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December Update

posted Dec 18, 2015, 11:26 AM by Mike Landis

We've been pretty busy in our IT office as usual!  Here's some of the stuff that's been going on:
  • Calendar. Everything is now at calendar.montreat.edu and it seems to be working well.  
  • Support. Also, we're rolling out new support tools for Communications, to use our support.montreat.edu infrastructure.  The same system that we use for IT is now used by all of communications.
  • Backup systems.  We've been revamping our system backup infrastructure and process.
  • Workflow for Check-In.  We're adopting a new and refined process for supporting the Student Check-In process, and hope to have that ready to roll out very soon and much in time for the 2016 Fall group of inbound students.
  • Online Portal.  We've revamped the buttons on our online.montreat.edu intranet portal to be more useful and easier to manage.
  • Internal System Upgrades. For some of our account management infrastructure.
  • Application Upgrades. We've been developing testing methodologies to allow us to better test major software upgrades and deployments.

We hope you have a Merry Christmas!

- Mike

Regarding Fall 2015 Courses in Moodle

posted Jul 28, 2015, 12:28 PM by Mike Landis

Normally, courses will appear in Moodle within 30 days of the course start date, with students showing up in those courses within 7 days of course start date. The new blue Moodle 2015-16 portal, however, doesn’t have any courses in it yet, in spite of the fact that it is for courses starting on or after August 1. Currently Adult and Graduate Studies (SPAS) Summer Session 3 is in progress, and so all current courses are already deployed to the current 2014-15 portal. 

New Fall semester Adult and Graduate Studies (SPAS) classes and Fall semester traditional (SAS) classes are not currently deployed to Moodle. 

I will be deploying all new courses to the new Moodle portal at some time on Monday, August 3. At this time, if there is a template set up for your course, your course content will be copied from the template in place into a new course instance. Therefore after that time, any further changes to the template will not affect the deployed courses. 

Most courses do not yet have a template, which means that instructors have to manually back up old courses and restore into their new courses. 

As a reminder regarding course templates: 
  • Course templates allow automated deployment of course content from one course to another in Moodle. No backup or restore is needed. 
  • Changes to course templates do not affect existing courses. Content gets copied from the template to the course when courses deploy. 
  • You can always back up an old class and restore it into a new one. 
  • If you make changes to your course, and want to incorporate those into an existing template, you can backup from the course and restore into the template. 
  • All Adult and Graduate Studies courses start with content from a template that includes, at least, the PDF Modules for the class. 

On Monday, August 17, I will swap the blue Moodle 2015-16 link with the teal Moodle 2014-15 link. This is so that students used to clicking in a certain place will go to the place they are expecting (that being the top right Moodle portal). So please do pay attention to which portal you are clicking on during this time, since new courses will not be present in the old portal. 

Do be aware that the new portal has a completely different look and feel. While much of the behavior is the same, navigation is often in a slightly different place, and the colors are updated. The Moodle portal has been updated to take advantage of the newest capabilities of browsers and HTML. In fact, that’s why we deploy a new portal from time to time: So that we can take advantage of new functionality and updates without disrupting current courses in session. 

Please check the new portal for the presence of any templates you want. If you want a template set up for a course, just email us the course ID  as in “CS 302”, along with when you last taught it (so that we can use that as the source for a template). Please drop your request to us at support@montreat.edu – obviously before the end of the week so that we can set up your template before the new courses deploy. 

Thanks for reading, and blessings! 

Mike 

PS – We are in the process of making many exciting changes and have done tons of work over the summer, including: release of Google Apps, Google Classroom, revamped IT documentation, Google Drive and shared folders, sharing groups, video repository via Google and Office 365, and more. We’ll be summarizing technologies and educating our community throughout the Fall about these exciting new capabilities.

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