What is Open?

Table 1 - Related documents
Document title
Document version
ICT Innovation Fund – Round One 2010 Application Form
V2010-06-16 final


This document serves to open up discussion on what the definition of “open” is in relation to the ICT Innovation Fund project. In the planning meeting held at the Centre for Learning Innovation (CLI) on 22nd November 2010 a discussion began on what is meant by “open”, specifically in the context of who can use the system, and what processes are required to facilitate registration of users and how or if we need to moderate or manage registrations.

This document will serve as an input to the Business Requirements document for PLANE.

Open Authentication

At this point it may be worthwhile defining the terms authentication and authorisation.

Authentication is the process of verifying a person is who they say they are. This could be based on an email address, a username and password combination or some other such mechanism.

Authorisation is determining what permissions the authenticated user has within a system. This document is not discussing authorisation.

Known issues

The main stakeholders for the PLANE project do not have a standard user authentication system. DET and the Catholic schools both have their own centralised authentication system. The AIS has a decentralised authentication system, as do the universities.

Some students can have .edu addresses. This means we cannot automatically grant .edu email addresses access unless we agree to automatically allow all students access to PLANE.

Users that PLANE must be open to

· Catholic teachers
· Independent teachers
· DET teachers
· Pre-service teachers at universities and other accredited training bodies.

Cases to consider

· Should anybody with an .edu* email address be granted access. This would include students and administrative staff
· Students. Some students may be studying in the following year to be teachers. Should they be allowed entry or be denied access?
· Overseas teachers
· General public including RTO’s
· University lecturers

Process for managing access to members

An Identity Management process should be implemented that can, wherever possible, determine whether the authenticating user is a member of a known stakeholders domain, and if so delegate to that stakeholders authentication system before being returned to PLANE and flagged as an authenticated user.

Where it is not possible to automatically determine the origin of a user, they should be presented with a choice where they select an authorising body (i.e. DET, AIS, Catholic system etc.). If the user is not part of one of the stakeholder groups, the user should be presented with an alternative mechanism to attempt authorisation. This alternative mechanism needs to be discussed by the stakeholders as this is one area where clarity around the definition of ‘open’ is needed.

Discussion should revolve around which potential users have access and the processes around granting access.

We could also provide immediate guest level access to any users who cannot be verified by any of the previous means. They can be added to a workflow and once manually verified they could be granted normal teacher level access. In this context, guest level access would allow a user to view professional learning content and interact with objects on the virual world, but would not see or be able to interact with any other users.

Scenarios to consider

Mob sourced distraction

A group of students organise an online protest via the use of social media. They collectively agree to disrupt a professional learning session in the virtual world. By using the “open” authentication method they are able to provide a level of disruption that would prevent world participants from achieving their desired outcomes for the duration of the disruption.

Potential leaders being denied access

A student wants to log in to the system as they wish to become a teacher in the future and would like to gain an understanding of teacher professional learning and the resources available to them. They may wish to network with pre-service teachers to help guide and mentor them to achieve their desired profession.

Career planning for students

A Careers Officer in a school may wish to take a small group of students into a virtual world to give them an idea of teacher professional learning and to open their eyes to the potential of being a teacher.