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LMS Updates: August/September 2014

We have performed a wide array of updates, additions and fixes to the LMS systems in August and September. Here is a quick rundown of the work done by our staff to enhance and maintain our various LMS tools and infrastructure.


  • Moved from ELM (self-hosted) to SAS (Blackboard) hosted server and launched a new front-end web site [deployed on 8/1]
  • When creating a session, you now have the option to *make all attendees moderators* when they join your session [deployed on 8/15]
  • Future sessions are created immediately (versus queued and created in batches) [deployed on 8/30]
  • The “Watch Recordings” page was updated to look more like the “Join” page [deployed on 8/30]
  • Long session names are now truncated for display on the Join Session page [deployed on 8/30]
  • When editing sessions, you can keep a start date that is in the past [deployed on 8/30]
  • When require password is unchecked, the password is now correctly cleared out of the session [deployed on 9/13]
  • When an admin edits a session, the attendee text now displays the correct message [deployed on 9/13]
  • A new message was added to the top of the old server with information about the decommission date on 12/31/14 [deployed on 9/13]

WolfWare Website

  • Made various updates to the website [deployed on 8/7]
    • new About WolfWare page and footer link
    • updated Feedback page text
    • new Course Design Packages download page, linked on Resources
  • Collaborate links updated [deployed on 8/15]
  • Added Outreach Create Space tool for new Outreach service coming online this Fall [deployed on 8/19]
  • Course tool links now reflect active status [deployed on 8/20]
  • Extras on Combined Courses now correctly see roster clusters [deployed on 8/27]

WolfWare Classic (8/6/2014)

  • Fall rollover
  • Change primary authentication from WRAP to Shibboleth

Moodle (8/9/2014)

*[FR] denotes work done in response to a faculty, student or staff feature request completed

  • Moodle 2.6.4 version upgraded
  • Responsive themes
  • [FR] default grader report – removed email address column
  • [FR] new NCSU grader report – default report + fixed column headers/vertical scroll
  • [FR] gradebook – set default export type to Excel
  • [FR] added REGEX question type
  • Installed Gamification Module (will be limited to only admin activation for fall testing)
  • Updated configuration for Collaborate plugin so Moodle and website settings match

Moodle (8/30/2014)

Code changes

  • Theme updates and fixes to correct behavior or better match the previous styles (pre-responsive base theme).
    • Updated block list function
    • Style fixes for the Quiz Question Bank
    • Updated styles associated with all text elements (text.css)
  • Gamification addition of backup and restore features
  • Updated the grader:view permission to ncsugrader:view for the NCSU Grader Report
  • TurningTech Plugin: Changed SQL query in function getclassrosterxml to use for devicemapid to resolve the problem of registered users getting unregistered emails
  • TurningTech Plugin: Escaped the course name so that ampersands will not break the XML when exporting a participants list

Moodle (9/13/2014)

Code changes

  • v2.6.4 Backported patch for MDL-43824: Aligned rows in core gradebook
  • Enabled theme designer mode and purged all caches

PHP updates

  • Removed libvpx from the yum excludes list on all php55 boxes
  • Updated to 5.5.16 to fix dependency issue

System changes (8/30/2014)

  • Changed client NFS mount options to protect against possible corruption
  • Changed apache max clients and server limit parameter to 45 to prevent trashing if we get DDoSd
  • Restarted apache (graceful is not sufficient)

MCNC switch firmware upgrades (8/11/2014)

  • All switch stacks updated to latest firmware revisions

Data management (9/27/2014)

  • Implemented updates for new process of handling withdrawn students where they now still have an active enrollment status

If you have any questions about the work we do to support the LMS at NC State, feel free to contact me directly.