2014 Week 44 in Review

elearn.ucalgary.ca rebuild

The elearn.ucalgary.ca elearning support website accreted content over the years. It was long overdue for a major overhaul in order to make it useful to people who are looking for info. While that info was in the previos website, it had grown difficult to find stuff because the site had become a dumping ground of content - to the point that the elearning support folks couldn't find stuff on it, and didn't know what was there. It needed to be rebuilt to reflect how people look for support, and to make sure we keep it active and current. We had known it was needed for a long time, but didn't have the time until after the D2L migration was complete. It's complete now.

So, Irf took the lead and put together a rapid prototyping team, brainstorming how a site rebuild might look. We're going to be doing it in a couple of phases, starting with the D2L resources. Next, we'll expand it to include all of the resources to support the core elearning tools provided by campus, as well as to connect with pedagogical and other resources that are available.

A new knowledgebase was built quickly using WordPress (powered by UCalgaryBlogs.ca, of course), and the really nice WP Knowledge Base theme. Categories are used to organize posts, and it's shaping up to be a really nice platform.

The plan is to move the full site over to UCalgaryBlogs, leaving the Drupal wrapper behind. Can't wait.

Screen Shot 2014 11 01 at 2 36 49 PM

Campus video

We've been looking at what a campus video platform might look like for awhile now. Had a demo this week, and am looking forward to seeing a service made available so we don't have 500 individually-owned YouTube/Vimeo/etc… channels holding content that we care about.


Moving ahead with a D2L LOR pilot project. Still lots to figure out, but it looks promising.

email change

The UofC's electronic communication policy states that all official communication be done using @ucalgary.ca email addresses for students, faculty and staff. It's never been enforced, so only about a third of students had active ucalgary accounts. That becomes a big deal, when email filters start preventing important messages to and from the university. So, students have been migrated to Office365 cloud email, with ucalgary.ca addresses activated for all of them. And Peoplesoft's "preferred email" flag now uses that address for all students and staff. Faculty will be set up separately.

So what? Well, it means we'll be able to activate some functionality in D2L and other tools that had been deactivated in order to protect the privacy of students' email addresses. Things like the classlist tool in courses, or ePortfolio sharing groups, etc… will be activated in the next week or so, once we know that the preferred email setting has kicked in for everyone.

cone of silence

Looking at my calendar to write this post, and realizing there are a bunch of things I can't write about here. Dang. Lots of stuff going on. Too early to say much more than that.

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