Transferring Student Content – ArcGIS Online Assistant

Blog Post created by geri_miller-esristaff Employee on Nov 7, 2017

At a recent meeting for State of Virginia University Consortium (~18 institutions), a lot of best practices were discussed surrounding portal administration and management of ArcGIS Online (cloud) or ArcGIS Enterprise (on-premise) portals.


One of the items discussed is what to do with existing content created by students who have graduated. As administrators of ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise portals in academia, we often work with influx of students coming to our organization and graduating after certain amount of time. What do we do with all the content they create? We all have dealt with this in different ways, such as:


  •      Let it accumulate over time and keep it in the production environment ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise portal
  •      After student graduates, delete the content and remove the student user
  •      Stage a separate portal to keep a copy of the student content, then delete it from the production environment portal
  •      Others?


While any of the above are valid approaches, as a best practice, we’ve started suggesting that instructors at the end of a course or a program advise students to use the ArcGIS Online Assistant  tool to transfer content from a production portal to their own Personal, Developer or other ArcGIS Online/ArcGIS Enterprise account.  The ArcGIS Online Assistant would give students (or any named user in a portal) the ability to transfer their content and “take it” with them.


Chrissy Rothgeb at James Madison University, Cise IT Labs and Server Support, has already started advising faculty to incorporate this approach. As a result of our discussion, she created the attached PPT to be shared with faculty and students, listing specific instructions on how to transfer this content. Thanks for sharing, Chrissy, and for providing permission for anyone to use the attached PPT and share with respective faculty/students!!


Advantages of this approach:


  •      Students get to keep their content and build a portfolio of maps and other information products to share with potential employers
  •      Students are empowered to administer and manage their own ArcGIS Online portal, which gives them an essential and marketable skill in today’s GIS world
  •      It gives us as administrators the ability to safely remove content and delete users without having to worry about lost content
  •      Others?


Further considerations:


  •      For anyone using enterprise logins (SSO), this must be done before the user is removed from the enterprise directory, which disables the ArcGIS account and the user can no longer login
  •      This can be done for ArcGIS Enterprise portals as well – the name of the tool could be deceiving. Also, Portal for ArcGIS is now a component of ArcGIS Enterprise, and on the tool itself one would still see “Portal for ArcGIS” as the option (vs ArcGIS Enterprise).
  •      This tool can be shared and used by any named user, whether student, faculty or staff
  •      Distributed collaboration could achieve a similar result - it is currently available between ArcGIS Enterprise and ArcGIS Online portals. In future releases, we will see ArcGIS Online to ArcGIS Online collaboration, where transfer of content would be possible between two ArcGIS Online portals.


Further feedback is welcome!