Author Archives: Rip

Banner 9 Project Underway

The Project:

Evergreen is now moving forward with the migration from Banner 8 to Banner 9. This project has been in the works for many months now but it officially kicked off January 2018 in preparation for Oracle dropping support for the form technology that supports Internet Native Banner (INB), the forms interface for Banner 8. The deadline for this change is December 2018, a date not to far into the future.

What does this mean to Banner users on campus? Those who regularly use INB forms will find their work in an updated java-based interface now called Banner Admin Pages. The underlying infrastructure will still be for all practical purposes the same Oracle database. The way people interact with Banner though will shift considerably.

The Schedule:

Over the next 4-8 months Banner users will be asked to engage in various levels of testing once Computing and Communication staff move the two platforms into a single/parallel infrastructure, so both Banner 8 and Banner 9 can be used at the same time.

We will be asking our Banner users to test Banner 8 work processes using the updated infrastructure during the month of March. April will then see a shift towards dedicated testing of college workflows in the Banner 9 Admin Pages. Onces these workflows satisfactorily meet the business needs of the different administrative offices, then they can completely migrate their workflows to the new Admin Pages in preparation of the December 31 cutoff of the INB technology. Below is the basic timeline for the project.

 

The Project Teams:

Business areas of the college are represented by an area lead. This team member will be responsible for attending implementation team meetings, helping coordinate testing as well as building training strategies for the workflows for their and associated areas who leverage similar forms.

Implementation Team Lead

Alternate

Business Area

Lori Klatt Elaine Hayashi-Peterson Curriculum and Registration
Leona Walker Jo Bernier Admissions
Tracy Hall Sandra Mann Financial Aid
Beatrice Sapp Brandon Reed Student Accounts
Jennifer Levesque TBD Human Resources and Hiring
Ladonna Herigstad Amy Placette Payroll
Nancy Eastham TBD Finance and Budget
Kitty Jones Lori Klatt Advising
Jessica Thrift Yahui Chi Advancement

Project Management:

Rip Heminway is the Banner 9 Project Manager and will be organizing and facilitating meetings for both the implementation and technical teams. Tony Alfonso is the chair of the Steering Committee who will be making decisions as necessary to ensure that an institutional perspective is maintained throughout the implementation process. The steering committee is tasked with defining/untangling policy related issues, securing critical resources and defining broad project outcomes. 

Steering Committee Member

Department

Tony Alfonso (Chair) Computing and Communications
Laurel Uznanksi Human Resources
Dave Kohler Business Services
Erik Pederson Enrollment Services
Rip Heminway (PM) Computing and Communications

The management of the project and all documentation will be built in and shared via the Redmine Project Management platform that is maintained by Computing and Communications. If you would like to get access to this more detailed resource, please contact Rip Heminway at X6904.

If you have questions or comments about this plan, please leave them and they will be answered as quickly as possible.

Moodle problem with latest Firefox release (v37)

The most recent FireFox update (v37) has rendered a few of our Evergreen sites inaccessible while using FireFox. If you are on this latest version of FireFox you may see a Secure Connection Failed page when you attempt to go to Moodle or any of the Banner Self-Service sites access via my.evergreen (e.g. Registration, Financial Aid, Student Financial Services, Budgets & Finance, Faculty Class Information, Account Summary, Employee Services).

The folks in Computing & Communications is aware of the reason for this message and we are developing a plan to resolve this so our pages will be accessible via FireFox. While the error is experienced only on the FireFox browser, this is a technology issue on our end, not a FireFox problem, which means it’s in our hands to resolve. Our Network Services team are prioritizing a fix for this problem, we will keep you updated on when this will be resolved.

In the meantime, the best solution we can recommend is that you use an alternate browser such as Safari (Mac), Internet Explorer (Windows) or Chrome (Mac/ Windows) to access Moodle or the Banner Self-Service sites mentioned above.

Moodle Canvas WordPress (MooCanWord) update

Evergreen is now in our last quarter of actively using Moodle as the primary web technology for academic offerings. Moving forward I thought it would be useful to layout how the transition has been going and what to expect over the next year and beyond.

To date, there have been 20 academic programs that have made the move to WordPress as a curricular web application and these have been really successful. Considerable work has been put into making WordPress a flexible, easy-to-use and attractive web tool for academic offerings. New curricular web templates have been created to make it easier to create your sites. WordPress also allows for both a private and public face to your program site and lots of interesting ways to engage students in class materials.  Check out Making Meaning Matter, Contested Bodies or Ecology of Grazing and Grasslands in the Pacific Northwest for more about how these sites can look and function. We are currently working on a behind-the-scenes enrollment process that will automatically add your students as subscribers to the site much the way Moodle and Canvas currently work.

