7 Steps to Success: How to migrate past WebCT courses to the new WebCT Vista:



  1. Read Up – Know the differences & new tools – see http://www.westga.edu/~distance/vista/ ; see the handouts and helplets available online at http://www.westga.edu/~distance/webct2/faculty/manual.php


  1. Make sure your computer is set up to run Vista – go here to get help: http://www.usg.edu/usgweb/browserchecker/


  1. Take the Browser Tuneup test -  go to http://webct.westga.edu – click on Login to WebCT Vista – and then click on the Check Browser link in the top right corner of the login page.


If your computer fails and you need help, contact the DE Dept at 678-839-6248 or distance@westga.edu or go to the new after-hours Online Support Center (OSC) at http://help.view.usg.edu


  1.  Get Organized – Plan & Map Out Your Course


·         How do you want your course organized? Sketch a map – do you want students to click on one icon for all lectures and another icon for all assignments? Or, will they go to one icon for each week to find everything they need? Here’s an example flow-chart for a course

·         A typical syllabus for a face-to-face course does not cover all of the bases… who needs to do what, when, where, how, and why. Consider not only what students will do but how (via attachment or assignment dropbox?), when, and where (discuss online in chat room, on discussion board or face-to-face in the traditional classroom?) Why is it important or relevant to their course of study and how will each learning objective be assessed? Try designing a course plan for your course – here’s a sample course plan template – and check to see if your syllabus incorporates The Principles of Good Teaching.

Additional course checklist: Rubric for Five-Star Exemplary Courses

  1. Choose one of the following 2 approaches, to move your files:


    1. Rebuild: Zip and Download Files from WebCT CE File Manager & then Add them To Vista. This is the recommended method except when moving quizzes/surveys.


During this process you select, zip, and download just the individual files that you want from your File Manager – and then upload them to your VISTA course section, re-organize, and re-link the information. In a sense, you are re-building the course.


The advantage of is that one has the opportunity to re-think their current course design... get a better idea of what files you have and truly want/ need to move, improve upon file-naming conventions, organization, and course design.

The disadvantage is that it may be time-consuming.


    1. Use the Export Tool; to Export Content Modules or Quizzes/ Surveys


This process simply takes your current Content Module or Quiz and exports it “as is” to VISTA. This is recommended for moving Quizzes or Surveys.


The advantage of Migration Using the 4x Tool is that it saves time.

The disadvantage is that some of your pages may not successfully imported and the “clean-up” process may be more time-consuming/ problematic than it’s worth. Reasons vary.

Another disadvantage is that when the files are imported they are buried in the File Manager about 6 sub-folders below the main folder and thus hard to find if you need them again. This does not matter so much if you have clean HTML pages (not MS Word ones); it will matter if you have MS office documents like Word or PowerPoint. Why? Because HTML can be edited right within Vista; MS office files cannot.


  1. Come up with a plan to keep your course and files better organized; and to create as much content as possible in a web-friendly format.


·         If you take the time to create new files or change old ones into clean standard HTML (whenever possible) – you will be able to simply click on it in Vista to edit it. If you upload MS Office or PDF documents, this is not possible – you will have to go back to the original document, make the changes, and re-upload. In addition, HTML pages are the easiest for students to access. There are FREE tools that make this process as easy as using Word. If you need assistance with this, contact the DE Dept or your local IT dept.

·         Consider the way that you name your files and decide on a naming convention that will save you time in the long run – the goal is to be able to look at a filename and know at a glance where it should go, the topic it covers, the type of file, etc… without having to open it.

·         Do not use any funny characters like “ % ‘’*, when naming your files. 

·         Try to avoid organizing your course or naming your files simply by weeks or chapters; because the number of weeks may change if you teach the course again in the summer and textbooks often change chapter topics.

·         For example, you might put all files pertaining to Module 1 into a folder called Mod1 – Intro. Taking it a step further, you might include something in the file names to identify the module, the topic, and the type of handout:








IF you use choose the rebuild option 5A above, it’s a good idea to take the time now to go ahead and download those files, unzip and reorganize, edit, or rename– you can fix any old errors and come up with a more standard naming system that allows you to know at a glance what a file contains. The full instructions for downloading the files are here.


IF you use choose the Export option 5B from above, do NOT go back and rename files – this will break all of the links – just commit to using the new naming scheme on all new files added to the course.


  1. Go ahead and try it yourself. If you need help – attend a drop-in day session ( http://www.westga.edu/~training/month.php ) make a one-on-one appointment, or just call us for help – 678-839-6248 or distance@westga.edu


Go to http://webct.westga.edu


Click on Login to WebCT Vista

Click on Login

Your username is the same as your e-mail username – for example, jgubbins

Your password is the last 2 digits of your birthyear plus the last 4 of your SS#


Click on your course section’s name

Explore, read the directions & follow prompts

Use the HELP link up top if you need assistance or contact the DE Dept.


If you choose choice 5B from above, the full instructions to importing the content using the Export Tool are here.


If you choose choice 5A, once logged in to Vista, click on the File Manager link in the top right > create folders, as appropriate > use the Upload button or My Computer icon to browse for and upload your files. Note that you can zip all files into one, upload the .zip file and unzip, to make this process faster. The full instructions for downloading the files are here

and full instructions for importing the files to Vista are here.


With either option 5a or 5b, you can then return to the homepage and link the files from any one of numerous tools or locations available. Use the HELP link up top if you need assistance or contact the DE Dept at 678-839-6248 or distance@westga.edu or go to the new after-hours Online Support Center (OSC) at http://help.view.usg.edu