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Student Project Submissions are Moving from Moodle to MyHeliotrope

As of Fall 2020, Student Projects (senior projects, capstone papers, and master’s theses) will no longer be submitted to the Library via Moodle. All Student Projects will now be submitted in MyHeliotrope.

The Key Points:

  • The Library and TLTC have worked with CTS to set up student project submission in MyHeliotrope
  • This is needed because the custom student project submission process in Moodle is not compatible with new versions of Moodle
  • Having project submission take place in MyHeliotrope allows access to information in Banner, simplifying the submission process
  • The switch to MyHeliotrope project submission will start with the Fall 2020 semester projects
  • Confirmed First and Second Readers on existing Student Project spaces in Moodle will still have access to those spaces, even though the course category is now hidden

This switchover is necessary because the student project submission code in Moodle developed a number of years ago is not compatible with new versions of Moodle, and we don’t have the option to update that custom code in Moodle. We have actually frozen the version of Moodle we’ve been using for the past couple of years in order to maintain student project submission, but that situation is no longer sustainable. While Moodle is for now still providing security updates for the version we are running, we are increasingly seeing problems crop up with how new versions of web browsers interact with the old version of Moodle. Upgrading will also allow us to finally implement some really nice features in the newer versions of Moodle that we haven’t had available, being stuck for years on an old version of Moodle.

Moving project submission into MyHeliotrope also makes a lot of sense. That’s where class lists are, where grades are submitted, where all sorts of other academic administration tasks are carried out. Also, project submission in MyHeliotrope can draw on student data in Banner, simplifying the submission process. The workflow of student submission and reader sign-off will still mirror the current process in Moodle, just simplified.

Management of the student project submission process will move from the TLTC to the Library, which is really where it should belong, given the Library’s role as the home for the student project repository. Expect further communication from the Library about the roll out of the MyHeliotrope project submission process, help documentation, how to contact the Library for assistance with project submission, and other aspects of the new system.

Course spaces for Senior Project I & II, Master’s Thesis, and Capstone courses will continue to be created in Moodle via our integration with Banner. These are official course spaces and are separate from the old individual Student Project spaces (titled with the Student’s First and Last Name). Individual Student Project spaces will no longer be created in Moodle.

When the MyHeliotrope submission process is formally launched, we will hide the Student Projects category on Moodle, to avoid confusion about where student projects should be submitted. Students will no longer have access to their existing project spaces on Moodle once the category is hidden, but First and Second Readers will retain instructor access to the spaces.

Again, the Fall 2020 student project submissions at the end of December will be the first round of projects submitted to the new system. This smaller set of projects will allow the Library and CTS to do a more controlled roll out of the new system, compared to a Spring 2021 launch.