An accidental deletion of files contained in old SmartSite course and project sites has led to the loss of about 161,000 uploaded files, or about 2 percent of all files uploaded to the former learning management system.
The lost files varied in size and type, ranging from homework assignments and syllabi to files attached to emails. All were uploaded to SmartSite from June through December 2016, except for about 100 files from early 2017. Of the total, about 9.3 percent were uploaded by instructors. Almost all of the rest were uploaded by students.
The loss occurred when a process in January to remove files marked for disposal inadvertently deleted other files as well. SmartSite administrators began investigating after they couldn’t locate files they expected to find. During winter term, two instructors and three students reported missing files.
A restoration process completed in March recovered all but the 161,000 files. Instructors and owners of sites that lost files have been sent emails with information this week.
Some of the files might yet exist as copies outside of SmartSite—on an individual’s computer, for example, or in a cloud storage service such as Box or Google Drive. Students had been advised to remove materials they wanted to save by summer 2017, when student access to their old course sites was originally scheduled to end.
SmartSite, replaced by UC Davis Canvas, has not been used for instruction since June 2017. Its sites have been available in a largely dormant form since then, to give instructors time to remove any materials they want to keep, and to give owners of active project sites time to find a replacement service.
Plans call for SmartSite to be taken offline this June as part of the service’s planned drawdown. After June, access to materials still remaining in SmartSite will be available only through a special administrative process, and that access is scheduled to end in June 2020. More information about this phase will be announced this spring.
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