Friday, 15 July 2011

Wolsey Summer Plan

2011/12 will see a number of changes to the way Wolsey is used at UCS.  Wolsey is built upon the Blackboard Learn platform and UCS currently has the complete suite of 3 systems, they are:

  • Learning

  • Community

  • Content Collection

We will be moving to an installation of just the Learning system, removing the Community and Content systems.

This means we will be losing some functionality, listed below:

  • Communities

    • Intranet

  • Documents tab

    • Shared content

    • Version Control

  • System-wide Discussion Boards

    • The Wall etc.

  • Domains

    • Module/Community Organisation

    • Module/Community Permissions

  • Work Flows

  • Applicant Portal

  • Alumni Portal

The two biggest losses of functionality to users are the Communities and Documents.  Although this functionality is being removed from Wolsey, a new Intranet is under development with an “Intranet Group” being setup and looking at what UCS requires from an Intranet.

The other big loss is the “Content Collection” which handles and controls all of the content stored within the “Documents” tab.

We will be making the “Documents” tab read-only from Monday 1st August 2011, this means you will not be able to upload any new documents to the content area, you will also not be able to link your course/module or community to any documents already stored in this area.

This does not however stop documents being uploaded into Wolsey.  We have created an FAQ to help users remove their documents and how to upload using the “Local Attach” option.

These FAQs can be found here:

2011/12 Module Access

All 2011/12 modules will be available in Wolsey on the 1st August 2011.

We will be using a 'rollover' technique that will copy lecturer enrolments from 2010/11 modules on to the new modules.

Any modules that you have a lecturer role on, on the  29th July 2010, you will be a lecturer on on the 2011/12 version.  If you require access to any modules that you current are not enrolled on, you will need to request access via a form at the following address:

Add lecturer form

This year we will not be rolling over the custom courses, if you require the amalgamation of modules to create a single area containing more that one module you will need to request this via the following form:

Add custom course form

Please make sure you use the two forms linked above, as we will be unable to respond to individual emails during this busy period.

Course Admin Teams

We are also working on improving the process of adding lecturers to modules, the first step is the creation of the forms above and how these forms will be handled.  We have created new roles within Wolsey allowing Course Admin teams to have a system role allowing them to control access to modules they have responsibility for.  This new process will remove the Elevate Team from becoming a bottle neck.

We are creating a new Module Template this year, including more online support for students submitting work online, this support will be available directly from the “Assessments” folder within all modules.

Online Submissions

The Elevate Team are currently running a pilot with a groups of students to try and improve the online submission process for both staff and students.

UCS has experienced a number of problems with the use of SafeAssign as its online submission point, from work being lost to the student’s receiving incorrect feedback.

This streamlining of the online submission process uses the resources in Academic Services to have a more constant application of the system as well as saving lecturers a number of additional tasks.

New Login Page

We are working on redesigning the Wolsey login page, this page is only visible when access Wolsey from outside of the Ipswich campus.  We will be displaying RSS feeds from both the Elevate blog and from the FAQ system.

The idea behind the redesign is to make more relevant information more visible from the login screen, using RSS feeds means that the information will always be up to date as it will load the latest posts and FAQs from the relevant sites dynamically.

Other Summer Works

Along with the above programme of works we will also be undertaking an annual “spring clean”, truncating and clearing out a number bloated database and log files.

This work will be completed during a normal “Patch Friday” system downtime period, meaning there will be no additional downtime.


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