Tracking and Reporting for your ‘proprietary’ CMS data

The database structure of a CMS will probably always be ‘proprietary’ and probably always be less than optimal for reporting out on such interesting questions as: Which tools do my faculty use? Which departments (Engineering, Biology, Languages) tend to use which tools? Yes, faculty upload resources, but do all students actually read (access) those quiz guides or reading assignments? How what percentage of our Instructors teaching in any given semester are using our course management system? Notre Dame wanted to know these things. It would help us determine whether our CMS is even useful for teaching and learning, let us … Continue reading Tracking and Reporting for your ‘proprietary’ CMS data

Enhancement Idea for LMS / CMS / CLE

IF it is true that student data as contained in a course management / collaborative learning system IS identified by your institution as INSTITUTIONALLY VALUED DATA, covered by some kind of data retention policy THEN the data from past semesters must be archived according to that policy AND protected from change. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ : ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ : ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do we know of any systems currently that are able to provide Instructors with continued access to historical class data (grade challenges, course re-design efforts etc) while protecting that data from change after the end of the term? THIS is a needed feature. Continue reading Enhancement Idea for LMS / CMS / CLE

*Oh* *My* *Word* : Unknown feature in Weblogic 9.2 the cause of it all.

Weblogic 9.2, the underpinnigs of CE/Vista 8.0 has an Advanced SSL feature which is enabled by default. From the BEA “Configuring SSL” doc: Using Host Name Verification “A host name verifier is useful when an SSL client (or a WebLogic Server acting as an SSL client) connects to an application server (ed. “Wimba Voice Server”) on a remote host. It helps to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks. By default, WebLogic Server has host name verification enabled. As a function of the SSL handshake, WebLogic Server compares the common name in the SubjectDN in the SSL server’s digital certificate with the host name … Continue reading *Oh* *My* *Word* : Unknown feature in Weblogic 9.2 the cause of it all.

Authoring Environment Development: Two Models

While one model is open and public and inviting of comments and suggestions from parties who may also be developers, vendors, or even competitors… (See such an invitation from Sakai foundation and watch Michael Korcuska’s Sakai 3 authoring tool demonstration here.) There’s another model. Blackboard’s Product Development Program also solicits customer feedback, suggestions, input, but with restrictions and follow-up that must be done by those responding to the invitation, lest, once announcing their desire to participate, they miss the window of opportunity defined by Blackboard. So when I saw Dara Millen’s invitation to jump into the Product Development Program (always … Continue reading Authoring Environment Development: Two Models

Embedding ‘cloud’ content into Bb Vista – Caveat Emptor

Flickr , Slideshow, Google Sites, YouTube, Google Calendar, Twitter,, Poll Everywhere, Odeo Podcasts, Wikispaces … the list goes on. Yes, this and other embeddable content can form a part of a well-constructed course. And display inside your course management system’s coursesite too. As though the content originated there. What you should know before hand are these points, so that, when, after all consideration, you choose to embed this content, you understand, especially if you teach at the University of Notre Dame, you may not get the kind of troubleshooting support you would hope for. This is strictly due to … Continue reading Embedding ‘cloud’ content into Bb Vista – Caveat Emptor

Blackboard Heroes

I am not overly fond of some of the policies and practices of the Blackboard company as a whole. Some of the problems of the company itself: 1. Diversification in their product offerings such that innovation in the teaching and learning space is no longer revolutionary, but only incremental . Examples: Add Scholar. Add Facebook widget. Add Web 2.0 interface. Yawn… 2. Internal communication problems such that no coherent or timely message or response to clients can be mustered. A couple examples of what I’d like to hear across Managed Hosting, Product Development, Client Support, whatever division supports fixes and … Continue reading Blackboard Heroes

University governance of a course management system

You should've seen me Friday. I was practically flipping cartwheels as I walked out of the CMS SubCommitte to the University Committee on Academic Technologies' (UCAT) December meeting. For 3 and a half years it has taken reports back to the UCAT. It has made suggestions, recommendations and provided data to the UCAT. But Friday… Friday the SubCommittee made a decision. That decision served to provide me and my colleagues with direction. (And I got a whole new pre-Christmas to-do list, but that's beside the point). The SubCommittee reversed the implementation decision from back in 2005 that course links would … Continue reading University governance of a course management system