CIT Notes 12/01/03

In Attendance: Bob Swofford, Jay Dominick, Umit Akinc, Giz Womack (subbing for Susan Smith), Will Butler, Bryan Locco, Richard King, Wayland Caldwell

Blackboard discussion initiated by Bob Swofford

Blackboard issues brought up by Giz Womack (see attachment). Would like to see some policy statement come from CIT regarding these Blackboard issues.

- 17,000 users in system

  1. ouser list never culled -courses in system back to 2000

    1. osome of these faculty no longer here -restoring individual courses/content is a nightmare

    2. o only backup is to tape and takes around 8 man hours for someone to restore tape to test server, find specific course and restore it
    1. owe need a workable method for backup/archive of individual courses -when a user is deleted all content tied to that user is also deleted -SCT implementation

      1. o we are implementing the component that integrates SCT with Blackboard

      2. o these issues will have to be addressed when that part of SCT implementation is started (will be a while before this part of SCT implantation is started)

- can we (Rich Ray) create a script that would zip all courses into individual archives at the end of each semester?

  1. o users should be made to be responsible for their own content – just as they are for the backups of their Thinkpads

  2. o IS should be responsible for disaster recovery, but not individual course

backup/archive -thinking of deleting courses every 18 months

  1. o needs to be 18 months because some courses are used on an annual rotation rather than each semester

  2. o notification is important – possibly via email, etc. to each user whose course is about to be deleted

oalso include this information in Faculty Thinkpad Training sessions -users

  1. o could look for users who are no longer enrolled in a course and delete all those

  2. o guest accounts

ƒ could wipe all these out one year from their creation date -moving courses to use for new semester

  1. o copy or export

  2. o course recycle has been turned off – it “shreds” content that is not recycled (not a copy, but gets rid of data that is not selected to be recycled)…..rather dangerous.

    1. o most common process now is that faculty will call Help Desk and have course renamed -another issue is that Blackboard released the mask/rules for the Course ID field, so

    2. we cannot enforce our naming convention on that field -we can inform faculty, etc. via (1) BBINFO listserv (2) Faculty Thinkpad Training
    1. ITG’s can inform faculty they know use Blackboard -when archiving

      1. o what happens if a course is archived, users are deleted from system (some users of this archived course included), then a student challenges a grade.

      2. o will the restoration of that archive include the student info?

      3. o if just a pointer (foreign key) is stored in archive record, then target (primary key) it relates to will be possibly be gone from database, thus no records for that student

RESOLUTION -CIT not yet ready to make a policy statement

  1. o a little more work/discussion needed

  2. o ITG’s should survey their faculty

-this should not be presented as policy simply dictated by committee…..this is necessary to ensure Blackboard system is maintained properly and continues to operate for years to come

- Giz will create a draft and send out to CIT and to ITG’s to distribute among their group

Meeting Adjourned

-------- Original Message -------- Subject: Proposed Blackboard Course Backup, Course Deletion and User Clean up Policy-Draft 1 Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 17:04:18 -0500 From: Giz Womack To: Susan S Smith , Robert Swofford , Richard A Ray , Charles Lee Norris

Hi All,

I'm taking a two prong approach here. First we need a policy and then we need a process to implement the policy and its various components We will need to educate the faculty regarding these policies and make sure that IS has the resources to implement these policies. Its just a draft, but I'm trying to get something together for the next CIT meeting.


*-Course Backup Policy* Course Instructors are responsible for backing up Blackboard Courses. Course Instructors should archive courses at the end of the semester and export the gradebook to an excel file if they want easy access to it later.

*-Course Deletion Policy* Courses are deleted from the server ? months after the end of the semester.

(This is where it can get tricky, when do we delete and how do we notify the course instructor, what about courses that are non-academic, advising, departmental, etc. and who provides the labor to do this in IS? I know it will require more than running a script.)

*-User List Policy* After old courses are deleted for a given semester, all users with the loginID ending in the appropriate year (seniors) who are NOT enrolled in a course are deleted.

(This is also tricky as when a user is deleted, so is the Blackboard content and grades. I worded this way as there are a surprising number of students who stay a fifth year or go into one of our graduate programs and keep the same loginID) We still need to go through and look at all the users that are dummy accounts people have created and the accounts people have created for users outsideWFU. Some schools I've talked to just delete these, but that is scary as the grades are deleted when the user is deleted we need to be careful here! Also, I don't want

to generate a ton of work for Rich, so he needs to comment on my plan and let me know its doable!)

Alright, fire away with comments! Giz

H. David "Giz" Womack ITC Specialist III

Z. Smith Reynolds Library Wake Forest University PO Box 7777 Winston-Salem, NC 27109 Office-336.758.4314 Fax-336.758.8831