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Writing a Requirements Document For Multimedia and Software Projects

"Requirements include descriptions of system properties, specifications for how the system should work, and constraints placed upon the development process. Generally, requirements are statements of what a system should do rather than how it should do it. The answers to how questions fall into the realm of design. Requirements specifications should not include design solutions (except for interface requirements, which often include embedded design).

Requirements come from end users, from customers, and sometimes from developers. End users tend to state requirements in descriptive or narrative terms ('I'd like a welcome screen with links to the things I use regularly, and I want to be able to select from a couple of different color schemes for the welcome screen') which might need to be broken down into individual requirement statements. Customers, who may well be different from end users, are the people who are paying for the development of the system. Their requirements will often be stated in terms of costs or scheduling issues. Developers might have requirements related to system performance and other technical topics.

It's important to have all these groups contribute to the requirements document to create a fuller description of the system. The practice of including these groups also helps to ensure that everyone is in agreement about what is to be done before development begins.

Requirements documents usually include user, system, and interface requirements; other classes of requirements are included as needed. User requirements are written from the point of view of end users, and are generally expressed in narrative form: The user must be able to change the color scheme of the welcome screen. System requirements are detailed specifications describing the functions the system needs to do. These are usually more technical in nature: The system will include four preset color schemes for the welcome screen. Colors must be specified for the page background, the text, visited links, unvisited links, active links, and buttons (base, highlight, and shadow). Interface requirements specify how the interface (the part of the system that users see and interact with) will look and behave. Interface requirements are often expressed as screen mock–ups; narratives or lists are also used."

(Rachel S. Smith, California State University Center for Distributed Learning)



business logic • business needs • California State University • design solutions • desirable requirement • documented characteristic • expressed in narrative form • functional explanation • functional requirement • functional requirements document • in scope • interface requirements • mandatory requirement • non-functional requirement • operational narrative • optional requirement • out of scope • performance qualification • planning document • prioritisationproject requirementsproject scopequality assurance • requirement statements • requirements document • requirements documentsrequirements elicitationrequirements gatheringrequirements prioritisationrequirements processrequirements specification • requirements specifications • software development process • software engineeringsoftware system • specific needs • system constraints • system properties • system requirements • user acceptance testing • user requirement specification • user requirements • user requirements document • validation process


Simon Perkins
08 JULY 2012

From LMS to VLE or from supermarkets to airports: Classifying elearning platforms using metaphors

"This paper presents a rational model developed to make sense of various elearning platforms currently in use in Australian universities. The conceptualisation and organisation of the elearning platforms is underpinned by an educational psychology framework of social construction of meaning, data visualisation and story telling for meaning making. The model explains how various elearning platforms can be integrated to represent a threedimensional, hierarchical construct that has the potential to aid understandings about the utility of information systems (IS) for learning and teaching. The model shows that LAMS, which has gained increasing popularity in Europe (Laurillard & Masterman, 2010), is usefully depicted as a 'middle ground' system, successfully bridging conventional LMSs and more advanced IS, referred here as (MU)VLEs (Multi–User Virtual Learning Environments). The model has important implications on how university lecturers, classroom teachers and students come to engage with an increasingly complex elearning environment."

(Eva Dobozy & Patricia Reynolds, LAMS Conference Sydney 2010)

Dobozy, E. & Reynolds, P. (2010). From LMS to VLE or from supermarkets to airports: Classifying elearning platforms using metaphors. Proceedings of the 5th International LAMS Conference 2010.


2010airport • airport metaphor • AustraliaAustralian universitiesclassification scheme • classifying • classroomcollaborationconceptual modelconceptualisationconference paper • constructivist approach • data visualisationDiana Laurillarde-learninge-learning application • e-learning conference • e-learning platformeducational psychologyelearning • elearning environments • elearning platforms • electronic portfolioengagement • Eva Dobozy • hierarchical orderinginformation systemsinformation visualisation • IS • LAMS • LAMS Conference • learninglearning and teachinglearning designlearning design support environmentlecturer • Liz Masterman • LMSmeaning makingmetaphor • Multi-User Virtual Learning Environments • MUVLE • Patricia Reynolds • pedagogysocial construction of meaningsocial constructivismsocial-constructivist approachstorytellingstudentssupermarketteachinguser requirementsvisual metaphorVLE


Simon Perkins

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