LMS Updates: Spring 2014

We are always working to improve the performance, usability and robustness of our learning management system (LMS) Tools. Here is a summary of work performed during the spring 2014 semester.

January 2014

  • Updated WolfWare servers to WolfWare 2
  • Updated Moodle NCSU Book to check legacy files before eliminating pluginfile (same as Moodle book).
  • Moodle subqueries work poorly in MySQL prior to 5.6, so this rework of the query allows the query optimizer to skip the half minute wait on 1314-courses when changing a quiz question’s maxmark.

February 2014

  • Added the initial bar to the grade book so that it can be limited by first initial, last initial, or both. In addition, we switched the header for the name column from Last Name/First Name to First Name/Last Name to match the way that names appear in the column. The sort should work normally.
  • Fixed the Moodle Grade Book Quick Grading. A JavaScript error occurred when quick grading in the grade book. The error occurred when there was an item set to “No grade.” The error prevented the grades from saving.
  • Fixed the Moodle Forum email: The forum e-mails contain pictures of the groups that the receiver is a member of. These images do not show up in Gmail because Gmail proxies the image links. Without the images, the broken image box was defaulting to the length of the default text, which was pushing the email text way over to the right. This made the email difficult to read. We constrained the images to 35px square for small images and 100px square for large images.
  • Updated Equella from 6.0 QA2 to 6.0 QA3
  • Updated firmware on Equalogic SANs (storage arrays) in WolfWare/Moodle

March 2014

  • Migrated database to new physical server
  • Set up Moodle courses 14-15 server for next year’s courses
  • Performed WolfWare 14-15 updates
  • Completed Collaborate update with info about new launcher option (https://delta.ncsu.edu/knowledgebase/configuring-your-computer-for-blackboard-collaborate/)
  • Applied Moodle patches to fix marking guide backup and restore
  • Updated Moodle course copier
  • Added instructions for Mac users in Collaborate
  • Added mimetypes for Viseo files in Moodle
  • Applied a patch for Moodle 2.3 and 2.6 to correctly encode and decode NCSU Book links between Moodle 2.x copies
  • Added the star rating block for Moodle 2.3 and 2.6, which allows the star rating system to authenticate with Moodle

May 2014

  • Moodle:
    • Updated custom character set in WYSIWYG editor [bug fix]
    • Updated library block links to production urls
    • Activated new Moodle plug-in pointing to SAS
    • Updated courses1415 server to latest NCSU Moodle 2.6
    • Upgraded moodle-projects server from 2.3 to 2.6
    • Moved projects DB to new server and upgraded to 5.6
    • Updated course1314 to include instructional support role
    • Set moodle-archive to readonly
    • Completed last creation of 1.9 copy with user data for project space backup
  • Equella:
    • Moved data to new disk – vm server
    • Applied updates to Oracle server
      • Upgraded oracle database from 11.2.0.1.0 to 11.2.0.4.0
      • Applied security patch for 11.2.0.4.0
    • Upgraded java from 6.0 to 6.2
  • WolfWare:
    • Enabled Instructional Support role
      • allow selecting role when adding users
      • auto-map SIS SU role to Instructional Support role instead of Hidden Instructor
    • Removed “Project Space -” from the beginning of project space names
    • Made NCSU Red Standard the default theme if one is not selected
    • Updated active semesters
  • Collaborate: Switched plugin to point to new hosted Collaborate server

We will continue to do our best to improve the suite of online learning tools offered by DELTA. Please feel free to provide feedback to let us know how we’re doing or request new features. Both options are available under the Send Feedback section of wolfware.ncsu.edu. I welcome you to contact me directly as well with any input and suggestions.