August 29, 2019

 

Dear Consortium Colleagues, 

We want to assure you that the long-awaited Aqueduct Authoring and Editing Interface and Tool (AET) continue to be a top priority for our software development and content production teams. Unfortunately, the release of these new tools has been delayed for several important reasons outlined below. 

As many of you know, the curriculum, assessment, and development teams have all been hard at work collaborating on this project to ensure that the end result meets all of our needs for creating and editing Aquifer cases and assessment tools. We continue aiming to provide an easy-to-use and comprehensive tool for an improved Continuous Course Improvement (CCI) process that replaces several external tools like Google Docs and Gathercontent. 

The key features of the Aquifer Authoring and Editing Tool are:

  • a system to manage the different versions (published, in review, etc) of our content; 
  • workflow tools to suggest, comment, and accept or reject changes; 
  • a dashboard to manage individual contributors’ workload and tasks.

Several important factors have contributed to the delay:

  1. As we explored the requirements, the development of a robust version control system to elegantly support the authoring and editing workflows was more complex than originally estimated.
  2. Several competing priorities, including developing and testing the new subscription management system needed for July and onboarding a new developer, impacted developer availability.
  3. We implemented new, rigorous testing protocols in Aqueduct that decreased the number of bugs, increased the quality of code, and created a more efficient testing process. Unfortunately, these critical infrastructure and protocol development projects necessitated sacrificing some short-term project progress for long-term efficiency and quality control.

To prevent this issue in the future and to improve our processes, we have amended our development cycle, adding a step to carefully align our resources and time with deadlines for delivery. 

Our goal remains to release Authoring and Editorial Tools that will support collaboration and further enhance the CCI process. We will provide a demonstration of the tools at Wellspring in September. As always, we thank you for all of the work you do to help Aquifer deliver the most up-to-date and informative content to our learners.

 

Sincerely,

Javier Nicolalde, MS, PhD

Chief Technology Officer

 

Leslie Fall, MD

Executive Director & Chief Academic Officer