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Applied Liberally. Google Apps Across Campus and as LMS Alternative. David O’Steen – Wellesley College. Courses to Sakai August 2009 -- August 2011. 4,000 E mail accounts to Gmail May -- November 2011. Google LMS pilot January 2012. Meeting Maker to Google Calendar

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applied liberally

Applied Liberally

Google Apps Across Campus and as LMS Alternative

David O’Steen – Wellesley College


Courses to Sakai

August 2009-- August 2011

4,000 Email accounts to Gmail

May -- November 2011

Google LMS pilot

January 2012

Meeting Maker to Google Calendar

Jan 13, 2012


[Google Form URL, now defunct. See next slide for results]

Which Google Apps do you use, and which topic would you like to focus on today?


Currently in Use

Enabled Day One

Turned on Later (serially)











Anyone can create Groups or Sites without restrictions, except we “require” this naming convention: department identifier prefix (e.g., CHEM), or WEL for cross-departmental, and GEN for non-college business. “More honour'd in the breach than the observance” Hamlet


Take Advantage of the New

[new car smell cartoon]

Offer All Options – Encourage Experimentation – Follow Where They Lead


Docs Created by Type

September 2011 – March 2012


Sites Across Campus

Student Organization

Albright Institute

Lab Manual

Institutional Data

Circulation Desk Procedures


as LMS – Why?

Some faculty don’t need very many features/tools

Discussion forums less convenient, lower usage

Want email integration

Don’t want second application

Some find it clunky

It’s Where They Are


Course Sites Pilot

Created Google Sites template (used in conjunction with Group, Docs, Calendar)

2 Course Sites demonstrations in December


Spring 2012 - Run What YaBrung

Sites for all courses, as usual

Google Group for every course

Google Site upon request, or DIY

  • Course Prep Drop-Ins
    • about 3 per week in January (14 total)
    • 2 hours each
    • 2 staff, plus one on call
    • average attendance: 2

as LMS Results

  • 20 percent of Spring 2012 courses had site created through portal app
  • Sites require almost no support, so far
  • One faculty said, “going back to Sakai, too many missing bits”

Still Lacking, For Us

Assignment Submission (drop box)


Tracking/Usage history


as LMS Still Needs Work

  • Students can choose to stop receiving Group emails (unlike Contacts group)
  • Sites shared with Groups don’t appear in Sites list
  • Sites storage is domain-based (100GB)
  • Docs permissions need to be more fine-grained, notifications improved
  • Groups: Do Not Archive Messages To This Group is default setting when using API to create. Had to manually un-check for nearly 700 course groups (not in API).
  • Missing Features:
    • Assignment Submission (drop box)
    • Tests/Quizzes
    • Tracking/Usage history
    • Sites archiving, re-use mechanism
    • Gradebook, SIS/ERP integration, chat, etc.

Want to help?


Thanks to the entire team:

Ian Pylvainen


Dora Sopin-Vilme

Kenny Freundlich

Megan Cuniff

Rebecca Darling

Neil Nero

Donna Volpe Strouse

and Roche Brothers chocolate-covered almonds

Rebecca Atwood

Veronica Brandstrader

Leonor Martins

Rae Yan

Emily Strong

Deb Wilson

Jim Billings

Maureen Williams

Han Su Kim

preparing the community

Migration . . .

Preparing the Community
  • Pre-flight Training
    • 90 minutes total
    • Hands-on
    • ~30 minutes of presentation, remainder answering questions/showing tools
    • “one thing have to do beforehand: rename folders”
    • 2 - 3 each week June-October
  • Outreach: Go To Them

Migration . . .

  • Classes
    • 60 minutes, about one per week
    • Topics: Managing Email, Calendar, Docs, Groups; a few Forms and Sites
  • (goes to Google Team Google Group)
  • Helpdesk
  • Blog
  • x4445 Google Help

Across Campus . . .

  • FAQ’s
    • Folders vs. Labels
    • Personal Gmail ( and institutional Gmail ( open in same browser
    • Syncing mobile devices
    • Searching: exact instead of partial match, names/accounts
meeting maker to google calendar

Migration . . .

Meeting Maker to Google Calendar
  • 400 accounts in one day, Feb 6
  • 11 volunteer staff in room together, ~2 hours each, 4 ½ hours total
  • Steps
    • Manual export of .ics file
    • Script to remove meetings created by others
    • Manual upload to Google Cal
    • Script to add attendees
file sharing in sites

Google Apps as LMS . . .

File Sharing in Sites
  • File Cabinet
    • + Easy
    • + Single-file upload, <20MB each
    • - 100GB limit for entire domain (likely to change soon)
  • Docs
    • - More steps: set up collection and share with group
    • + Multiple upload
    • 1GB quota (belongs to each user)