Get Your Grades in Early: WolfWare, Moodle and Vista Outages and Grade Submission Update

LMS_Outage

Due to a critical set of hardware and software upgrades that are being performed over the winter break, two of NC State’s Learning Management Systems (LMSs)—WolfWare  and Moodle—will not be available at some point during the grade submission window. Also, there will be a planned Blackboard Vista outage beginning December 21 at 5 pm. Please read the section below pertaining to the LMS that you are using to find out how your ability to submit grades will be affected.

WolfWare: The WolfWare rollover date is Monday, December 21.  WolfWare will not be available on the last day of grade submission (Monday, December 21). During this time, we will be archiving Fall 2009 classes, activating Spring 2010 prep lockers and deploying a new entrance (https://wolfware.ncsu.edu) for students and faculty. This page will allow visitors to log in and see all of their classes, regardless of the LMS where they are located.

You will not be able to submit grades on the Monday, December 21 via the WolfWare grade book. Please either submit your grades by Sunday, December 20, OR save a copy of your grade book to your computer in advance and manually submit your grades on December 21 via SIS. To save your grade book to your computer as an Excel spreadsheet, review these directions: https://delta.ncsu.edu/get_help/faq/solution.php?solution=3706

Moodle: Moodle will be down for approximately two hours on the morning of Monday, December 21, as we move Moodle from a pilot to a production environment. No data or grades will be lost and you will be able to access your courses from the same URL once Moodle is back up. We strongly recommend that you submit your grades by Sunday, December 20, to avoid any difficulties. However, you will be able to access the Moodle grade book on the afternoon of December 21 if you have some last minute grades to submit.

Blackboard Vista: Vista will be down for planned maintenance from 5 pm on Monday, December 21, to Sunday, January 3. We will have Vista back online during business hours on Monday, January 4. (Note: You may have received e-mails, pop-up reminders in Blackboard Vista and several announcements that Vista would be unavailable from Sunday, December 20,through Monday, January 3, due to a critical maintenance issue. We have elected to defer the start of this maintenance window until the grade submission period has passed. Because of technical and resource allocation issues, we are not able to delay WolfWare and Moodle outages. )

This Vista outage offers an opportunity to start using Moodle, the LMS that has been selected to replace Vista. All Vista courses must be moved to Moodle by Summer 2011, and moving to Moodle now will allow you to work on your Spring 2010 classes with little interruption. (There will be a short Moodle maintenance outage on Monday, December 21.)

However, we only suggest moving now if you have relatively simple Vista sites. What’s a simple site? It is one that does not use complex features such as groups, learning modules, extensive question sets, selective release, etc. If you’re not sure whether your Vista site is “simple” or more complex, we’d be happy to talk to you about this.

If you make the decision to move to Moodle this month (December), here are some suggested next steps:

1. Learn the basics of Moodle by watching our recorded workshops. Links are provided here: http://moodlepilot.ncsu.edu

2. Review the Migration Guides that describe how to move files and quizzes: http://wikis.lib.ncsu.edu/index.php/Moodle_Guides

3. Request your new sections in Moodle. Step-by-step directions: http://help.ncsu.edu/solutions/all/3593.php

4. Start building your course, and ask us for help if you hit any snags! E-mail us at learntech@ncsu.edu or call the LearnTech Help Desk at 513-7094.

Please be aware that we cannot migrate your courses for you at this point. However, DELTA is in the process of developing a migration service, including building resources and hiring additional student consultants. We will be able to provide more direct support in Spring 2010. Thank you for considering making the move to Moodle now, and we will do all we can to support you should you decide to take the plunge!