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GauchoSpace Service Description


Eligibility, Site Use and Support

The primary use of GauchoSpace is to facilitate learning for UCSB academic courses. We do create some collaborative project sites that have an academic or department-related purpose when they are requested.

In order to create a course site, we require a one-time orientation session for all instructors. Once instructors have completed this session, they are able to create course sites for any courses for which they are listed as instructor of record by their department. We currently do not have an online training session, although creating one is in our development plans.
 
In some cases, instructors may request that a teaching assistant manage their course website and the instructor not attend an orientation session. We can accommodate these requests once we receive a help ticket from the instructor requesting to give access to the TA, then we will create the site.
 
If you are not listed as an instructor of a course, you will not be able to create that course website. In some cases, we will create the course website for you if we receive confirmation from your department's business officer or other official that you are the instructor of record.

All instructors of course websites may receive notices of GauchoSpace server maintenance or upgrade activities.

Technical support is provided via a help ticket submission form. We monitor and respond to help requests during regular business hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm. Additional support is available via drop-in help in the Collaborate Faculty Resource Center, Kerr 1110, M - F, 10 am - 4 pm.

The GauchoSpace team may need to audit, investigate and troubleshoot course websites when handling support requests and other reports of problems. Occasionally when there is a serious issue with a course website and we are not able to contact the instructor, we may correct problems on a course website. When this occurs, the instructor will always be sent an email.

Accounts and Access

The majority of access to GauchoSpace is done via the UCSBnetID. Instructors can also create accounts for users with external email addresses. When identity data changes, our systems will react to changes in the following circumstances:

  • If you change your last name in Identity systems, it will be updated when you log in to GauchoSpace.
  • If you change your UCSBnetID or if you leave and come back and your UCSBnetID changes, we try to detect this and fix it automatically. You might be told to try logging in again.
  • We pre-load all students and TAs and instructors who are part of courses in GauchoSpace. If you are a staff member, when you login, your account will be created.  A common problem is an instructor might be wanting to add a staff person to the course site and that staff person hasn't yet logged into GauchoSpace, thus the instructor can't find the person in the search.
  • You cannot change your first or last name in GauchoSpace, you must go through identity services to change your first name. Identity services also provides instructions for changing your last name within the University databases.
  • If you had an account without a PERM number, but later establish a perm number (for example, an extension student who becomes a traditional student) we will need to manually input your PERM in our system to update your account.

The primary GauchoSpace site is accessible by the entire internet. All traffic goes over https (port 443), which ensures data is encrypted from your computer to our server. GauchoSpace content on our oldest archived server (Fall 2008 - Summer 2011) is limited to campus access or access via the campus VPN.

Most modern web browsers that are updated to a current version should work fine on GauchoSpace (with the exception of Internet Explorer). We generally suggest using Firefox or Chrome. Drag-and-drop upload will only work using Safari in a Mac if your OS is 10.7 or greater.


Student Privacy

By default, course websites only add students who are enrolled via GOLD. An instructor can manually add other students or TAs to the course. An instructor can also add non-UCSB users to their GauchoSpace course website.

GauchoSpace does not allow anonymous guest access.

Students' names will appear to other students in numerous locations of a course website, including the participants link, in discussion forum posts and replies, chats, and other activities.

By default, students' e-mail addresses are only visible to instructors and TAs in their courses; however, a student can change their profile to allow the students in their courses to see their email address.

Instructors and Editing TAs are able to run activity reports showing course website access and can view detailed logs of course activity.


University Policy on the Sale of Course Materials

Unless students have consent from the instructor of the course in question, the sale of course materials or class notes may constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Under the Code, grounds for discipline include : “Copying for any commercial purpose handouts, readers or other course materials provided by an instructor as part of a University of California course unless authorized by the University in advance and explicitly permitted by the course instructor or the copyright holder in writing (if the instructor is not the copyright holder)" (Section 102.23).
 
See more details about this university policy here.

Copying Site Content

You may copy content from one course website to another if you are the instructor or an Editing TA in that course, by using the GauchoSpace import function.

You can request imported content from older archived servers (housing course sites prior to Fall 2013) by submitting a help ticket.

