TLTC
Teaching and Learning With Technology Center

 
of the
Center for Teaching and Learning
Georgia State University
ITC
Instructional Technology Center
Library
GSU libraries
UETS
University Educational Technology Services
GSU Senate:
IS&T: Information Systems & Technology Committee
TLTS
IS&T Teaching and Learning with Technology Subcommittee
 
November 7, 2003
Migrating courses from WebCT to WebCT Vista

Because of the number and extent of changes in the underlying system architecture from WebCT 3.8 to WebCT Vista 2.0, no automated approach is available for migrating a course from WebCT to WebCT Vista. This page offers some strategies for minimizing course designers' effort in migrating to Vista and maximizing the effectiveness of courses in Vista. An on-line migration module for designers will be available soon from UETS.

Before you start: Check out publishers' resources for WebCT Vista

Before you start, become aware of the resources that textbook publishers provide in WebCT format. If it's not obvious whether the resources are avilable in WebCT Vista format, ask your publishers' representatives, who will likely want to work with you to make Vista-compatible resources available. Publishers web sites may have information about resources in WebCT format.

Strategy
Steps to implement
1

Replicate existing course

  1. Perform any needed reorganization and cleanup

  2. Take advantage of the power of templates to make Vista serve multi-section courses

Benefits

  1. Mimimizes need to acquire skills for creating and maintaining a web site

  2. Maximizes ease of embedding quizzes in course content

  3. Facilitates tracking student paths through content pages
 

 

  1 Attend (in person) or view (on-line) the WebCT Vista exploration module. Request a Vista course from uets-is@gsu.edu.
  2 Zip content files in the existing WebCT course and download them to a user workstation.
  3 Reorganize and clean up the downloaded files as needed with an HTML editor such as Dreamweaver or FrontPage. Although it could be used, Word imposes undesirable side effects. Use the site management functions of an HTML editor to rename files, which can automatically update links to renamed files. A good file-naming convention makes it easier to manage files because Vista presents filelists alphabetically by file name.
  4 Download quizzes and surveys from WebCT with Respondus 2.0 Campus-wide, which is available through a link on course designers' myWebCT pages.
  5 In Respondus 2.0 Vista, edit quizzes and surveys as needed.
  6 Decide which files and quizzes/surveys are to belong to the template for the course. For multi-section courses, an ideal template would contain all the files and quizzes/surveys that should be common to all sections.
  7 Using Respondus 2.0 Vista, load into Vista the quizzes and surveys that should belong to the course template.
  8 For all files that are to be common to all sections, zip the files, upload the zip files to Vista, and unzip them.
  9 Reset links in content files to quizzes and surveys.
  10 Select and add the desired course tools, e.g., discussion board, chat, quizzes/surveys, group presentations.
  11 For multi-section courses, request Vista courses from uets-is@gsu.edu to be created with the template. It's helpful to get the template right because it can be applied to a course only once. (Dynamic templates might be an enhancement to a future version of Vista.)
  12 Load course-specific files into the course(s).
  13 After using the course with students, refine the Vista template for use in the next term.
     
2

Develop a mixed-site course

  1. Separate course into content-only and student interaction components

  2. Put content-only files on a www.gsu.edu or departmental web site

  3. Take advantage of the power of templates to make Vista serve multi-section courses

Benefits

  1. Minimizes tge conversion effort required for subsequent migrations to newer versions of the same learning management system (LMS) or to a different LMS

  2. Maximizes flexibility in revealing course design and content to others for purposes of marketing, course and curriculum development, and internal and external assessment

  3. Permits content files to be managed with site management functions of HTML editors. (WebDev enables some of these features within the LMS.)

 

   
  1

Attend (in person) or view (on-line) the WebCT Vista exploration module. Request a Vista course from uets-is@gsu.edu and a web site from IS&T or your department. Having a separate web site for each course makes it easier for course sites to be course/departmental resources rather than just personal resources.

  2 Zip content files in the existing WebCT course and download them to a user workstation.
  3 Reorganize and clean up the downloaded files as needed with an HTML editor such as Dreamweaver or FrontPage. Although it could be used, Word imposes undesirable side effects. Use the site management functions of an HTML editor to rename files, which can automatically update links to renamed files. A good file-naming convention makes it easier to manage files because Vista and web sites present filelists alphabetically by file name.
  4 Decide which content files require password protection and move them to a separate folder, e.g., "pro", on the workstation. Preserve the directory structure for these files.
  5

Initialize the web site:

  1. Select and install an FTP program
  2. Change the initial password
  3. Define the site to the FTP program
  4. Create a folder on the web site for password-protected files, e.g., "pro"
  5. Password-protect the designated folder
  6

Load the content files on the web site. Verify that password protection works as intended, i.e., it protects files that are supposed to be protected but does not protect files that should not be protected such as a syllabus. Here are examples of this arrangement:

  • Undergraduate, large enrollment, multi-section: Acct 2101; Fi 3300
  • Master's course, small enrollment, single-section: Acct 8630
  7 Download quizzes and surveys from WebCT with Respondus 2.0 Campus-wide, which is available through a link on course designers' myWebCT pages.
  8 In Respondus 2.0 Vista, edit quizzes and surveys as needed.
  9 Decide which files and quizzes/surveys should belong to the template for the course. For multi-section courses, an ideal template would contain all the files and quizzes/surveys that are to be common to all sections.
  10 Using Respondus 2.0 Vista, load into Vista the quizzes and surveys that should belong to the course template.
  11 To the extent content files have links that launch quizzes/surveys, put those files in Vista. Add to the web site files any needed links and explanations for finding the quizzes/surveys in WebCT.
  12 Select and add the desired course tools, e.g., discussion board, chat, quizzes/surveys, group presentations
  13 For multi-section courses, request Vista courses from uets-is@gsu.edu to be created with the template. It's helpful to get the template right because it can be applied to a course only once. (Dynamic templates might be an enhancement to a future version of Vista.)
  14 After using the course and web site with students, refine the Vista template and web site for use in the next term.
   

 

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