The spring 2012 term closed on Monday afternoon. Summer term opens today. In preparation for summer classes, Friday was the final batch load of summer data from Banner to WebCT — summer term is now on live update with student enrollments included. Fall data will be updated in batches until around August 10th.
I just made the first batch load of data for Spring 2012 (201230) into WebCT. This should please some people (now they can work on their classes for spring at their own pace) and annoy others (more classes in your listing).
Finally, Fall 2011 data is working in real time, including student enrollments. Can the fall semester really only be a week away?
Someone finally asked. For as long as we have been using Blackboard Learning System CE8, I have been aware of the wealth of information/data available within and about our installation. I have just never tried to summarize. Well, I have tried a couple of times, but came up against some logic issues and put it aside. Now, since someone has asked, I have been attempting to clarify using SQL what it takes to provide the numbers in question.
For instance, “active” accounts — seems reasonable enough. I can get those figures pretty easily (active, not denied access, not webct_demo_* users, exclude a few other specialized logins), but what do they mean in our system? We create accounts for all admitted students and I believe our banner connection will allow creation within CE8 of any account sent over for an enrolled member. And we create sections for every section marked in banner (with encouragement to mark them all). So, “active” numbers are just the numbers of accounts that could access CE8 any given semester.
Next comes the part I have puzzled over, off and on, for years. And I have come to a simple conclusion that I can hardly believe I overlooked for all that time. We need numbers regarding how many actually use our system. There are log files galore and the reporting tables. Finally, it became clear to me that anything in rpt_tracking involved someone who was logged in to the system. While their role is UNKN, they are not in a section. When they are in a section, the role is clear. So, with a little bit of joining, I can get reasonable, readable, countable info about the numbers actually logging in and clicking into sections.
Of course, that doesn’t help with the age-old question of whether clicking on a discussion means you read it or not, but I’ll just put that question aside for another day.
The Export to SIS feature in the Gradebook for exporting grades to Banner has been enabled since the morning of April 28 and should remain available until 4:00pm May 9th.
Effective late afternoon May 3rd, all data is live for Summer 2011. Student enrollments should have appeared in active sections and should be updated with Banner activity.
At my last update we were preparing to install hotfix 1 for CE 8.0.3 and we did on schedule. Over the following two weeks we experienced and studied a bug that the hotfix introduced. We identified 3 patches that we needed to apply to take care of that bug plus a couple of others that would just be helpful. Another downtime and patches applied later, we were ready to really start the testing in preparation for the pilot group. The training/testing on the test systems went quite well. Lots of questions and scenarios addressed.
Then it was time to set things up for the pilot test on production. And it just wouldn’t connect. Two nights in a row we did middle of the night restarts on production webct. Then our SCT helper re-installed the lmg/lmb/ldi software. But it still didn’t work. Finally, drew attention to the localhost line in /etc/hosts — the production ldi box’s name was at the end of the line (not like that on test that was working). So, one more re-install after updating /etc/hosts and then test it out. It worked!
The pilot test is complete now. Over the next week or so we need to verify some things about which ports really need to be open.