Upgrade of Katie Software 2013SP and Morsle

WHAT CHANGES INSTRUCTORS SHOULD EXPECT

  1. Navigation changes: A lot of familiar links have been moved around to different areas so some confusion should be expected initially
  2. Conversion of Old Courses: There have been reported difficulties in getting an older style of course to convert to the newer style without some loss of functionality. Sometimes this means a loss of block or activity functionality and sometimes it means actual loss of material information pertinent to the course record of activity. We are committed to researching and making available the best tools for this purpose as they are developed.
  3. File System Changes: This is widely considered to be the biggest change in the new version and a consensus has built that it also poses the greatest threat of problems for users familiar with “the old way”. Problems include being able to completely delete a file resource, being able to share file resources between team teachers, being able to manage the version of the file and all its copies. There is also a “system files” area whereby any user is able to peruse all the files on the system and perform some necessary tasks on those they own. In some cases the “system files” area is the only place where certain tasks can be performed yet it requires myriad clicks into what seems like a labarynthine crevice, frequently resulting in the user discovering they don’t have permissions to the resource for which they searched. Additionally, the need to actually “save” all files uploaded during a session will likely cause great consternation initially since this is a signicant departure from existing practice. Luther College’s primary response to this debilitating file system is to further develop and enhance “Morsle” as a viable alternative to the complexity of the new Moodle file system (See: Morsle information below).
  4. Blocks can be docked: The new Moodle (katie) allows users to “dock” blocks, which effectively moves them out of the way and makes for a less cluttered work screen.
  5. Conditional Release: The instructor can specify various criteria that must be met before a specific activity may be started such as a prerequisite activity, a certain grade on a particular activity or grade overall for the course, etc.
  6. Activity Completion: Allows tracking of completion status for any or all activities in a course.
  7. Advanced Grading – Rubrics: Simple or complex rubrics can be created for graded activities allowing the ultimate grade to be a calculation of each score on the various rubric criteria.
  8. Cohorts: are site-wide groups that will benefit many administrative katie sites.
  9. Activity and Resource Duplication: allows any activity or resource on a course page to be duplicated and then edited as needed.
  10. Mobile App: available at this time for the iPhone only.
  11. New Mobile Theme: available for all smartphones presenting a more usable display of Moodle on a mobile device.
  12. IMS Common Cartridge Support: Many publishers make resources available through this mechanism, now supported by Moodle.
  13. New, Updated Themes

NEW VERSION ROLL OUT SCHEDULE

  1. Testing of New Version: Users of katie will be able to log onto the new version and become familiar with the changes beginning Fall, 2012. Some of their pre-existent work may be resident on the new system (if accurate conversion is available at the time) though it won’t be kept up-to-date. Its important that the user evaluating the new system not get confused and perform real work, which would not be available to their students in the production environment.
  2. New Version Go-Live: All users of katie will cease to use the old version on January 30, 2013 and begin to use the new version on January 31, 2013. Naturally, any preparation for 2013 Spring courses should be done on the new version.

FAQS

  1. Can I use the new version earlier than 2013SP? No, all must operate from the same version in order to properly execute course evaluations.
  2. How will I log onto the new version if I want to see what it looks like? You would use your normal norse key and password.
  3. What does Morsle mean? “Morsle” is the word that is produced by the marrying of “Moodle” (katie’s base software) and “Norse Apps” (Luther’s branded version of Google Apps for Education).
  4. What control does Luther College have over Morsle’s future development (or lack thereof)? Morsle is entirely developed in-house allowing Luther College to exert maximum control over its purposing and development.

WHAT MORSLE DOESWHAT MORSLE DOES

  1. Share Google (Norse) Docs with Course: Morsle allows the instructor of a course to easily share documents and/or entire collections of documents from the Norse (Google) docs with their entire list of course participants. An instructor can link items from Google directly to their course page, is able to upload documents from their desktop directly into their Google docs and can create subcollections in the course Google docs area for special needs.
  2. Migrate Moodle Files: A migration facility is provided to move all the files associated with a course up to the instructor’s Google Docs area so they can be made available for future use in other classes.
  3. Synchronize Moodle Events to Google Calendar: Morsle automatically maintains a “course calendar” on Google for which all course participants have access. The events on this calendar coincide with assignments, quizzes and any other event scheduled in Moodle for the course. Linking to the calendar, a student can have access to all the course events on any device they possess (including smartphones).
  4. Email all Course Participants: Morsle allows the instructor to send out an email “through their regular Norse mail” which in turn, allows multiple attachments. Because the email goes through their normal Gmail account, it can be tracked and replies will actually come to the instructor.
  5. Google Sites Available: Morsle makes Google sites (configurable web sites) available for classes interested in having students collaborate on creation of a site or wiki.
  6. Prezi on Morsle: You can access a Prezi presentation on Morsle by clicking this link
  7. Link to Morsle Tutorial Page on Katie: Morsle Tutorial Site