Ability to add additional information during LTI LMS course creation
Particularly course department - when creating course and selecting semester dropdown, also offer other dropdown options. Please give us use cases!
Julia Clement commented
Would this only affect the "Displayed Instructor(s)" field? If so, that would be great. We just wouldn't want it to override the "Instructor Username" field for statistical purposes. Not a priority for us (our faculty don't seem to care what instructor name is displayed!), but a cool feature. I also wouldn't want it to be a required field for them. If nothing is entered, would it default to the Ares instructor?
We're also considering including the "Displayed Instructors" field on this form, so the course creator can list multiple instructors, regardless of their current registration status within Ares. If we did this, would we want this to trump any values that were coming through course and user loads?
Julia Clement commented
We use department frequently in our reports. We use this info to determine overall copyright fees for each academic department. A dropdown is a good idea, if we can make it a required field.
Ah, I see what you mean. We'll look into that. Thanks for the detailed info!
The AtlasSystems.Ares.Core.CourseFactory “Course builder” routine doesn’t allow for a NULL defaultProcessingSite, even though the Courses.DefaultPickupSite field in the database can store a NULL value without any problems. The AresWebService.log generates these messages when a NULL value is submitted:
2017-09-05 09:22:42,600  INFO AtlasSystems.Ares.Core.CourseManager - Creating new course
2017-09-05 09:22:42,600  WARN AtlasSystems.Ares.Core.CourseFactory - Invalid Pickup Site (Null). Using the value from the DefaultPickupSite customization key.
2017-09-05 09:22:42,600  DEBUG AtlasSystems.Ares.Core.Customization - Looking up 'DefaultPickupSite' in customization.
Where this required Pickup Site value becomes a problem is, our learning management system (Canvas) automatically creates an initial stub record for the Canvas course in Ares using a BasicLTI/OAuth/WebService call. It’s only when the instructor visits the Course Reserves section of Canvas that they are presented an embedded Ares form where they can fill in remaining details (Department, Default Pickup Site, Password Protection, etc.). It would be ideal to defer having to specify the Default Pickup Site until the instructor gets to the Ares web form, in order to force them to make a choice at that time. When the Default Pickup Site is already set to a value during the automated LTI step, most instructors don’t bother with changing the default value to something more appropriate.
Is there any way to get around having to specify the Pickup Site when creating a course via the WebService DLL?
Angela Mott commented
There are a small set of classes at Emory that do not come from the registrar and are categorized as organizations rather than courses in Canvas. When an instructor of one of these classes clicks on the Ares LTI connection in Canvas, their class is created without importing any department information, so it gets classified as belonging to the default site in Ares rather than to the correct site. The program coordinator then has to send a list of all these courses each semester to the reserves staff at the correct site so the staff person can change the processing site, pickup site, and department for each course.
We’d like these classes to be assigned to the correct site as soon as they are created.
One option would be to include an optional feature, turned on or off in the Customization Manager, that allows instructors to choose the proper processing site when they click the Ares LTI from within Canvas (at the same time that they currently choose the semester).
Another option would be to update the LTI connection itself so that it can pull department information from these organizations as well as from regular courses.