Category Archives: Curricular Technology

All news items featuring curricular technology changes and updates

Moodle will be shut down end of Spring Quarter 2018

As of June 15, 2018, Moodle will be “sunsetted” (shut down).

What this means:

  • You will no longer have access to your past Moodle sites within Moodle.
  • However, backups of your sites will be available, which can be easily imported into Canvas.
    • Moodle to WordPress, however, is more of a manual process and only files can be imported, no activities.

Prior to the shutdown this June 15th, we encourage you to download/copy any content you may need.

Please note:

  • Moodle can only be accessed when on campus.
  • Due to security purposes, Moodle is not available off-campus. Our apologies for the inconvenience.
  • If you are unable to come to campus to obtain Moodle content, please request assistance via help.evergreen.edu.

And an important note regarding student work, names, photos, or other related data on curricular websites:

  • None of the backups should contain student work, unless you as faculty added it to the site. Then it needs to be removed manually.
  • Please always double-check imported content to make sure all previous student work, names, and any related data is removed.

Please submit a help ticket if you have any questions or need assistance.

Academic.evergreen.edu End of Life

As of 12/26/2017, academic.evergreen.edu will no longer provide web services. Data owners will still be able to access their files and should make arrangements to migrate their content to a supported web hosting platform.

Please submit a help ticket if you have any questions or need assistance.

PaperCut now in the Computer Labs

Evergreen is releasing a new print management system starting winter quarter 2017. Students in the Library, Computer Center CAL and Tacoma computer classrooms will see the roll out of PaperCut to replace our old GoPrint system for print release. Papercut  boasts a host of new options for print management, including an eco-dashboard for people to see the immediate impact of their printing footprint. It also supports mobile printing in a much more user-friendly way than GoPrint so students can print from any device  by using PaperCut’s Mobile print service.

There is also now a print count that you can see every time you print, which allow you to see how many prints you have made over the course of the quarter.  There are ” page limits” at 1000, but once you run out a tech at the Computer Center can quickly reset that limit if you run out.  Please contact us at help.evergreen.edu and let us know if you have any questions or comments.  This is now live in the Computer Center and the CAL and we are refining the options for the Library and Tacoma to be rolled out a little later in the quarter.

Blogs and Sites WordPress update

wordpress-logo-32-blueWordPress sites running on http://blogs.evergreen.edu and https://sites.evergreen.edu have been updated to security patch 4.1.2.

New Features:

Media Library

Explore your uploads in a beautiful, endless grid. A new details preview makes viewing and editing any amount of media in sequence a snap.

Embeds

Paste in a YouTube URL on a new line, and watch it magically become an embedded video. Now try it with a tweet. Oh yeah — embedding has become a visual experience. The editor shows a true preview of your embedded content, saving you time and giving you confidence.

They’ve expanded the services supported by default, too — you can embed videos from CollegeHumor, playlists from YouTube, and talks from TED. Check out all of the embeds that WordPress supports.

New Theme

Twenty Fifteen, is a blog-focused theme designed for clarity.  The straightforward typography is readable on any screen size. Your content always takes center stage, whether viewed on a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.

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

WordPress images automatically resize on upload

With a 100MB upload quota, running out of space has been a problem for many site owners using images on blogs.evergreen.edu. For most, the issue lies with uploading high resolution, unprocessed images straight from a digital camera to the image library. These images then get scaled down by WordPress for the web but the original still hangs out in the media library taking up valuable space. We often see image files uploaded to WordPress in excess of 7MB in file size and over 5000 pixels wide. When people view your images on your blog however, WordPress is delivering a scaled down version,  typically at 500 pixels wide max.

For Fall of 2014 we’ve implemented a fix that will hopefully solve this issue. We’ve activated a network-wide plugin that automatically resizes  images on upload to a max of 1200 pixels wide and discards the original high resolution version (site owners are responsible for keeping copies of original images somewhere safe). With 100MB of file space you should now have room for over 600 images . The settings to control the image resize on upload are found in Settings > Resize Image Upload.

Moodle and Canvas will both be available 2014-2015

Moodle will be maintained through the course of the 2014-2015 academic year.  Moodle will not be upgraded (just patched with security updates) so it will not change again from the current version.  At the end of spring quarter Moodle will be discontinued as a learning management system (LMS) for the college but the data will continue to be available to faculty for at least a year from this date.

Canvas, as a cloud service, is updated every 3 weeks and so as such is a dynamic and changing environment.  We will be doing faculty trainings throughout the year, check out my.evergreen.edu for a link to the faculty orientation course and information about training schedules.  We look forward to the new opportunities with Canvas!

 

WordPress Upgrade to 3.9.2

What’s New at blogs.evergreen.edu

General

  • The “update” message has been restored to the dashboard
  • Posts
  • Add “Return to post editor” link from Revisions screen
  • A “View Post” link will now show for any post an author can read
  • Distraction Free Writing mode is now responsive to any size device

Media

  • Edit images from the Add Media modal
  • Improvements to the “Attach Media” pop-up interface
  • Better support for auto-playing videos
  • Drag and Drop files into the editor
  • Full-screen Drag and Drop zone in Distraction Free Writing
  • oEmbed support added for imgur and meetup.com
  • Comments
  • Small improvements to comment administration screens, link colors, language tweaks

Appearance

  • Widget Customizer management
  • Upload header images with cropping in the Customizer
  • Improved theme install workflow

Users

  • Admin auto-complete improvements
  • Make sure the “Send this password to the new user by email” toggle option value is remembered

Accessibility

  • Improved focus styles for form elements throughout the admin
  • Keyboard accessibility added for theme install screen and theme action buttons