New Instructional Software or Tool Request Procedure

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Purpose: To ensure requests for new instructional and institutional software & tools are completed in a consistent and timely fashion.

Background: Currently, there is no official process in place for requesting instructional software or tools at the University.  To address the most critical needs of the university, Learning Systems, within Academic Technologies and the Academic Learning Transformation Lab (ALT Lab) have developed a policy which will serve as a guideline for providing consistent and timely responses to these requests.


1. Requests for new instructional software or tool must be submitted by a VCU Dean (or equivalent) by emailing

The request must include all of the following:

  • Software/Tool name and version (Check to see if that is available at the Software Center).

  • Reason/need for the software/tool.

  • Background and institutional benefits of the software/tool.

  • Any similar software/tool currently in use, and/or considered before submitting this request.

  • Any costs for the software/tool, vendor fees, student costs.

  • An estimate of how many faculty and/or staff would be using the software/tool.

  • The preferred timeframe (urgency) of implementation of the software/tool.

  • Indicate if the software/tool needs to be installed in University classroom or lab computers. (View the currently installed classroom software).

2. Upon receipt of the request, a confirmation email will be sent to the requester within 24 hours (M-Th).

3. ALT Lab and Academic Technologies will jointly complete a thorough analysis of the software/tool, including functionality and pedagogical testing, cost, and support resources. Your department or others may also be asked to test the functionality and provide input.

4. The ALT Lab and Academic Technologies departments will meet and discuss their findings. If any issues are encountered, the vendor may be contacted for assistance. This can be a lengthy process, therefore allow at least 4-8 weeks.

5. The ALT Lab and Academic Technologies will provide the requester with one of the following:

  • A documented timeline for implementation of the software/tool and details for support and daily maintenance.

  • A report of the analysis and details of why it will not be implemented.


  1. If a software or tool is already available at VCU, but a newer version is needed, send a request.

  2. If implemented, the software/tool will be re-evaluated annually by ALTlab and Academic Technologies to verify usage, compatibility with newer technologies, support requirements, costs and that it continues to meet the needs of the requestor(s) and the University.

  3. All procurements with a projected or actual cost of $2,000,000 or more for a contract period exclusive of renewal periods require prior approval of the Board of Visitors or an appropriate committee thereof. If the procurement has a projected or actual cost of $2,000,000 or more, submit the Board minutes for the approval.