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A comprehensive WebCT integration system

Phillips, R., Strong, J., Hallam, M. and Benschop, O. (2002) A comprehensive WebCT integration system. In: WebCT 2002 Asia Pacific Conference, 24 - 27 March 2002, Melbourne, VIC

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Murdoch University, in collaboration with industry partners, has developed a sophisticated middleware application (WebCTMan) between WebCT and other corporate systems, such as the Callista student records system, the Concept 1 human resources system and Murdoch’s own authentication system. This presentation will describe the architecture and functionality of this system.

The impetus for WebCTMan was to enable Murdoch to change its student records database with minimal impact on our WebCT installation. However, WebCTMan now gives us great flexibility in managing our WebCT installation, enabling us to manage courses across teaching periods, and upgrade easily. This paper describes the context in which this system was built and gives an overview of its architecture.

Courses in WebCTMan can have a status of active (where student details are updated nightly), inactive (where all students are orphans), and static (where student accounts are valid but not updated). Tools are available to change this status, and easily activate and deactivate courses. Different versions of courses are maintained for each teaching period, resolving the problem of overlap between semesters, when some students still have deferred examinations after the start of a new semester.

In addition to managing students, WebCTMan provides functionality to manage staff and courses. Staff can request courses to be created or cloned from other courses. They can also create their own guest accounts and allocate tutors and markers to courses, and download class lists. Operators can create or rename courses on demand, as well as changing the roles of staff, including primary and secondary designers. A subset of functions is available to helpdesk operators, who can lookup details of both students and staff within the system.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Teaching and Learning Centre
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