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Needs Identification Framework for Technology Innovation (NIFTI)

How do we foster collaboration and communication around educational technologies such as e-Portfolio, Learning Activity Management Systems (LAMS), and Open Educational Resources (OER)? While UMassOnline has taken on many new technology initiatives in the past, the process in which the technology needs are identified for emerging tools has been missing. A methodology to identify the needs for new technologies was created in the summer of 2010. The Needs Identification Framework for Technology Innovation (NIFTI) or the “volcano” process includes a workflow to fill-in the the missing technology gaps from our campuses and allow for exploration of emerging technologies all while UMassOnline takes on the financial and technological responsibilities.

Learn more about the UMassOnline's Product Development and the NIFTI process.

Watch this space as additional information becomes available.

NIFTI Discussion


3D Virtual Worlds


Class AssessmentRubrics used as best practices to assess classes.

Content Management System

UMassOnline is currently investigating Web Content Management Systems to replace our current website.

Customer Relationship Management

UMassOnline is currently investigating Customer Relationship Management Systems in an effort to develop a central location for leads processing.

Department of Energy, NTER Platform

The objective of Department of Energy's NTER project is to develop a platform to author and deliver immersive education and training via a web interface. The project makes use of virtual worlds, distributed repositories, SCORM, O3D, and social networking in an open source framework.


In an effort to overcome assessment discrepancies between applications as well as the organizational profiles and practices of evaluating institutions, UMassOnline is volunteering the create, manage, and fund a web space at which functional requirements gathering (in the form of user stories) can be collected, distributed and addressed by subject matter experts.

e-Learning Authoring

e-Learning Authoring is used to create and deliver interactive content for online courses.

Enterprise Instant MessagingEnterprise instant messaging is used for groups, departments, institutions, etc. with a need to instantly communicate via an online text to text application.


e-Portfolios, electronic portfolios, may be defined by the following descriptions: an e-portfolio may simply be a digital collection of a student's current and ongoing work to include writing samples, images, as well as links to other resources on the internet; an e-portfolio may be a showcase of a student's work and accomplishments; an e-portfolio may be a measure of achievement or reflection of learning.

Identity Management

Identity management, ID management or IdM as a system is a broad administrative area that deals with identifying individuals in a system (authentication) and controlling the access to the resources in that system (Authorization) by placing restrictions on the established identities.

Internal Help Desk Solution

A Help Desk Ticketing System, or Issue Tracking System, can be defined a computer software package that manages and maintains lists of issues, as needed by an organization.

Mobile Learning (mLearning)

Multiple types of learning occurring on a mobile device such as a mobile phone, tablet, and netbooks.

Learning Activity Management System (LAMS)

LAMS is a revolutionary new tool for designing, managing and delivering online collaborative learning activities. It provides teachers with a highly intuitive visual authoring environment for creating sequences of learning activities. These activities can include a range of individual tasks, small group work and whole class activities based on both content and collaboration.

LMS Data Access and Analytics

This group is interested in exposing data generated by activities within the LMS for a variety of purposes: early warning, student jeopardy, retention, course evaluations, etc.

Learning Outcomes Assessment

Learning outcomes are used to measure and gauge the quality of our online courses.

Online Multimedia ResourcesOnline multimedia resources are used to create media-rich course content.

Online Tutoring

Online tutoring provides asynchronous and synchronous support services ({}i.e math, science, foreign languages, writing) to online students.

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open educational resources (OER) are educational materials that are available to use, remix and redistribute under an attribution license, e.g., Creative Commons.

Open Standards

Technical learning services used to enhance the online teaching and learning experience.

Pre-production Integrations

Third-party integrations must be researched, installed into a pre-production environment and tested before moving to our production environment.

Secure Online Testing

Secure online environment for test-taking.

Customer Service Agreements (SLA)

A service level agreement is a part of a service contract where systems performance and support is formally defined for either technical or personal services. As an example, Internet Service Providers will commonly include service level agreements within the terms of their contracts with customers to define the availability a software application, or the response time of the help desk.

Single Sign-On (SSO)

Single sign-on (SSO) is a property of access control of multiple related, but independent software systems. With this property a user logs in once and gains access to all systems without being prompted to log in again at each of them.

Student Response Systems (SRS)

A student response system (SRS) consists of one or a combination of student input devices via smartphone or computer which allows instructors to captures the responses of students. (Also called Classroom Reponse Systems (CRS), Personal Response Systems, "clickers", etc.).

Task Management
(Requests, Assignments & Fulfillment)

Currently service and support requests of IT staff are made through a variety of communications channels: email, Wufoo forms, Confluence discussions, during meetings, on the phone, through IM, etc. A variety of challenges exist around awareness, workflow, priority, etc. for both those making the request who would like to stay informed about the status of their issue, and those assigned a specific task who need to aggregate and integrate these issues into their daily operations. In order to assist both the requester and the assignee the UMassOnline Tech Team is investing solutions for Service Request, Task Management and Issue Resolution.

Uptime and Performance Monitoring Services


Video Analysis


Virtual Language Laboratory


Voice Authoring


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