What is changing?
From a technical standpoint, on Friday, Oct. 5, we will replace the Holding Tank (HT) process that has been in place since 2008 with the new Integration Pack for Student Information Systems (IPSIS). Among other improvements, the upgrade will enable us to use Brightspace for Learning Outcomes Assessment.
What does that mean in English?
We are changing the way that enrollment is sent from PeopleSoft to Brightspace. For the most part, you will only notice this change if you merge courses. If you don’t merge courses, you can disregard the rest of this message.
Currently, when a course is merged, your sections become groups in your new merged course. As you know, you can view the classlist and the gradebook by group to find the students in each section.
After the change and beginning with the Spring 2019 (4191) courses, you will see sections in your course after a merge. You will be able to view the classlist and gradebook by section.
For the Fall 2018 (4187) courses ONLY, you will see BOTH sections and groups. This is because we have already merged your courses using the old HT process. In this situation, you can basically use sections or groups interchangeably.
Going forward, you use the Groups tool as it was intended to be used. You can create groups using the groups functionality. Beginning with Spring 2019, Brightspace will not automatically create any groups in your course.
CAUTION: PLEASE READ THIS
There will be a short period on Friday, Oct. 5 in which you will see more sections than you expect. Some sections will be empty. The empty sections will disappear at the end of the update, within a few hours. No information will be lost.
Here’s a more detailed explanation. All existing courses that have been merged using the old HT process, will also need to be manually merged again using the new IPSIS process. Technically, this will not impact faculty or students. Your existing merged course will continue to exist. It will have all of its content and all of the student activity. We simply have to add the new IPSIS-created sections to your existing HT-merged course. No information will be lost.
If you are a faculty member and you are teaching a course that has been merged, you will temporarily see ALL of the sections. For example, if you merged 3 sections, you will temporarily see 4 sections (the merged section and the 3 original sections). Each of the underlying sections will be empty.
This situation is temporary and should last only for a few hours. You can simply ignore the additional empty courses. As soon as we re-merge those using IPSIS, you will only see the correct merged courses again. To repeat, nothing will happen to your courses and no content will be lost.
Can I use Sections in Release Conditions?
Yes. In a merged course, you will be able to use release conditions to share specific content with sections, if desired.
Why are we changing to IPSIS?
IPSIS is a newer approach that provides more functionality than the current system. Primarily we need to do this so we are able to map multiple course sections to the same template. This will allow us to use Brightspace for Learning Outcomes Assessment (LOA).
If I do not care about LOA, will this change benefit me?
YES! There are many additional benefits with IPSIS. The most obvious benefit is that we can merge courses immediately. You will no longer need to wait until the next day to have your new merged course. There are more features and benefits that we can share, but for simplicity, this is the change that will benefit most people.
When is the Change Coming?
The change is scheduled for Friday, October 5th.