MyUCDavis course tools will not be retired this fall

There's a lot of information available about SmartSite, so this particular fact might be easy to overlook. But it is crucial news for faculty: the course-management tools in MyUCDavis will not be retired this fall. They will be available until early 2010 at least.

A year ago, SmartSite became the main campus system for teaching, researching and collaborating online. SmartSite's set of course tools will eventually replace the more limited tools available in MyUCDavis, and the original plan was to start retiring the MyUCDavis course tools beginning in autumn 2008.

That is not going to happen. In a June 11 letter to faculty, SmartSite Oversight Committee co-chairs Susan Keen and Caroline Bledsoe say the MyUCDavis course tools won't be retired before spring 2010.

The new plan allows time to develop the important GradeBook tool in SmartSite so that its features match, if not exceed, the grading features available in MyUCDavis. And then, to allow a transition, the MyUCDavis course tools won't be retired for at least one full year after the improved SmartSite GradeBook is released.

"We believe this would provide faculty with sufficient notice to plan and migrate their course content to SmartSite," says the letter from Keen and Bledsoe. "Based on the current estimates, this would occur at the end of spring 2010."

Even then, "you will still be able to view past course materials, resources and grades for a period of time in MyUCDavis," the letter says. "In addition, you will be able to continue to use the MyUCDavis portal for all other purposes. There is no plan to eliminate the MyUCDavis portal."

"The reason for the change is to make SmartSite better than it already is by putting all of the MyUCDavis functionality into SmartSite's Gradebook," said Kirk Alexander, program manager for SmartSite. "We are relaxing the requirement (mostly for MyUCDavis Gradebook users) to move from MyUCDavis. But our primary support is for SmartSite, and we still encourage people to make the transition from the MyUCDavis course tools to SmartSite."

Read more here.