Using a hierarchy of sites to help decentralise administration
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Using a Hierarchy of Sites to Help Decentralise Administration. Dr Adam Marshall, The University of Oxford. Topics. Overview of Oxford IT support model Challenges Approach Hierarchy Managing access Administration sites Issues Future initiatives. March 2010.

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Using a hierarchy of sites to help decentralise administration

Using a Hierarchy of Sites to Help Decentralise Administration

Dr Adam Marshall, The University of Oxford


Topics

Topics

Overview of Oxford IT support model

Challenges

Approach

Hierarchy

Managing access

Administration sites

Issues

Future initiatives

March 2010

European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..

2


Oxford university

First of all, some gratuitous photos of …

Oxford University

European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..


The oxford it model

The Oxford IT Model

I will now talk about …

March 2010

European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..

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The lay of the land

The lay of the land

There are 704 IT support staff:

38 colleges

6 permanent private halls

7 Divisions (4 academic)

193 departments

20,000 students

18,000 staff

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Sakai support

Sakai support

  • Small central team (3 people)

    • ‘WebLearn’ Service manager; Learning technologist / trainer; Developer

  • Each unit has IT support staff (ITSS)

  • Each unit has Sakai administrators

    • Called ‘Local WebLearn Coordinators’

    • Create / setup / manage sites

    • First line of support

March 2010

European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..

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Challenges

Challenges

Now it’s time to hear about …

March 2010

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Requirements

Requirements

A hierarchy of sites

Access for ‘large groups’

Local coordinators have ‘admin’ rights

Local coordinators can delegate rights

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Local coordinators must

Local Coordinators Must

  • Be able to create new & copy existing sites

  • Place and move sites in the hierarchy

  • Grant create rights to others

  • Have access to all a unit’s sites

  • Assign visit rights to:

    • .auth, .anon, ‘all staff’, ‘all students’, ….

  • Not do anything too dangerous!

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Approach

Approach

Time to explain our …

March 2010

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What we did

What we did

  • Project sites only

  • Arranged in hierarchy

  • Administration Sites (Cf Admin Workspace)

    • One per unit

    • Participants have reduced ‘admin’ rights

    • Different roles

  • Improved ‘Manage Access’ page

March 2010

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Hierarchy

Hierarchy

This is a hard word to spell …

March 2010

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Oxford hierarchy

Oxford Hierarchy

Welcome Page

Division

Department

Module

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Implementation

Implementation

  • Used hierarchy service from Evaluations

  • Overlay hierarchy over pool of sites

  • No inheritance

  • Only display sites user can visit

    • .auth / .anon sites can be in hierarchy

  • Use tabs as ‘breadcrumb trail’

  • New ‘hierarchy box’ under ‘tool list’

  • New ‘manage box’ under ‘hierarchy box’

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Welcome page

Welcome Page


Navigation

Navigation

Welcome Page

Division

Department

Breadcrumb trail

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Tools

Tools

  • Create site

  • Bring site (a site can be in > 1 place)

  • Arrange (remove, swap)

  • Need:

    • Move / remove tree

    • Copy tree

    • ‘Primary location’

    • ‘Sync instances’ – same sub-sites everywhere

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Issues

Issues

  • My Workspace is sidelined

  • Users expect inheritance (like our old VLE)

  • Users want ‘Search under here’

  • ‘Active sites’ list has no context

  • Navigation if parent site is not visible

  • Can’t actually delete sites

    • Since no record is kept: too dangerous!

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Supplementary tools

Supplementary Tools

Find sites with ‘and visit’ patch

‘Search all my sites’ option

Grey-out unpublished sites

Improved access management (see later)

Administration sites plus tools (see later)

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Find sites tool

Find Sites Tool

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Managing access

Managing Access

Now some information about …

March 2010

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Requirements1

Requirements

  • Easy assignment of .auth & .anon: ‘site.visit’

    • But prevent dangerous .anon

  • LDAP integration

  • ‘All Staff’ & ‘All students’: ‘site.visit’

  • Find sites (site-browser) tool

  • ‘Auto-join’ patch (would be good!)

  • Reusable internal & ad-hoc groups (coming)

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Site info manage access

Site Info: Manage Access

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Site info add participants

Site Info: Add Participants

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Administration sites

Administration Sites

The moment you’ve all been waiting for …

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Requirements2

Requirements

Administrator powers but,

Simpler

Safer

Constrained

Create sites

Manage hierarchy

‘Administrator’ access to unit’s hierarchy

A second level with less rights

‘Auditor’ access


How admin sites work

How Admin Sites Work

Are said to manage other sites

Have three roles:

Admin (Local WebLearn Coordinators)

Create sites in unit’s area

Visit admin site & add others

Automatically have ‘maintain’ rights is all managed sites

Member (Lecturers / Administration staff)

Create sites where maintainer

Audit (Internal / External auditors)

Visit and read rights

Admin Sites have dedicated tool: Site List


Creating a site

Creating a Site


Admin sites managing project sites

Admin Sites Managing Project Sites

= Admin site

= Project site

Welcome Page

Division

Department

Module

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Site list and roles

Site List and Roles


Admin site roles

Admin Site Roles

Admin

Can ‘maintain’ all sites

Can create new sites

= Project site

Member

= Admin site

Can create sites

where maintainer

Audit

Division

Can browse all sites

Department

Module

Maintain

European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..

Barbie: http:[email protected]/4060738088/

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Mr Potato Head: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tinker-tailor/4264780554/

Action man: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tinker-tailor/4264099802/in/set-72157623183566430/


Management

Management

We have drafted guidelines

Users must request ‘Admin Site’

Sign to say “guidelines have been read”

We keep public list of Local Coordinators


Issues1

Issues

And finally …

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Common problems

Common Problems

Users don’t read guidelines/documentation

Misunderstandings

A user gave .anon access to admin site. This made all managed sites .anon too. Whoops!

Departments don’t formulate a policy

No coherent approach – confused students

Too many sub-sites

Too few sub-sites!


In summary

In Summary

Users like what we’ve done

But old VLE (Bodington) had same features

Seems to work well

Lots of user education needed

Need more tools

Merging process is very difficult (use Git)

Sakai 3 – arrgghh!!


Future initiatives

Future initiatives

Let us now gaze into our crystal ball …

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What s next 1

What’s Next? (1)

  • Smartphone interface

    • Uses JSON / SDATA & oAuth

    • Information summary

    • Tutorial sign-up (Yale)

  • Oxford podcasts

    • News tool with media player & feed browser

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What s next 2

What’s Next? (2)

  • Groups store integration

    • Centrally stored ad-hoc groups

    • Will replace internal groups

  • Evaluations tool

  • Extend Turnitin support

  • Sharepoint & Exchange interoperability!

March 2010

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