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IT Services News No. 153 Sep-Oct 2011

Message from the Director, Information Technology Services

    1. Introduction
    2. Moodle – the new Learning Management System (LMS)
    3. Oracle/PeopleSoft HR/Payroll System
    4. Student email system to be outsourced to Google
    5. My Appointment at the University

1. Introduction

We have survived the first two months of the new academic year.  Our focus now continues to be on stabilizing the new PeopleSoft systems, implementing Moodle and migrating existing WebCT courses to Moodle, migrating the student email system to Google, and making sure all the IT-related work for the Centennial Campus is successfully undertaken.

2. Moodle – the new Learning Management System (LMS)

You will be aware that the University has adopted Moodle as the centrally-supported LMS.  The Moodle system (Version 2.1) went live on 29 August 2011 and a number of members of the academic community are already using it.  The project team is now fully established and the main areas of focus are two-fold: (1) providing appropriate training for the academic community in the use of Moodle, and (2) assisting with the conversion of WebCT courses to Moodle.

As previously indicated, it is anticipated that the existing WebCT system will no longer be used for any courses in the 2012-2013 academic year and, therefore, a lot need to be done in the next 8-10 months.  Please keep a lookout in the coming months for important communications from Professor Amy Tsui, who is chair of the Moodle project steering committee, and the project team.

3. Oracle/PeopleSoft HR/Payroll System

As previously advised, the Phase A of the new HR/Payroll system went live on Monday 11 April 2011 and Phase B went live on Monday 15 August.  The project team members are well aware that there remain a number of issues that are causing users of the system some difficulties.  The team is working with our contractors to address the identified issues as a matter of priority.  You will be pleased to know that, while many still remain, the number of issues have reduced by approximately 1/3rd in the past 2.5 months; the project team is making progress!


If you identify an issue that you think the project team needs to be made aware of or some process that does not work correctly, please advise the HCM Help Desk as soon as possible.  You can email the Help Desk at AskHCM@hku.hk or call them on 3549-5678.

4. Student email system to be outsourced to Google

As previously advised, the University will be changing the student email system and will commence using Google mail from early 2012.  Full details will be provided soon.

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5. My Appointment at the University

Some of you may have seen the position of HKU Director of Information Technology Services advertised recently.  After much deliberation, I have decided not to accept another three-year contract.  However, I will be staying on for an extra four months and will finish at HKU at the end of April 2012.  This will allow me to prepare and submit the 2012-2013 budget (which is due by 31 March) and complete the annual performance reviews of my direct reports.  I have enjoyed my time at HKU immensely and I will always have fond memories of the University.

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