The InterLinked Project

Naveen Albert

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Student Center

Project Status: Not Started

Student Center is Windows software designed for student management. Unlike Infinite Campus, Web Grader, or SkyWard, Student Center is software with built-in Windows functionality, and integrates directly with Active Directory. The user-interface mirrors that of Active Directory and Group Policy, and this deep integration offers new levels of management over staff and students. The user-interface mirrors that of Active Directory and Group Policy, and this deep integration offers new levels of management over staff and students.

Due to its integration with the Windows operating system, no seperate logon is required, thus increasing the security of this product. Users don't need to login because they are automatically connected to the server as they user they have logged into Windows as. Your information in Student Center can only be accessed through your domain account. We do not allow signing into other accounts with this software because we encourage all users to have their own account on a domain, and also because this software utilizes SSO (Single Sign-On). Depending on your role in your school district, what you see when you open the software may differ:

  • Administrator Mode — Administrators have the ability to create and manage classes, and have all the permissions of all groups.
  • Teacher Mode — Members of the "Teachers" group can manage classes assigned to them by their administrator. In addition, like the note below this list says, teachers can also change their mode to "Substitute" if they are subbing for another teacher. This is convenient as it allows them to take attendance for another teacher without logging out of their account.
  • Substitute Mode — Substitute Mode is a limited branch-off from Teacher Mode. A user in Substitute Mode can take attendance and view the roster for example, but cannot change grades in the gradebook unless the teacher of a class has designated those rights to them.
  • Student Mode — If a student is logged in, it will automatically direct them to their account's information. If a member of another group is logged in, they will be prompted to enter a student's unique ID or name in a search box and then select a student to access Student Mode as that student. Inside Student Mode, students can access their grades, check their attendance, and view any upcoming, missed, or completed assignments. In addition, administrators can define additional processes (much like creating a new registry key) and allow custom-functionality for the domain.

* The groups above are listed hierarchically, meaning that members of one group may also switch modes to groups beneath them. For an example, a member of the "Administrator" group can access the Teacher, Substitute, and Student modes as well, but a member of the "Students" group cannot access any other modes. Users can toggle between all the modes they have access to. The program automatically assumes the highest mode the user has access to.

Student Center connects directly with Active Directory, so a domain is required for this software to function.

Because students can only use the "Student" mode, and there is no need to toggle between modes or to input large amounts of information into the system, students will see a lightweight user-friendly GUI layered on top of the software. All other users will see an interface that closely models that of Active Directory and Group Policy. Here is a breakdown of "Teacher" Mode:

  • Class View — This view displays keys in subsets per class. This is especially useful if a teacher wants to perform various actions all within the same class. For example, if a teacher wanted to see everything for her "2nd hour" class, they could use this view and then expand, the "2nd hour" folder. All of the categories would then be listed as subfolders of this folder.
  • Category View — This view displays keys in subsets per category. This is especially useful if a teacher wants to perform the same action for all of his/her classes within one particular category. For example, if a teacher needed to take attendance for all of her classes at once, they would expand the "Attendance" folder in Category View, and continue expanding subfolders depending on how specific the scope of attendance is. If one wanted to mark all students in all classes present, this could be done simply by right-clicking the main "Attendance" folder, clicking 'Edit', and then selecting 'Present.' Unlike Group Policy, the right-hand side of the screen models a File Explorer type UI, so if a teacher wanted to mark their 2nd hour class all tardy, they could right-click the "2nd hour" subfolder of "Attendance" (or whatever the folder name was called by the administrator) and then go to Edit and change the value of "Today" (or select a different date from the calendar insert) to "Tardy". Because the scope of this object is "2nd hour", all the values inside "2nd hour" regarding Attendance will be changed to "Tardy". A more user-friendly way to do this would be to left-click "2nd hour" so the contents of the folder show up on the right-hand side of the screen, in this case presenting a list of all the students in that class with more information about the class at the top. The teacher can then change values on a per-student-basis by right-clicking their name and selecting "Tardy". Another nice feature is mass selection, which would allow the teacher to go down the list checking the boxes in front of students that are tardy and then right-click the selection to mark them all tardy all at once.
  • Student View — This is different than accessing "Student" Mode. Rather than accessing the application 'Student Center' by changing modes and emulating that student, Student View will retrieve all information about all students related to a teacher. In other words, using this view will simply return subfolders for every student that the teacher teaches. What might this be useful? Well, a teacher can expand a student's subfolder to then find subfolders for all classes or categories. The subfolders shown are based on the View that is used before accessing Student View by default, but a custom setting can permenantly enforce a specific view (i.e. always "Student View→%username%→Attendance→2nd hour" , rather than "Student View→%username%→2nd hour→Attendance")

In Substitute Mode, a light-weight GUI is used initially. The user will be presented with a list of recently visited classes, as well as a search box so the substitute can either search for the class in question or enter its unique ID. Once a class has been selected, either through search or through history, it will then present the user with the standard interface of folders/keys, closely matching "Teacher" Mode, but with a few differences. For one, the substitute can only use Class View, as they only can manage one class a time, and the top-level will be set as the class rather than Class View since they are no other classes to manage. Many of the category options, such as 'Grades' will also be unavailable to the user.

To assign users into one of these four groups, use Active Directory to ensure that all of the users in these individual groups share a common group that excludes members of the other group. If a group called "DistrictStudents" is an orginizational unit that houses all students for example, the administrator can define "Student View" users by linking the Orginizational Unit to the group. If not all users in a group will share a common orginizational unit, the administrator can also add more than one item to the list, including individual users. As a rule of thumb, the "Students" group should include all students, the "Substitutes" group should include all substitutes, the "Teachers" group should include all full-time staff, and the "Administrators" group should only include domain administrators. Only domain administrators can change priviledges for this software.

As you can see, this is a very powerful piece of software that will revolutionize how technology is used to manage the classroom. Its release will be geared specifically toward Windows 10. Because of its integration with the system, it will not be available as a Universal Windows app. It will be a standalone package available as an extension for domains. The price of this software will be based on the number of domains, rather than the number users, so purchasing this software for two domains of 9 users each would cost more than the price of one domain for 800 users. This software, when released, will cost between $4,000 and $10,000 per domain for an unlimited amount of users. For a more limited amount of users, a price range of $800 to $2,000 will cover orginizations with up to 500 users.