wiki:TngAdminTips
Last modified 9 years ago Last modified on 02/15/10 15:11:16

Using the Admin system with TNG

The new-generation TNG LMS servers are now in production use for over 200 districts in the 2009-2010 academic year.

During the transition of our districts to the new LMS, we are continuing to support the Agile Assessment (AA) service based on an earlier server techology and database implementation. To bridge between the LMS and AA facilities, we are using a hybrid strategy in the near term to continue providing Support services through the existing Agile Mind Admin system (http://admin.agilemind.com) to manage district and school configurations and manage classes and enrollments.

System Overview and Workflow Timelines

There are 3 principal elements in our current system for supporting TNG operations:

  1. the Admin system and its district databases for managing districts, classes, enrollments, etc
  1. the TNG LMS servers and their databases
  1. the TNG warehouse database that supports Admin usage reports

The workflow and data flow forward through these three system elements with nightly maintenance updates to push data and changes through the system. The current nightly sync process means that in some cases there are delays between when something happens and when it shows up on a LMS:

  • changes to schools, districts, classes, user accounts, and enrollment made on the Admin system are synced nightly and are available on the LMS the next day
  • LMS data with participant updates and user usage activity data are synced nightly to the TNG warehouse and available for Admin usage reports the next day

Note that these two distinct data sync stages mean that changes in classes and user accounts will not be available on the warehouse Admin reports until the second day after changes are entered on the Admin system.


LMS Notes

Teacher Logins

All teachers in district schools have an LMS login enabled unless they have been marked as expired (inactive) in the Admin system.

When a teacher logs in they will see entries for all their currently active classes in the My Agile Mind tab calendar, where active means that today falls within the start/end dates time frame of the class. If Agile Assessment is contracted for their school, they will have an Open Agile Assessment button on the AA page for scheduling AA tests for their classes.

In the My Courses tab, teachers will see entries for all courses at their school for which they are currently teaching a class in the current academic year or for which they have been granted content access from the Admin system (Course Access Without Class Enrollment options).

Student Logins

All students in district schools have an LMS login enabled if they are enrolled in any currently active classes in the current academic year, where active means that today falls within the start/end dates time frame of the class, or if they have been granted content access from the Admin system (Course Access Without Class Enrollment options) unless they have been marked as expired (inactive) in the Admin system.

If Agile Assessment is contracted for their school, they will entries on the AA page for any current tests that have been assigned to any of their classes.

Reports

###TODO: add notes on what classes, reports, and assignments are available in reports tab (time frame - active/current AY??)


General Principles for TNG-Admin Syncing

In designing the new LMS system, changes and improvements were made in the underlying database design to better position our systems to provide evolving capabilities and future improvements. Some of these changes have an effect on how the systems behave and are useful to understand in order to work more effectively with the Admin system.

Managing Users

The new LMS has a stronger model of the people in a district who comprise the population of teachers, students, administrators, and staff engaged in learning activities. This enables improved reporting and analysis, but means that care must be taken when performing certain operations on the Admin system so that the system is able to follow a person when changes are made such as what school they are enrolled in, what classes they are in, etc.

Classes and Academic Years

The new LMS has a stronger notion of academic year as a means of organizing and managing district activities. In particular, classes are marked with the academic year they belong in and this information affects the visibility (or not) of classes on the LMS and in warehouse reports.

The current academic year is ay0809. Managing the AY value on classes is not directly exposed through the Admin system - it is handled automatically by LMS configuration and syncing tools.


Common Admin Activities

###TODO: describe convention for expiring a class

###TODO: describe consequences for Admin reports of expiring/reactivating teachers...

Resetting Class Enrollment

Please avoid or use with extreme caution the Admin operation Reset Class Enrollment. When student enrollments in a class are dropped, any students who were enrolled only in this class are dropped from the district database. Even if dropped students are subsequently reloaded in a new version of the class roster using the Student Mass Enrollment operation, the TNG database loses continuity of the student's activity in the LMS because the drop/recreate cycle of the Admin reset operation results in a new, different user record for the student.