Towards Instructor requirements for Course Managment / SIS Integration

… Begin with the end in mind.

So far, in exploring the options, our choices are these three. (I may be editing this post as comments come in and/or my own understanding changes).

1.  As an Instructor, I login to Sakai with the intent of using it to teach my course or courses in the upcoming term. I create a course site. At that time, or some time in the future, I select from an integration-provided list of rosters for which I am the designated Instructor, and add them to the course site I just created. Then, when ready, I publish the site so the students enrolled can see the supplemental material I’ve provided to extend and enhance their learning experience (and meet the learning objectives as outlined in my syllabus!).

Other Pieces that make this work
  • Sakai has been preloaded with all rosters.
  • Sakai knows which rosters/sections I am teaching and displays only those.
  • Sakai knows which rosters are grouped by the SIS into a crosslist (single course but various registration codes/types of credit) and selects the whole group for me when I choose one of them.
  • Learning curve for exception: I know I have to choose which rosters I attach so that the right students have access to my site, but some of these course subject/ numbers the system thinks I’m teaching aren’t even things I recognize! (Crosslistings for the primary course).

2. As an Instructor, I depend on administrators to pre-load all courses being taught by my institution for an entire term and to do so on a schedule they publish (in case I ever want to check it). This means when I login to Sakai with the intent of using it to teach my course or courses in the upcoming term, I find pre-existing course sites which I am teaching. These course sites are visible to me, but not to my students. In this model, I don’t create my sites, I design the course –or, ‘Import from Site’ the design/content I used in a previous semester. I don’t publish my site on my schedule, but I do know the date when courses are programmatically published/closed and become visible/disappear to all students at my institution, usually on the first day of classes.  If I’m a new instructor, my learning curve for now is designing the course and running it for the semester. Unless I emphatically want my students to have access earlier or later, or I teach multiple sections of the same course and it doesn’t make sense for me to design/run 3 identical electronic enhancements to my course, I don’t have any more to do. For the Instructors who do have those add’l requirements, there are additional technical pieces:

Other Pieces that make this work
  • Give Instructors Permissions to Create Course Sites (Does this also mean they could delete?!)
  • Supply storage and maintenance overhead for course sites that will never be used and rosters that will exist in their ‘standard’ places and also in ad hoc created course sites.
  • Learning curve for exception: I teach 3 crosslisted sections and have concluded what I’ve been given won’t work for me. I feel singled out because I have to learn how to a) create a course site; b) add rosters (I will get a warning that the roster is already in use but I must ignore the warning), including rosters of the other codes under which my students may have registered.
  • Learning curve for exception: I teach a course that habitually starts 1 week before the official start of term. What I’ve been given won’t work for me. I learn to publish so my students can see my course. When the official ‘publish’ date happens, my course isn’t changed.
  • Learning curve for exception: I have a student who has earned an incomplete. I told him he could do make up work over the summer and I’ll change his grade; I directed him to the course site, forgetting it disappears (I see it fine!) for students 21 days after the last class date. I’ve never seen or heard of this “publish/unpublish” feature … how do I do this?

3. Create default course sites through SIS integration. (Fondly referred to as Batch mode). Have admins create any necessary variations (multiple sections using the same course content, etc). Either provide a more user friendly interface (always debatable what this looks like) for Instructors to either ‘request’ a differently configured course site, or the interface has database links to programmatically do the work for them.

Other Pieces that make this work
  • Variations in the norm are bound to exist. My institution plans on creating a middleware piece to manage this for those who administer this, because in this model everything is done for for me and no requirement is made of me except that I know how to make my request, which I do for several courses each semester. It seems like a trend that everything I do is an exception to some rule?
  • Learning curve for exception: I teach 3 crosslisted sections and have concluded what I’ve been given won’t work for me. I feel singled out because I have to request to use only one course site each semester.
  • Learning curve for exception: I teach a course that habitually starts 1 week before the official start of term. What I’ve been given won’t work for me. I learn to publish so my students can see my course. When the official ‘publish’ date happens, my course isn’t changed.
  • Learning curve for exception: I have a student who has earned an incomplete. I told him he could do make up work over the summer and I’ll change his grade; I directed him to the course site, forgetting it disappears (I see it fine!) for students 21 days after the last class date. I’ve never seen or heard of this “publish/unpublish” feature … how do I do this?
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3 responses to “Towards Instructor requirements for Course Managment / SIS Integration

  1. Thanks. Especially this:
    2. As an Instructor, I depend on administrators to pre-load all courses being taught by my institution for an entire term and to do so on a schedule they publish (in case I ever want to check it). This means when I login to Sakai with the intent of using it to teach my course or courses in the upcoming term, I find pre-existing course sites which I am teaching. These course sites are visible to me, but not to my students. In this model, I don’t create my sites, I design the course –or, ‘Import from Site’ the design/content I used in a previous semester. I don’t publish my site on my schedule, but I do know the date when courses are programmatically published/closed and become visible/disappear to all students at my institution, usually on the first day of classes.  If I’m a new instructor, my learning curve for now is designing the course and running it for the semester. Unless I emphatically want my students to have access earlier or later, or I teach multiple sections of the same course and it doesn’t make sense for me to design/run 3 identical electronic enhancements to my course, I don’t have any more to do. For the Instructors who do have those add’l requirements, there are additional technical pieces:
    +1

  2. Unfortunately #2 does not exist at the moment. It’s being called “the hybrid approach” by those investigating how to wed #1 and #3.

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