strategy.
  • Analytics, tools for Indexing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) integrated.
  • Prepared strategy/plan on how to handle platform updates and new releases of web portal platforms.
  • Provided support for portals content exporting/importing provided.
  • Prepared sitemap with web alignment in English and French.
  • AVU staff trained to provide continuous support.
4.0 Qualifications of the Key Experts
4.1 Qualifications of the Team Leader
  • Master’s degree preferably or Bachelor’s degree with sound experience in Software Development, Web services or Engineering or any related fields.
  • Minimum eight years relevant experience in the web service programming and development.
  • Excellent Knowledge of software development and coding (web 2.0), Server technologies (Email, File, etc.), DBMS (MS SQL, MySQL, etc.), Windows Servers, and/or Unix.
  • Excellent knowledge of Systems and Software Architectures.
  • Good experience in software and/or web services development life cycle.
  • Excellent knowledge of Learning Management Systems (LMS), Client/Server technology.
  • Cloud Computing.
  • Up to date knowledge and experience of the latest technologies and tools.
  • Very good understanding of AVU standards and web service processes.
  • Knowledge and working experience with project management will be a plus.
4.2. Qualifications of Web Designer
  • Bachelor’s degree with sound experience in Software Development, Web services or IT or any related fields.
  • Excellent knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe illustrator and Adobe Dreamweaver.
  • Up to date knowledge and experience of the latest technologies and tools.
4.3. Qualifications of Web Developer
  • Bachelor’s degree with sound experience in Software Development, Web services or IT or any related fields
  • Excellent knowledge of Learning Management System (LMS), preference Moodle.
  • Experience with Distributed Computing models, Cloud Computing
  • Up to date knowledge and experience of the latest technologies and tools
  • Excellent Knowledge of software development and coding (web 2.0).
  • Excellent knowledge of Systems and Software Architectures.
5.0. Modalities of Work: The Consultant is expected to complete the exercise in a period not more than Twenty one (21) working days.

The consultant is also expected to provide a detailed work plan taking into account the deliverables and deadlines.

6.0. Reporting: The Consultant will report to the Rector or such other person as the AVU may designate from time to time in writing. 

However, the Consultant will be required time to time to meet the AVU management for any relevant decision or approval related to any issue, activity or deliverable that may be relevant.

7.0. Payment: Payment will be in a daily basis and will be commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the Consultant.

How to Apply

The consultants should indicate their interest in providing the above described services. Interested and eligible consultants should constitute a team and provide: - CV or profile - Team members CVs - Cover letter - References on the same services - Technical proposal indicating baseline project plan - Indication on the service costs 

The closing date for this application is August 5th 2016 at 3pm East African Time (UTC/GMT + 3). 

Application must include the Technical and Financial Evaluation in 2 separate envelopes to be delivered to the AVU HQ at Cape Office Park 3rd Floor Ring Road Kilimani Nairobi.


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