CanvasOn the Canvas front there has been strong activity with 125 offerings generating Canvas course sites this academic year. The fall started rocky as our faculty discovered and subsequently our technical team identified a significant flaw in the Canvas code. This made the transition to Canvas more difficult than it should have been as faculty were routinely getting timed out of the application.  The problem was complex, difficult to diagnose and required collaboration between Evergreen technical staff and Canvas engineers.  The root cause of the flaw was finally understood and corrected at the end of Fall quarter by the Canvas engineers. In our minds this experience cemented Canvas’ responsiveness and dedication towards finding and resolving flaws in their application which bodes well into the future.  Since then, we have not experienced systemic problems and continue to grow our knowledge of how best to leverage this application to fit the Evergreen pedagogy in its myriad forms.

MoodleMoodle also had considerable activity this last year as 124 course sites were created. We are working hard to connect with the remaining faculty who continue to use Moodle and to work with them on-on-one to find a suitable alternative starting this summer.  For those who have asked the question, I will try and summarize below how we intend to provide future access to Moodle data after spring quarter is over.

I definitely heard from faculty how important long-term access is to this material and we’re trying to come up with a best solution for balancing access with easy long-term maintenance. For the next academic year Moodle will live in “archive” mode meaning that it will be available only to faculty (as is) to go back and mine data they need as they need.  After spring 2016 we will be moving all the data into a stored course/file structure outside of a live application (easier long-term archive strategy) so that we can grab data on request if there’s something faculty might need.  We’re still figuring out the best technical approach but this is the current direction.

If you have questions or want to know more regarding any of this, please comment below (so your colleagues can see the question) or send me an email, and either way I’ll get back to you. Thanks to everyone for all your great work, flexibility and ingenuity!

-Rip Heminway
Academic Technologies

Management team minutes 6-19-12

Present: Aaron, James, Jamie, Rip, Tony, Susan
Absent:Rob

Parking Services: Susie is meeting with Aaron soon to discuss technology issues in Parking Services. James & Jamie believe that this is related to a reporting tool she would like to implement called Flywriter. Background information was given on the scenario.

Retreat Planning: Aaron will look at last week’s notes and will create an initial agenda for us to review and give feedback.

Two-factor/IDM:  Aaron will contact UW to find out what they are using to see if it’s worthwhile to go visit with them to get more information on their products/systems. Management team still needs to discuss what method we want to go with as far as 2-factor authentication (token, mobile, etc).

Security Plan: The security plan is about 90% done. James is working on it.

Accreditation: The accreditation work Rip facilitated has been finished and passed on to Collin.  We will need to probably revisit this in a few months.

Media Services Server/Storage Request: This is potentially a very large system with considerable implications for impact/security on college IT infrastructure.  Important to get a clear plan from Media Services with cost, outcome, objectives, impact and risks. This should be discussed with Amy Betz and/or Michael Zimmerman. Aaron will get with Amy to add to competing Academic Project list.

ORS Phase 1 and Phase 2: Legislative request going forward and need an investment plan. Risk assessment on each individual project separately. Tony will put together the initial project plans for the OCIO and send out so the other managers can contribute. Goal is to have this complete by end of July.

OCIO IT Spend Tracking: There may be an update to the online portfolio process that will be a hosted service called Apptio. Stay tuned.

Hiring/Personnel:

  • Web Designer Position: Job to be posted this week.
  • Network Engineer: There are some applicants and the committee is moving forward.
  • Client Services ITS2: Lots of applicants.

Evaluations: Get them done and update job descriptions when needed.

Aruba Access Points: Purchased 192. Administrative Computing purchased 7 access points and wants plaques. 🙂

Space: Lots of moving around, dominoes and displacement. More people than space… We need to develop a comprehensive plan and something longer-term and maybe an open seating/cubical plan. Plan for a break room that is available and inclusive for all of C&C. Agenda item for our retreat? Consider other solution for the Training Room? Mobile cart with secure wireless available?

Microsoft Exchange anti-virus upgrade

Those who’s mailboxes have been migrated to Exchange 2010, your mailbox will be getting updated with the newest virus protection toolset; Sophos. The college has recently moved to Sophos for all desktops, servers and applications and we are now beginning the transition to a more flexible and hopefully full featured product. Contact Barbara C. if you have any questions.

Testing Canvas as a possible Moodle replacement

There is a new player on the field for learning management systems and this one is called Canvas. Academic Computing will be doing a limited pilot project this spring that will evaluate the utilities and fit with Evergreen’s online needs. Stay tuned for updates on this and please feel free to let us know your thoughts!