College purchases new WebCT server

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Eastern New Mexico University has purchased a new WebCT server that will be housed on the Portales campus.

Having the new server on the ENMU campus will allow daily backups and maintenance to be performed, said Distance Education and Outreach Director Trish McGuire.

“I think it will be much better here,” McGuire said.

A server housed at the Roswell campus crashed last month, resulting in the loss of data. About 700 students were enrolled in WebCT, which is used to conduct online courses and class discussions, store grades and turn in assignments.

At this time, the old WebCT server is back online.

“We will be installing and switching over to the new server in the next week or so,” said Clark Elswick, interim director of information technology services.

Housing information from ENMU campuses at Portales, Roswell and Ruidoso, the new system will have about a three- to four-year life span. A possibility in the future would be a system that would house information for Roswell and Ruidoso branches only, said Elswick.

“A newer box will be much more reliable (than previous technology) as it gets older,” Elswick said.

According to Elswick, every effort has been made to retrieve the lost data from the old server. Much of the lost information has been retrieved. Though it has caused some problems, a majority of the faculty had grades that were on paper, he said.

“It was inconvenient,” Elswick said, “but not terribly bad.”

McGuire said the new WebCT course shell will be up Tuesday. From that point, faculty will be able to input content for online courses. This will give faculty about a 2 1/2-week window to prepare for summer classes that begin June 4, she said.