FAQ – SmartSite project sites transition

This list presents common questions concerning project sites and the end of SmartSite. SmartSite was primarily a learning management system, and during 2016-17 the campus focused on moving the instructional aspect of SmartSite, including course sites, to UC Davis Canvas. For more about course sites and the transition to Canvas, please see movetocanvas.ucdavis.edu.

Why is the campus retiring SmartSite?

SmartSite’s primary function has been to serve as the learning management system for the campus. UC Davis adopted SmartSite in 2006, and the service is no longer adequate for what the campus needs. It is being replaced by UC Davis Canvas.  SmartSite cannot be used for instruction after June 2017.

What happens to SmartSite after instruction ends in June 2017?

On July 14, 2017, SmartSite will divide in two. The part that supports project sites will continue at smartsite.ucdavis.edu. The part that contains archived course sites will exist at smartsite-legacycourses.ucdavis.edu.

How much longer can I use my SmartSite project site?

Until sometime in the 2017-18 academic year—December 2017, at least. Before setting a specific retirement date, the campus wants to make sure project site owners have had enough time to find replacement services. We’ll announce a retirement date after assessing the progress of the transition.

I have a project site in SmartSite. What do I replace it with?

It will depend on what you need. The project team will have an assessment survey (in development as of May 2017) that will suggest certain services, depending on how you answer the questions. In some cases, the team will contact site owners with a specific suggestion based on how they’re using the site – if we see that a site is being used only to share documents and send emails, for example, then we might suggest they replace the project site with Box and a Sympa email list.

To view some possible alternatives, check out the UC Davis IT Service Catalog at http://itcatalog.ucdavis.edu/ , especially the “Email & Collaboration” and “Web Services” categories. There will likely be other suggestions, but this is our starting point.

If the campus is replacing SmartSite with UC Davis Canvas, shouldn’t I just move my project site to Canvas?

No. UC Davis Canvas is built for instructional purposes, and works best when used for that purpose. Canvas does not support project sites, unless the site has an academic purpose.

How will material be migrated from SmartSite to Canvas (or to some other location)?

Unfortunately, there is no good tool for moving materials in bulk from SmartSite to a new location, and the migration has to be done manually. If you are moving materials to Canvas, this functional mapping chart and guide for transitioning resource and quiz content might help you. You can also enlist an ET Partner (a student with training in Canvas) for help.

How long will SmartSite materials, both course sites and project sites, be archived?

As of late spring 2017, we are determining the retention policy for SmartSite materials, and the feasibility of running and maintaining the legacy system. We encourage you to download resource materials from your existing sites, to ensure you have access to them in the future.

Who archives SmartSite materials, how do you access them, and who is responsible for maintaining them?

Instructors will be able to access legacy course site materials for at least a few years after June 2017. As mentioned above, the campus needs to determine a retention policy for legacy materials in SmartSite. As of May 2017, we do not yet know how long project site materials will be available, once SmartSite is entirely retired as an active system. If you have project site materials you wish to keep, or maintain access to, then please move them to a replacement service, or store copies in a secure place that allows you to access them.

If you have further questions, or would like to suggest a question we should add to this FAQ, please contact the project sites transition team at smartsiteprojects@ucdavis.edu.