After many years studying and analyzing the various issues surrounding the use of Audience Response Systems at UofT (including ancillary fees policies, information security and privacy concerns, wifi stability, and of course, required functionality, etc.), the University issued a Request for Supplier Qualifications earlier this year. Unlike an “RFP”, the “RFSQ” gives the University more flexibility to select more than one supplier, thereby offering instructors and departments some choice around this type of technology.
Attached to this post is the actual RFSQ document for those who may wish to read it, but in summary, here is the introduction to the initiative excerpted for your convenience:
The University requires a streamlined approach to the deployment of Audience Response Systems and Devices (“ARS”), which may include physical devices and/or mobile apps. The ARS will primarily be used in classes ranging from smaller than 30 to large lectures with more than 1500 students. The University anticipates the selected solution(s) to be mainly used in not only a single location, but in several situations, simultaneous operation in multiple locations might be necessary for courses taught on multiple campuses. It is not the intent of the University to purchase devices and/or software licenses for each student; the cost for those items will continue to be borne by individual students, or purchased at a departmental level, as per the current practice. Nor is it the intent of the University to purchase base stations (where a solution requires those), either by the University as a whole or by individual instructors. However, the purpose of this call for proposals is to identify one or more Successful Respondents for a multi-year contract, and subject to a successful agreement between the Respondent and the University of Toronto Bookstore as the sales agent for the proposed solution. The ARS and related services from the Successful Respondents will be promoted to members of our teaching staff as viable options, with a primary goal being that students who invest in the technology will be able to use them in more than one class, rather than having to buy competing technologies for different courses. In addition to promoting the selected solution(s), the University will also commit to installing the Respondent’s necessary integration solution on our Learning Management System.
The opportunity, which was posted on MERX, is now closed and a University evaluation committee is currently working with Procurement Services to short-list potential suppliers, hopefully by the end of May. Please stay tuned for updates. Thank you.