Below are the list of concerns you have sent regarding Vista 3.0. (Just FYI that 3.0.3 is due for release on Oct. 25)
I have included all the explanation/ answers below your questions.
1) The association of templates at the course level makes the template public in 3.0 (other faculty designers then have access to all other faculty’s work automatically & can copy the work)
A: This issue has been resolved in 3.03. It has been designed according to the specification USG have drafted during our meeting regarding intellectual properties.
2) At times the WebDAV folder client can be changed by third party software.This change will not allow WebDAV to be set up. (Windows XP)
A: This is more of an WebDAV issue as we have no control on how WebDAV allows third party softwares to make changes.
3) All users must have their browsers correctly configured foruse with Vista or they will see symptoms like "session already running", "invalid password", "pseudo-timeout", and "unexplained exception" errors while attempting to use Vista. The specifications for Vista are more exact and difficult for users than they were for CE (example: router issues).
A: Many of the issue mentioned are caused by how your current load balancer is set to handle things. (Using an IP based scheme.) These issues should be less frequent if not resolved when you have switched to the new BIG-IP F5 load balancer that can use cookie based load balancing.
4) Even when using a web browser supported by Vista, if a users uses the browser’s navigation (back, forward, reload page, etc..) this may cause unreliable results with some tools or functions within Vista. For example, if a user uses the Back button on the browser menu then their entire Course Menu toolbar could disappear AND more importantly some very important tools can ONLY be accessed via the Course Menu toolbar (for example, the Mail tool & Assignment Manager).
A: This is mostly a browser issue; this behavior depends on how the browser is being used to handle framesets. Each browser handles them differently (i.e. pressing the Back button may redirect to a different page dependent on the browser). Also, you will need to educate users on using the navigation available in Vista instead of using the back button. Vista, like many current online applications, delivers content dynamically. Pressing the back button will often get you a cached page and should not be relied on.
5) The first time a user goes to Vista on a particular machine, they will be prompted to accept a Certificate Authority for WebCT. Failure to accept the Certificate will cause the browser to lockup. If a student has a pop-up blocker they might not get this message and now understand why they are having problems accessing. This is not an issue with WebCT CE.
A: It is also a browser issue; Students should not have pop-up blockers installed in the first place. We’ve noticed the browser doesn't "freeze," it's waiting for the user to whether or not to accept the certificate.
6) Caching issue where users may experience unusual behavior in discussions, email, or other tools. Reports include seeing discussions or email from one course displayed in another and new or unread message indicators not updating properly. This typically occurs to users enrolled in more than one course. The current workaround is to log off Vista, close your browser windows, relaunch a browser window, and then log back in to Vista. The log out/in process appears to update to the current information (this message was posted on 9/22 at: http://www.uhv.edu/webct/students/vista.htm - it appears to be partially solved but other Mail problems occuring...?)
A: Fixed in 3.03 and hotfix for 3.02; has been installed and confirmed by TAMU, Marshall, and UNT
7) Vista Gradebook - By default Vista puts dashes into any numerical column that does not contain a numerical score. Calculated columns can't handle the dashes and will return an N/A. You have to manually update the dashes to be zeros to get the calculated column to work right.
A: fixed 3.0.3; NA will be calculated as zero within formulas
8) After 60 consecutive minutes of inactivity your Vista session will time out and you will be logged off automatically; an error message will appear if you attempt to use the system after that. Our CE has not time out set.
A: CE does have a time out setting. It might be set longer than 60 seconds. You can adjust Vista timeout setting within serveradmin area.
9) If a user creates a printable view of a discussion message that contains an attachment, clicking Save as File opens a pop-up window which asks the user if they also want to save the attachment. Clicking OK does not open the File Download dialog box and the attachment cannot be saved.
A: The issue is fixed 3.0.3
10) Cannot download compiled Discussion messages. Compiling Discussion messages from the All My Posts Messages screen and then clicking Save as File produces an error message and the file cannot be saved.
