VistaSWAT

Do you run one of these versions of the former WebCT products? CE4.x CE6.x CE8.x Vista 3.x Vista 4.x Vista 8.x If so, then you should join us for the next Vista SWAT web conference call Thursday, May 14th (and every other Thursday). We help each other solve issues and better understand how to use / run the product.… Continue reading VistaSWAT

No Hiding From Blackboard

Some former WebCT (bought by Blackboard) customers switched to ANGEL rather than move to Blackboard products. PDF Apr 14, 2009 Today, Blackboard announced it is buying ANGEL. You can run, but you cannot hide from Blackboard. Some light reading for you… Learning, Together ANGEL Learning and Blackboard® have decided to join forces. Blackboard Plans to Buy Another Rival, Angel Learning… Continue reading No Hiding From Blackboard

Session Oddities

One of the clients we host complained about losing their session. Blackboard recommended we switch how our load balancer is handling the session persistence. Before agreeing to do that, we decided to use Blackboard’s script to determine if there is a problem before trying to fix something which may or may not exist. An acceptable… Continue reading Session Oddities

LMS Security

This morning there was a flurry of effort to locate an article called “Hacking WebCT.” My coworker was able to locate it. We were disappointed.  The main points of the article were: Lazy administrators make compromising user accounts easy. Lazy instructors make getting questions for assessments easy. These apply to any LMS. So, here is some… Continue reading LMS Security

Better CE/Vista Web Server Log

Some support tickets are more easily solved by knowing both user behavior and environment. An often helpful piece of information is what web browser they used. To add this, shut down the cluster, edit /VISTA_HOME/config/config.xml to include the cs(User-Agent), and start the cluster. This line will need to appear for every node. At startup, the… Continue reading Better CE/Vista Web Server Log

Mail From Address

It appears CE/Vista has several locations for defining the email addresses it uses for SMTP. $WEBCTDOMAIN/config/config.xml: mail.from= From address for messages sent. $WEBCTDOMAIN/customconfig/startup.properties: WEBCT_ADMIN_EMAIL= Some internal errors have a mailto: prompt to contact the server administrator. $WEBCTDOMAIN/serverconfs/log4j.properties: log4j.appender.EMail.To= Report fatal errors. $WEBCTDOMAIN/serverconfs/log4jstartup.properties: log4j.appender.EMail.To= Report fatal errors. $WEBCTDOMAIN/webctInstalledServer.properties: WEBCT_ADMIN_EMAIL= Installer picks up this value for populating… Continue reading Mail From Address

Bb Suggestions

WebCT used a suggestion form to collect product improvement ideas from the various users (instructors, instructional technologists, administrators, etc.). I’m not sure if the switch to opening enhancement request support tickets under Blackboard was something new to improve the support model overall or just a change for former WebCT customers as support integrated. Interestingly, Blackboard… Continue reading Bb Suggestions

How Not To Break a Frame

Correct: <script language=”Javascript” type=”text/javascript”> if (top != self) { top.location = window.location; } </script> Incorrect: <script language=”Javascript” type=”text/javascript”> if (top != self) { top.location = “/webct/urw/lc18361011.tp0/logonDisplay.dowebct”; } </script> The problem with incorrect is the address used here is not the address in the location bar.  The one in the location bar has the values required… Continue reading How Not To Break a Frame

Course Management Systems are Dead!

Heh. Blackboard Vista is headed for a brick wall? Who knew? 7. Course Management Systems are Dead! Long Live Course Management Systems! Proprietary course management systems are heading for a brick wall. The combination of economic pressures combined with saturated markets and the maturing stage of the life cycle of these once innovative platforms means… Continue reading Course Management Systems are Dead!

More IMS Import Headaches

I got this error while trying to run an XML IMS import using the WebCT / Blackboard CE/Vista siapi.sh script… A unit of type Institution cannot have a unit of type Campus as a child. Guess being on vacation last week spaced my neurons. Normally, I ignore Blackboard errors as meaningless. This time I listened… Continue reading More IMS Import Headaches