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Jul
13
Adobe Connect (eClassLive) Decommissioning
Posted by Chris Goetz on 13 July 2020 03:36 PM

Attention eClass Users,

This message is to announce that the synchronous lecture and recording tool eClassLive (Adobe Connect) will be decommissioned on January 2nd, 2021. After this date, users will no longer be able to access Adobe Connect to host meetings or deliver online courses. IST is currently investigating the possibility of providing archived copies of Adobe Connect recordings to content owners, with details to follow as they become available.

This decision is not taken lightly. Given the current financial situation and the existence of a more scalable & easier to use alternative on campus (Zoom), keeping both systems operational is not a sustainable option. Another key factor that has led to this decision is that Adobe Connect currently relies on Flash, which will no longer be supported via the web as of December 31, 2020. This change is significant and has forced us to set an expedited timeline, as transitioning Adobe Connect off of Flash to a newer version would require a significant investment of resources in time and infrastructure before the end of the year.

In the past 3 months since Zoom was launched, its popularity has quickly overshadowed Adobe Connect. Zoom has broadly comparable features to Adobe Connect, it has an easier learning curve, and even has improved administration and support workflows. Cloud recordings are secure and available to students right through the LTI integration in eClass courses and the system provides recording analytics.


What does this change mean for Instructors?

  • Instructors who are currently using Adobe Connect should begin familiarizing themselves with using Zoom. While Adobe Connect will still be available until the end of Fall term 2020, anyone who is able to do so should deliver their Fall term synchronous learning sessions using Zoom.
  • Instructors should determine which (if any) of their recordings they still require access to. If users have only a small number of recordings they wish to retain, they can follow the instructions here to download them as an MP4 video file. As mentioned above, IST is currently investigating alternatives for a facilitated workflow to allow users to have access to Adobe Connect recordings post-decommissioning (details for this option will be communicated once they are finalized).
  • Specific affected individuals will receive direct communications in the next few weeks to advise them of this change and what actions they should take.

We realize that the timeline for this transition is not ideal, but the rapid push to increase synchronous capacity in the transition to online delivery in March 2020 was unprecedented. Under normal circumstances, the replacement of an integral component of the digital learning environment would take place over a longer period of time and afford instructors added flexibility during the change. In this instance, the budgetary constraints of providing two licensed solutions, the availability of a comparable system, and the impending discontinuation of flash have all enforced an expedited timeline that we all need to work with in order to move campus forward.

Please let us know if you have any questions about this change by contacting eClass support at 780-492-9372 or by email at eclass@ualberta.ca.


Regards,
IST eClass Support


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Jul
8
eClass Major Outage Schedule 2020-2021
Posted by Chris Goetz on 08 July 2020 01:30 PM

Attention eClass users,

eClass requires regularly scheduled outages to perform necessary updates and maintenance on specific dates designed to minimize the impact on the majority of users.

For the coming year, full 24-hour maintenance windows for eClass and eClassLive are scheduled for the following dates:

   - August 22nd, 2020

   - January 2nd, 2021

   - May 1st, 2021 - Major Upgrade

   - June 26th, 2021

Each 24-hour outage will run from 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM unless otherwise posted. eClass and eClassLive will be unavailable for the duration of each of these maintenance windows, so please plan well in advance and do not schedule any tasks that require eClass to be available during these windows.

Please note that this schedule only includes planned maintenance windows, and that eClass may still require emergency outages for shorter durations as necessary throughout the year.

If you have any questions about this schedule, please contact us at eclass@ualberta.ca

Regards,

IST eClass Support


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Jun
30
eClass Maintenance July 1st, 2020 from 12:00AM to 12:15AM
Posted by Chris Goetz on 30 June 2020 03:24 PM

Attention eClass users,


Please be aware that there will be a brief eClass outage on Wednesday July 1st, 2020 from 12:00AM (Midnight) until 12:15AM. We are using this brief outage to deploy required changes for the launch of the new eClass Course Creation system.


eClass and eClassLive will be unavailable throughout the maintenance window.


Thank you very much for your patience during this outage. If you have any questions, please contact us at eclass@ualberta.ca.


Regards,
IST eClass Support


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Jun
26
New Course Creation System Coming Soon
Posted by Chris Goetz on 26 June 2020 04:06 PM

Attention eClass users,

We will be releasing a new version of the eClass Course Creation system on Thursday, July 2nd 2020. This new application is a complete rebuild of the old system including new infrastructure, a modernization of the look and feel, and easy-to-use workflows.

Specific changes in this upgrade include:

  • The interface has been completely overhauled to include a more modern design.
  • Users can now view a log of their previous requests.
  • Student enrollments are now processed at the time a course is created (instructors no longer need to wait 12-24 hours for their students to be added to a course).
  • In the new workflow, users can only create one course (single or combined) at a time. The ability to create multiple courses in one request will be added at a later date.
  • Non-credit courses & eClass External courses now have increased automation in their workflows and should be processed more efficiently.
  • Authentication now uses the standard U of A CCID login page.

Any users accessing the old system urls will be automatically redirected to the new application.

There will be no outage associated with this change. If you have any questions about this upgrade, please contact us at eclass@ualberta.ca.

 

Regards,

IST eClass Support


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Jun
15

Attention eClass users,

Update: eClass is now available. The outage was completed early and the site was released at 9:50AM June 20th, 2020.

This is a reminder that there will be a scheduled maintenance outage for eClass Saturday June 20th 2020 from 12:00AM to 11:59PM (24 hours). This outage is required to perform infrastructure maintenance and an update to eClass.


The updates to eClass during this outage will include the following changes:

  • eClass will receive a minor version upgrade containing a number of minor bug fixes and accessibility improvements.
  • A new question type that enables music theory assessment will be released.
  • Infrastructure and code changes will be added to prepare for the release of a new version of the eClass course creation system.
  • Update: External badge integration delayed to August. A new external badge integration will be available to pilot by the Faculty of Education.
  • Update: The Course Materials & Reading List integration will be delayed slightly and released later this summer. A new Course Materials & Reading List integration to the UofA Library will be released.

Please note that while we have booked a 24 hour maintenance window, eClass will be available as soon as the required changes are complete. We will be sending an additional announcement once access to eClass has been restored.

eClass and eClassLive will be unavailable for the duration of this outage. If you have any questions about this outage, please contact us at eclass@ualberta.ca.

Regards,
IST eClass Support 


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