A: The issue is fixed 3.0.3
11) Even if the e-mail icon is not on the toolbar in a course, students can still use the feature through the e-mail icon on their MyWebCT page. This can be a problem if students are e-mailing a faculty member in a course that does not have the icon within the course because the faculty member won't even think to check mail and the students get annoyed because they are not getting a response. The instructor would have to also disable the Mail tool from Settings (under Teach tab) from within the section in order to make it unavailable from the My WebCT mail link.
A: Instructors should disable the mail tool if it is not to be used in the section.
12) In Vista 3.x, the instructor can select publish when he/she grades the assignment by checking the appropriate box or by using the assignment manager. But the student can only publish from the assignment manager which is reached from the tool bar. If the designer does not place Assignment Manager on the toolbar, the publish feature is not accessible.
A: Only an instructor can choose to publish assignment submissions, a student can not publish assignments. The publish tab referred to in student view should only be showing assignments published by the instructors.
13) On Vista 3, if classes were created using the GUI the Who's Online Chat works fine for them (except Mac users- see above).If classes are created using XML the Who's Online Tool is broken.
A: We have done settings and can not replicate this behavior locally. User uploaded via xml and created via GUI should be exactly the same. If this does happen on your server, please send us a copy of an xml that you uploaded the problematic users in.
14) Student tracking is not “live”. Tracking is updated every 24 hours. Activity you have today will not show up until tomorrow.
A: It can be adjusted to run every hour or shorter time. However, the more frequent it is run, the bigger impact it will have on the performance of the server.
15) Template system supposedly an advantage of using Vista.However, few if any actually use it. What happens in reality is that the instructor builds what he/she can beforehand (rarely has all complete) and then has to make multiple changes to the multiple sections just as he/she did in WebCT CE only worse.. worse because the instructor cannot backup a course & restore it..only admin can.. worse because instructor cannot copy sections back up as templates, would have to get admin to..here’s an excerpt from instructions, “Copying Sections as Templates FOR COURSE DESIGNERS
… You can only make unlinked copies of sections. This means that files from the section are copied into the new template and any changes made to the files in the section are not reflected in the new template. If the source template contains links to files outside the template, thoselinks are maintained."
A: This is only a limitation for 2.X. In 3.X, each section designer would be able to back up the section.
Template hierarchy doesn't work from section to template, only template to section.
Issues Specific to Mac Users
16) Operating Systems older than Mac OS X (e.g. Mac OS 9 and 8.6) are not supported under WebCT Vista.
A: This is correct. We don’t support older OS. The OS makers also stop support older versions of the software. I.e. Windows 98 Me is no longer supported by Microsoft.
17) HTML Creator tool only works with Internet Explorer 5.2. The tool is not available with any other web browser on the Mac OS.
A: This will work with Safari for 3.03
18) When using the SSL protocol (HTTPS) to access WebCT Vista on a Mac OS X v 10.3 operating system, users are unable to connect to the server to create a WebDAV folder.
A: This is more of a Mac issue. Mac clients do not support SSL.
19) Users cannot send chat invitations from the Who's Online tool.Users will either have to use a computer with a different Operating System (Windows) or do not use the Who¹s Online tool to initiate a Chat session.
A: Fixed in 3.03 and hotfix for 3.02
20) Students may experience problems when completing an assessment. If the Other forms option is enabled for Autofill, entering an answer that is similar, but not the same as, a previous answer causes the browser to automatically insert the previous answer in its place.
A: This is a browser configuration issue. Expected behavior for auto fill.
21) Clicking the Close button from a report screen does not close the screen and return the user to the previous screen.
A: This can not be replicated on our local 3.X server with Mac client. When we clicked on the close button, we are return to the previous screen.
22) The Java check may indicate the Java Check failed when in fact Java has been enabled.
A: fixed in 3.03