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What is the use of the "Staff Institution" role?


23 February 2009, 8:34 AM

Hello,

I am setting up roles and responsibilities for  the Mahara site of my work . These are the roles that I am using:

·         Site Administrator: responsible for the whole site and the IT maintenance of Mahara (networking, upgrades,  etc)

·         Institution Administrators:  The college has several academic schools  and I plan to have  at least one institution administrator per academic school. They will be responsible for monitoring the appropriateness of the contents for their students, approving requests for joining the institution, suspending and reactive users, as well as performing all the administration tasks for their institutions.

I also plan to use the role of  Institution Staff  for each institution, as I thought it may be helpful when the volume of students enrolled become high.  However, I am testing the role with a mock user, and I cannot  see any differences between being  a“plain user” in the institution or being promoted to “institution staff”.

Is there anything I am missing? We are using Mahara 1.0.6, so I don’t know if  the role of “Institution Staff” has more privileges in the next versions.

It would be very insighful if you could share here   how you are organizing  the administration of your Mahara sites.

Regards

Heinz Krettek's profile picture
Posts: 480

23 February 2009, 8:56 AM

Hi,

the institution staff users are a role that exists since long times in mahara. They are in the middle between "normal" users and admins. In Mahara 1.1 there is now functionality for them. 

If you create a controlled group the staff users are the one to whom the students submit a view for assessment.

cheers Heinz

 

Nigel's profile picture
Posts: 1643

23 February 2009, 7:36 PM

As Heinz says, they're just like site staff, although what they can do is slightly different from what he says. The only thing they can do on top of normal users is create controlled groups (including putting people in those groups). They can assign tutors in these groups to release views that have been submitted for assessment.

Your use of the roles is pretty much how we use Mahara for MyPortfolio. Did you have something in mind that you thought someone like an institution or staff member could do?

24 February 2009, 6:19 AM

Hello,

At the moment, our Mahara site is not as big as our Moodle site-which hosts around 4.000 users. However, as Mahara keeps growing and growing, a very common question that worries our staff is: who is going to monitor the "appropriateness" of the students' contents?... The UK legislation is very restrictive in that sense, although I personally believe that education should be based in trust,  as  the great educationist J. Krisnahmurti stated, and not in punishment and fear.

At the moment, the Staff Administrators are monitoring the contents of the students in their schools, but when the number of students increases, it would be impossible for one person to do so, and perhaps program coordinators/lecturers will have to take part in this “watchdog” task.

With the current role of  “Institution Staff”, academic staff cannot browse what students are uploading , unless students grant them access to their views. On the other hand, having many staff administrators may lead to the situation that they “overlap” each other. 

I was wondering if perhaps, in future versions of Mahara, tutors in a control membership group can log as their students –in the same way that Moodle allows to do this with the Groups feature-, in order to monitor  students'  work. What do you think?

With regard to the use of control membership groups, in our current version of Mahara,  the owner of the group cannot enroll their students, and these last ones cannot either request membership to the group. I believe that this point was already discussed in another topic. I am therefore advising our institution administrators and staff to use the “Request membership” and “Invite only” features for groups.

Regards

Heinz Krettek's profile picture
Posts: 480

24 February 2009, 9:04 AM

Hi,

<<<With regard to the use of control membership groups, in our current version of Mahara,  the owner of the group cannot enroll their students, and these last ones cannot either request membership to the group.>>

Which version do you use? I checked in my 1.0.9 and 1.1rc2 versions and both work the same way.

The stuff user has the right to create a "controlled group". If you browse thru the user profiles you see a link "add to xxxxxx [pulldownmenu]] for the groups of this stuff admin. The release is the same. On the member page of the group you will find a link " Remove from group" next to the users name.

If your institution  doesn't need controlled groups which allow to submit views to a stuff admin, your advice might me ok and makes the job for the stuff admin a little bit easier.

cheers Heinz

 

Nigel's profile picture
Posts: 1643

24 February 2009, 5:52 PM

I was wondering if perhaps, in future versions of Mahara, tutors in a control membership group can log as their students –in the same way that Moodle allows to do this with the Groups feature-, in order to monitor  students'  work. What do you think?

Maybe.. as a site option... It really does go against the grain of Mahara's private-by-default model though. Though I recognise that changing software is easier than changing dumb legislation!

I guess the best thing to do is file a feature request for now, and we can examine the feedback over time.

I echo Heinz's post -  students aren't able to request membership to controlled groups by design, but the group owner should certainly be able to enrol users by going to their profile page and signing them u. We've talked about a UI for mass-adding users to controlled groups, but sadly we've run out of time to get something into 1.1...

Angela Jay's profile picture
Posts: 1

28 May 2009, 8:10 AM

Hi Nigel

I am currently setting up staff on Mahara.  Is there a difference between the roles Site Staff and Institution Staff?  We have one institution in our Mahara installation.  Which role would you recommend I use to identify staff in Mahara?

Thanks
Angela

Nigel's profile picture
Posts: 1643

30 May 2009, 10:10 PM

Hi - if you have an institution set up, put your staff in that. In future, Mahara may do smart things like display on screen that users are 'staff in X institution', which you'll benefit from if they're in the institution.

From a functional perspective, right now they're identical. Staff members can create controlled groups.

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