What about Orgs?

Many of us lead or participate in Organizations that live on Blackboard/Portal. What is going to happen to them when we migrate to Canvas/Quercus?

The Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering has hundreds of active organizations that fulfill a variety of adminstrative and academic needs. One of the things that is missing, out of the box, from Canvas is a similar function for the idea of "organizations" (which is really just a group of people working on...something). This issue has been flagged by ACT as a major priority and there will be a solution....soon. 

Let's look at the types of organizations that we have right now:

  1. Academic Organizations: If your organization currently is student-facing (ie. it includes student enrollments), you will likely be migrated to Canvas. Your migration will be very similar to the process of courses and we would recommend the same things (say, regarding whether to rebuild or copy over, etc.).
  2. Administrative Organizations: If your organization is currently Instructor/Teaching Team/Staff-facing, then you're in a bit of a trickier situation. Right now, the plan is to not migrate these over to Canvas. Now, this makes sense - administrative groups will have different wants and needs than a system built for courses can provide.

What are those possible solutions?

There are a few, namely new applications that are part of the Office365 package. These would be Microsoft Teams and SharePoint. One of the reasons that no solution has been officially announced is that it's not easy to duplicate the functionality of our current orgs. Microsoft Teams, for example, does provide different types of roles and has limited permissions for read and/or write access. Microsoft SharePoint is a more robust solution, but requires a lot more development time and expertise.

What are we doing right now?

ACT has provided the EdTech Office with a comprehensive list of all organizations that are categorized as FASE. Some of these are active and some of these have been defunct for years. One of the challenges with Blackboard is that exporting usage information is quite difficult. Getting a list of active organizations is nigh on impossible.

This means that we'll be relying on you! We will be emailing all Organization Leaders and Builders on the list to confirm the status of the organization. You might recieve several emails, if you are listed on several organizations. This email will go out in the next week or so. Once you recieve it, you'll be able to provide some details about your Organization so that we can ensure that you will get the support that you need (as soon as we can possibly give it). What we do ask for is that you fill out the form so that we move quickly once we get the solution path from ACT.

What can you do right now?

The best thing that you can do right now is take stock of your organization. Is there content that's old and irrelevant? Can anything be cleaned up? What are the key pieces of functionality that you truly need in a new solution? Who should have access to this org and what roles do they need? Thinking about this now (and discussing with your other organization participants) can save you time in the future, when it does become time to migrate. 

We very much appreciate your patience as we work to figure out a solution. With such a tight timeline, and with much work to do, we realize this is a stressful situation. I can only thank you for your continued support. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or comments