If you want to use materials from another instructor's course website, that instructor can either add you as an instructor to that course website (if it is on the current server) then you can use the import method, or the instructor can submit a help ticket confirming that you may use his/her materials (for archived courses, before Summer 2015).

If you have a Moodle course website from another institution, the GauchoSpace team will need to assist you in restoring this website. We need to ensure no student data is copied into our system from elsewhere.


Site File Sizes and Video Content

Currently there is no limit for the size of GauchoSpace sites. The maximum file size you can upload to a site is 256 MB.

Because of file size limitations and variations in browser and plug-in use, GauchoSpace doesn't handle large video files well. We suggest hosting these in an external location, such as Box, and linking to them in your GauchoSpace site.


Site Backups and Archives

We back up the entire GauchoSpace system daily in the early morning (approximately 4:00 am). This backup is to recover the entire system in case of a catastrophic failure. If there is a system failure, we may lose up to 24 hours of changes on the GauchoSpace system.

If you delete some resources or activities from your course website, you are able to use the Recycle bin to restore them for up to 35 days, after which time that data will be permanently deleted.

The gradebook has a grade history report which can be used to retrieve grade data if grades are mistakenly overwritten. Beginning in Summer 2016, this data will only be preserved for 150 days.

Older course websites will be accessible to the instructor for at least three years, either on the primary GauchoSpace server or an archived server. After three years, we may purge older sites. You may backup your course website and download it to your computer for future use. We recommend that instructors always export a spreadsheet of the course grades at the end of each quarter for their personal records.

After two quarters have passed the GauchoSpace teams sets all course websites to be hidden from students. For instance, during Fall a student would see his/her Summer course websites but not their Spring course websites. An instructor may override this at any point in time by hiding or making a course site visible.


Data Collected and Uses

While using GauchoSpace, data is recorded by the following tools:
  • Web Logs - recorded for diagnostic purposes and troubleshooting by the GauchoSpace team.
  • Moodle/GauchoSpace Logs - Moodle automatically logs all activities, such as accessing a course site, submitting an assignment or downloading a file. This data is accessible to the instructors and TAs in the course and the GauchoSpace administration. Students can view access to their own activity in a course if the instructor enables that access.
  • Student success tools - some tools, such as the Progress Bar and Trending Now, use student activity logs in order to present analytic information to instructors in order to guide student success in courses
  • Server Performance Logs - used by the GauchoSpace team to monitor system and software performance and reliability.
  • PiWik access data - The GauchoSpace team uses this data to track trends in usage of the system and types of devices and browsers used. This data helps us determine overall system use and the best ways to allocate resources.

Feature Requests

Requests for GauchoSpace application enhancements or new features are submitted by faculty and students via the GauchoSpace help ticketing system. The evaluation process is overseen by the Director of Instructional Technologies and the Instructional Applications Operational Expert, with guidance from the LMS Developers, the LMS Support Technician, and our graduate student Instructional Design Assistants.  The following criteria are weighed when evaluating and prioritizing requests:

  • potential campus impact
  • development and support resources
  • technical difficulty of implementation
  • the Moodle roadmap

After evaluating a request, we will take action on it by either recording it internally as an option for potential UCSB customization and development, or else submitting a request with the Moodle community for potential implementation in the core LMS software. Moodle requests and bug trackers include features that encourage development, including voting, commenting and tracking. Requesters will be updated of any relevant development changes via our help ticketing system.


Third-party Integrations

In some cases, instructors may wish to integrate third-party tools into their GauchoSpace course sites, such as homework applications provided by a textbook publisher. We are often able to accommodate such requests, upon review. For these requests, please submit a help ticket or send an email to help@collaborate.ucsb.edu.

  • Instructors should consider relevant UCSB policy guidelines for the use of third-party tools and consult with their department if uncertain of the use of a particular application. Integration of third-party tools into GauchoSpace should not be considered endorsement nor recommendation of the application use.
  • Requests for integration should originate from an instructor or department, rather than the third-party software provider.
  • Generally, we only support integrations that utilize the uniform learning technology interoperability (LTI) standard, not those that require installing custom code.
  • The third-party provider needs to provide their 'data-collected and uses’ or other privacy policy documentation.
  • GauchoSpace staff will provide support for the integration, but not the third-party application itself.
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