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Preparing to Launch Commons

Question asked by Mike Mitchell on Jul 14, 2015
Latest reply on May 18, 2016 by Mike Mitchell

We love what we've seen so far with Commons and have outlined some interesting ways we're going to use it for courses from templates, but the way Commons copies permissions and the way our institution combines departments has us nervous about launching. Here are some of our issues. I'm curious to know if anyone else is running into the same problems we are.

 

PROBLEM 1

We have students who are taking master's level courses and teaching lower-division courses as adjunct faculty in the same department.

 

Why is this a problem?

If faculty share master's level course content, many of their students in the master's program will have access to the content, even though they don't teach at the master's level.

 

For example, Criminal Justice and the Master's of Criminal Justice are under one department so they share the same sub-account in Canvas.

 

We pull the department structure from Banner, so proper organization would have to come from the top down and getting departments to switch to new department codes is a difficult process for our institution. At least that's what they tell me.

 

PROBLEM 2

Many of our instructors have enrolled students in courses as teachers instead of TAs, but not all students who are enrolled as teachers in courses are TAs. Some are truly teachers.

 

Why is this a problem?

Once a student has been enrolled as a teacher in a department, the student now has the ability to pull shared content from Commons. We would have to verify thousands of enrollments and compare them with Banner, but even this wouldn't catch all scenarios. Sometimes students are legitimate co-teachers not listed in Banner as the primary instructor.

 

PROBLEM 3 - Resolved

A handful of departments have requested sandbox courses for students, so historically, we've enrolled them as teachers in sandboxes WITHIN their respective departments.

 

Why is this a problem?

An example: If a computer science student is a teacher in a computer science sandbox listed in the computer science sub-account, they now have access to content shared within the computer science department in Commons.

 

I brought this up in another discussion and have been scouring a spreadsheet for weeks, manually moving student sandboxes to specific student sandbox sub-accounts. This is not fun because I have to check any user that is listed as both a student and a teacher in the system and check the courses they're enrolled in to see if they have a student sandbox. The sandbox names are anything but uniform. #eyestrain

 

What About You?

Have any of you out there wrangled with these issues while launching Commons? How is it going for you? Have any ideas for us?

 

Thanks!

 

Mike

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