Back up SPARK course materials by Dec. 21
SPARK, one of the learning management systems (LMS) for on-campus courses at UMass Amherst, is going away at the end of the fall 2012 semester. Academic Computing recommends that SPARK course materials be backed up by Friday, Dec. 21.
Blackboard Vista, the software behind SPARK, is no longer supported by its vendor, Blackboard Inc. After the campus’s license expires on Dec. 29, files and data stored on SPARK will no longer be accessible.
Users have several options available for backing up SPARK course materials:
Manually Download Files from Spark to Your Computer
Use SPARK's File Manager to download course materials as a .zip file. Once the files are on the computer, reuse them with another learning management system, such as Moodle. For details, see http://www.oit.umass.edu/back-up-SPARK-course
Use the Spark to Moodle Conversion Service
If you are planning to convert your SPARK course to a Moodle course, the Office of Information Technologies (OIT) has contracted with a third-party service, Remote Learner, to transfer course materials and activities from SPARK to Moodle.
Because the SPARK to Moodle conversion process can take up to a month, instructors need to have any SPARK course materials they plan to use for spring 2013 ready to convert by Dec. 21, in order to guarantee that they will get the converted course in time to prepare it for use in January. To assess if your SPARK course would be suited to this service, see http://www.oit.umass.edu/spark-moodle-conversion-service.
Contact the Instructional Media Lab
For questions or help with getting your materials out of SPARK before the Dec. 21 deadline, contact the Instructional Media Lab at email@example.com or 545-2823.