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A Comprehensive WebCT Integration System. Rob Phillips Teaching and Learning Centre, Murdoch University James Strong NetSpot Onno Benschop ITmaze Mark Hallam WebCiTe. History. 1998: Adoption of WebCT at Murdoch 1999-00: Murdoch Online Mainstreaming Project

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A comprehensive webct integration system
A Comprehensive WebCT Integration System

  • Rob Phillips

    • Teaching and Learning Centre, Murdoch University

  • James Strong

    • NetSpot

  • Onno Benschop

    • ITmaze

  • Mark Hallam

    • WebCiTe


History
History

  • 1998: Adoption of WebCT at Murdoch

  • 1999-00: Murdoch Online Mainstreaming Project

    • to establish WebCT as a mission-critical application

    • to integrate WebCT with other University systems


Murdoch online mainstreaming project objectives
Murdoch Online Mainstreaming Project Objectives

  • 9,600 (of ~12,000) students now use WebCT

  • ~255 units in WebCT

  • WebCT is integrated with other corporate systems

    • Callista student records system

    • Concept 1 human resources system

    • Murdoch’s own MAIS authentication and identification system


Webctman
WebCTMan

  • Integration achieved through WebCTMan

  • Middleware WebCT management application

    • mySQL database

    • suite of operator tools and data transfer scripts

  • Collates student and staff information from multiple sources

  • Enables the flow of students in and out of WebCT


Overview
Overview

  • Conceptual issues around Murdoch’s implementation of WebCT

  • Design and Functionality of the system

  • Demonstration


Conceptual issues
ConceptualIssues

  • Course categories

  • Parent IDs

  • Unit offerings

  • Course Naming


Categories
Categories

  • Murdoch has four teaching ‘divisions’

  • One WebCT Category for each division

  • When a course is in use, it’s available through:

    • the Course Listing screen

    • MyWebCT

  • When a course is in not in use:

    • in hidden category (Under Development)

    • not visible to students


Parent ids
ParentIDs

  • Each category has an associated globalID, known as a “parent ID”

  • The parent ID is owned by the WebCT team

    • assigned as the primary designer

    • allows access to all courses

    • enables quality assurance

  • Teaching staff are shared access designers


Unit offerings
Unit Offerings

  • Units are offered flexibly at Murdoch

    • at different campuses/ locations

    • externally, internally and/or online

    • in different teaching periods (semester, trimester…)

  • Callista uses the concept of a Unit Offering


Administrative issues
Administrative Issues

  • Managing cohorts is an issue

    • whole cohort in one WebCT course?

    • different cohorts in different courses?

  • Managing semester breaks

    • when to remove students?


Course naming policy
Course Naming Policy

  • A WebCT course exists for each offering of a unit in a distinct teaching period

  • Naming convention

    • A123s1: Unit A123 offered in semester 1

    • A123t3: Unit A123 offered in trimester 3


Overview1
Overview

  • Conceptual issues around Murdoch’s implementation of WebCT

  • Design and Functionality of the system

  • Demonstration


Overview of webctman
Overviewof WebCTMan


Callista integration
CallistaIntegration



Course mapping summary
Course Mapping Summary

  • Students can be allocated to WebCT courses in any way desired

  • Non-Callista students can be added manually

    • e.g. first-year students at Murdoch’s partner institution in Malaysia

  • Student details from multiple sources combined in one place



Course status
Course Status

  • which WebCT courses should be populated with students?

    • e.g. students enrol early but the unit lecturer isn’t ready for them to use WebCT

  • Concept of course status

    • active

    • static

    • inactive


Active courses
Active Courses

Callista

Callista Upload

WebCT Man

Populate

WebCT

global DB

WebCT

course DB

  • Courses being used by students

  • Data updated daily


Callista upload
CallistaUpload

  • Perl script loads data into WebCTMan daily

  • Get all active unit offerings

  • Get all students in Callista who are enrolled in these unit offerings

  • For each student:

    • Add or update student details

    • Get student’s unit offerings from Callista and update these in WebCTMan


Populate into webct
Populate into WebCT

  • Perl script loads data into WebCT daily

  • Get all students in WebCTMan

  • For each student:

    • Look up courses for this student

    • For each active or static course:

      • Make up WebCT API call to add or update global database

      • Check for orphans and reconnect

      • Update personal details in each course database


Static courses
Static Courses

WebCT Man

Populate

WebCT

global DB

WebCT

course DB

Callista

  • Stop getting Callista data for this course

  • Enrolment data not updated

  • If student in any active course then personal data updated


Inactive courses
InactiveCourses

WebCT Man

WebCT

course DB

Callista

  • Students’ enrolments records are deleted for that course in WebCTMan

  • The API call to WebCT for that student will not contain that course

  • The student will be orphaned

  • The course data remains, but students cannot access it

WebCT

global DB




Webctman admin interface
WebCTMan Admin. Interface

  • With the addition of staff data, WebCTMan had the potential to fully manage WebCT

    • circumventing the Administrator Interface

    • adding more functionality to manage staff and courses

    • demo


Wrap up
Wrap Up

  • Conceptual issues around Murdoch’s implementation of WebCT

  • Design and Functionality of the system

  • Demonstration


Summary
Summary

  • WebCTMan

    • Comprehensively integrates WebCT with other systems

    • Provides extra administrative functionality

      • allows for management of students, courses and staff roles

    • Authoritative source of data which controls how WebCT behaves


Major features
Major Features

  • Parent IDs - primary designers of categories

    • facilitates the management of multiple client groups on the one server.

  • Unit Offerings - many-to-many mapping between unit offerings and WebCT courses

  • Course Status - active, static and inactive courses


Wider application
Wider Application

  • Applicable to other WebCT installations?

  • Multiple WebCT installations hosted on a single server

  • Enables migration away from WebCT

    • if the feature/cost nexus indicates that another system is preferable


Questions
Questions??

Rob Phillips

Murdoch

James Strong

NetSpot

Onno Benschop

ITmaze

Mark Hallam

WebCiTe

Software design

Automation scripting

Admin. Interface

WebCT internals


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