Validating System Setup

Along with establishing syllabus readiness, a critical part of your Concourse deployment is to verify that your integrations and system permissions perform as expected. Confirming that you are able to access Concourse through designated access points and perform assigned tasks within the system can not only ensure a smooth deployment, but can have very positive effect on faculty and student adoption of Concourse at your institution.

If your institution is considering moving from Concourse Lite to Concourse, if you want to integrate Concourse or Concourse Lite with your LMS post-deployment, and/or now want to begin using feeds to create your syllabi, this article is also for you!

Below is a list of considerations regarding this component of quality assurance:

  • Can faculty, staff, and students access Concourse through all points of entry?
  • Does each syllabus contain the correct instructor and student registration information?
  • Are template managers able to edit course templates?
  • Is your audit workflow set up correctly?
  • Do instructors have the ability to edit those syllabus items they should not have permission to edit?
  • If an edit is made to your institutional template, is that change reflected accurately on your linked course templates?
  • Are your Concourse syllabus items viewable or not viewable, depending on your item permission structure for faculty, students, public, guests, etc.?

Note:  Keep in mind that these considerations may not apply to all implementations, especially if your institution is using Concourse Lite. If your institution is considering moving from Concourse Lite to Concourse, if you want to integrate Concourse or Concourse Lite with your LMS post-deployment, and/or now want to begin using feeds to create your syllabi, this article is also for you!

 

Permissions

A key validation task is to establish that the permissions set for your Concourse syllabi are correct, and that each user has access to complete the necessary tasks related to syllabus management to which they are assigned. For example, if your institution has decided that public (unauthenticated) users should only be able to view certain syllabus items, or authenticated users who are not registered for a particular course (guests) should only be able to see certain items on that course syllabus, it is imperative to ensure that these actions are working as expected.

The following is a list of considerations for validation of your Concourse permission settings. Be sure to verify that the following operations are functioning and presenting as you expect:

  • Item permission settings (public, guest, instructor, etc.)
  • Domain permission settings (administer, audit, report)
  • Course group permission settings (manager, developer, assistant, etc.)

Questions to ask during this step include the following:

  • Can system administrators assign domain permissions, process feeds, update permissions en masse, create and update domains, purge courses and users, etc.?
  • Are your instructors able to edit all of the syllabus items for which the are responsible for editing?
  • Are your auditors able to access their designated courses for review and approval?
  • Can students see all syllabus items they are supposed to see?

It will be helpful to review your institution’s implementation documentation regarding Concourse permissions prior to this step, to ensure you are validating the appropriate operations. An example is provided below of how you may document that permissions are set correctly and users can access the system and complete their designated tasks.

 

Integration

If you have integrated other systems (SIS, LMS, etc.) with Concourse, it is imperative to verify that the following operations are functioning and presenting as you expect:

  • All points of entry (Portal, LMS, public links, etc.)
  • Sequence and processing of feeds

Confirm that your users can access Concourse using each of the designated access points, that they arrive with the appropriate access, and that the automation and/or processing of your feeds are run in the correct sequence with expected results.

 

Authentication Integration

Our research shows that when Concourse users can access their syllabi from familiar access points, this results in higher rates of return on faculty and administrator compliance.  A necessary step in your deployment phase is validation of authentication integration.  

An example is provided below of how you may document that each entry point and authentication method is working as expected. Keep in mind that your institution’s entry points may differ slightly, based on your integration.


Synchronization Validation

Whenever you are relying on external systems to feed information into Concourse, it is imperative to validate that your feed construction and processing procedures are functioning as expected. Establishing and documenting these procedures can come in handy when troubleshooting automation issues, such as as potential problems or incorrect set-ups within your institution’s automation software.

The following table illustrates an example of how you may document that the processing and sequencing of your feeds are providing the results you expect:

The Syllabus Geeks cannot stress enough how important it is to validate that your permissions and integrations are set correctly and operating in the ways you expect.  Catching and correcting errors before deployment can save your institution a considerable amount of time and energy down the road.  For more information on Concourse deployment and other topics related to using Concourse, please visit the Concourse Support Center!

Do you have lessons learned or best practices you would like to share with the Syllabus Geeks or even other institutions deploying Concourse?  Visit our Community Forum and start a conversation or leave a message!

 

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