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 Administration

Overview of Oxford IT support model

Challenges

Approach

Hierarchy

Managing access

Administration sites

Issues

Future initiatives

March 2010

European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..

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Oxford university

First of all, some gratuitous photos of … Administration

Oxford University

European Sakai Conference – Valencia - Spain..


The oxford it model
The Oxford IT Model Administration

I will now talk about …

March 2010

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The lay of the land
The lay of the land Administration

There are 704 IT support staff:

38 colleges

6 permanent private halls

7 Divisions (4 academic)

193 departments

20,000 students

18,000 staff

March 2010

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Sakai support
Sakai support Administration

  • 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

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Challenges
Challenges Administration

Now it’s time to hear about …

March 2010

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Requirements
Requirements Administration

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 Administration

  • 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 Administration

Time to explain our …

March 2010

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What we did
What we did Administration

  • 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

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Hierarchy
Hierarchy Administration

This is a hard word to spell …

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Oxford hierarchy
Oxford Hierarchy Administration

Welcome Page

Division

Department

Module

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Implementation
Implementation Administration

  • 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 Administration


Navigation
Navigation Administration

Welcome Page

Division

Department

Breadcrumb trail

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Tools
Tools Administration

  • 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 Administration

  • 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 Administration

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 Administration

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Managing access
Managing Access Administration

Now some information about …

March 2010

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Requirements1
Requirements Administration

  • 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 Administration

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Site info add participants
Site Info: Add Participants Administration

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Administration sites
Administration Sites Administration

The moment you’ve all been waiting for …

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Requirements2
Requirements Administration

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 Administration

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 Administration


Admin sites managing project sites
Admin Sites Managing Project Sites Administration

= Admin site

= Project site

Welcome Page

Division

Department

Module

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Site list and roles
Site List and Roles Administration


Admin site roles
Admin Site Roles Administration

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 Administration

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 Administration

And finally …

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Common problems
Common Problems Administration

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 Administration

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 Administration

Let us now gaze into our crystal ball …

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What s next 1
What’s Next? (1) Administration

  • 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) Administration

  • Groups store integration

    • Centrally stored ad-hoc groups

    • Will replace internal groups

  • Evaluations tool

  • Extend Turnitin support

  • Sharepoint & Exchange interoperability!

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