T3G Webinar: AGO Org operation issues, tips, & tricks

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02-11-2019 05:43 AM
CharlieFitzpatrick
Esri Regular Contributor

T3Gers: PLEASE REPLY BELOW, in prep for Feb T3G Third Thursday Webinar.

  • What are your issues with ArcGIS Online Org operation (day-to-day) and management (marking period, quarter, semester, year)?
  • What works well for you in operating your ArcGIS Online Org (i.e. using it in support of instruction) or handling the year-long management processes?

We will set up the Feb webinar to address issues, and will pre-invite some participants to share what they do. (Hopefully about 5 minutes apiece.)

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31 Replies
PhillipHare1
New Contributor II

Management:

  • I use the GeoJobe app to manage/cull old accounts and this works pretty well. I'd be interested in looking at the Python method Tom will show.
  • I typically use CSV files to batch upload students. This works well, especially as more options for assigning licenses have been introduced for the whole batch, or later for whole groups.
  • I am looking forward to seeing if my district can get SSO working for MS Active Directory. I don't currently have high hopes, but that is mostly internal concern.
  • Overall I really enjoy using AGO with students.

Operations:

  • Shoutout to AGO and Collector. Successfully used it doing some IB Geography fieldwork this week, worked flawlessly, and students continue to find the interface user-friendly.
  • StoryMaps, and other web apps, continue to be an effective way to build content for class instruction. A couple recent examples include teaching about drainage basins, cut flower supply chains on Valentine's Day, tomato supply chains, and urban street design. It can take a little time, just like any presentation, but I'm always really happy with the result when I take the time.

Issue: 

  • managing student work: it would be nice to set some more granular privacy boundaries on some files. For instance, I don't want all students to be able to see each other's work while they work on something to avoid the copying of others maps, but then I need access to it. If students were collaborating in a small group on a project it would be nice to set viewing only for members in that group, once again to avoid the copying of others' work. I may just be missing a setting or something though.
  • Managing student work: I havent worked enough yet with the Categories feature in Groups, but it can be difficult, beyond using tags, to get all assignments from a class in one place. Using good metadata tagging can definitely help with filtering and searching, but project folders within groups would kind of be nice. Maybe the Categories feature will provide a solution though. Overall this year, my students have been using it less, so goals for the second semester.
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CharlieFitzpatrick
Esri Regular Contributor

Phil: Re Issue: Content people create is private (visible to the creator and admins only) until proactively shared with a group, the Org, or the public. Members in a group can be the only ones to view things. (Admins can always see everything.) Getting students comfortable making good metadata (and teachers comfortable requiring it) can help. "Everyone, make a tag for your item saying 'PH_Assig_20190214' so I can find them easily. If I have to go looking, you lose points for not having an important tag in place."

AllenRisley
Occasional Contributor II

I came up with another "Issue":  I have not been able to come up with a satisfying way for students to work collaboratively on a map or story map.  One person/account has to be the owner and others cannot make changes to the owner's map or story map.  This results in most group projects having one "map driver" with other students relegated to being content creators/collectors, which means they don't get the experience of editing the map or story map.  And this is a real problem if the driver flakes out and leaves the group without a deliverable.

Sometimes students will attempt to get around this by sharing their login and password with their colleagues so they can all have editing access.  This often results in the "too many cooks" scenario, where user A saves their work, thereby deleting user B's work that was previous saved but that user A had not added to their map/story map. 

Our students regularly work on group projects using Google Apps, which seem to have figured out how to handle simultaneous editing.  They don't understand why AGOL can't do the same.

Allen Risley

NicoleErnst
New Contributor II
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CharlieFitzpatrick
Esri Regular Contributor

Right! Choosing "Group members can update all group items" is very powerful ... but can also be a "good news, bad news" story if people are not careful. Sequence of operation is absolutely critical. To wit:

  1. User1 makes a map, saves it in a group where all members can update all items, and closes the item.
  2. User2 opens the item
  3. User3 opens the item
  4. User2 makes changes, saves the item, and closes the item.
  5. User3 makes changes, saves the item, and closes the item.
  6. User1 opens the item and complains that User2 has not entered anything.

ArcGIS Online saves ONLY when the SAVE button is clicked. Because User3 opened the item before User2's changes were saved, the User2 changes are not in User3's map, and so will not exist when User3 saves. In this situation, Step3 needed to be done AFTER Step4.

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AllenRisley
Occasional Contributor II

Thanks, Charlie, that's EXACTLY my point.  It's extremely difficult to explain that to students who are doing this for the first time and then similarly difficult for them to follow that protocol.  This could really use a better solution in order for AGOL to become a better tool in a collaborative educational environment.

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CharlieFitzpatrick
Esri Regular Contributor

Understood Allen. It's not happening soon. The ArcGIS Online universe is the heart of a vast fleet of disparate tools, all of which need to work effectively together. The technology is built in a particular way, to meet the needs of uncountable types of users beyond students -- firemen on the go, foresters, coffee shop owners, airports, national defense departments, etc -- so while we always want to know what works or doesn't and what people want, sometimes the answer is "ok, that one not yet, so here's your best strategy." This is such a situation.

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DellaRobertson
Occasional Contributor II

In my class, I am required to teach a CHYA curriculum for 2 weeks.  Prior to this I started students on creating a StoryMap for the CalGeography StoryMap competition.  I begin class by asking students if they are having difficulties, then I pick up with the CHYA curriculum.  One student said that she created a subgroup for her and her partner.  They were able to collaborate in that subgroup, but then couldn't upload their map to the Group that I set up.  I am going to ask members of ArcGIS Online Geonet for some help in understanding this problem.

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CharlieFitzpatrick
Esri Regular Contributor

If they created a map and shared it into a group they control, the map can ALSO be shared into any other group they belong to. If you've made them members of a special group, and they can see that they are in the group (i.e. either you did not require them to accept an invitation, or you did require them to accept it and they did so), they just need to share the map again and check the box for that group.

AllisonHoff
Regular Contributor

Something that works well:

I use the homepage of the GRACE Project AGOO to advertise Esri's AGOO competition. The advertisement is a text announcement that links to a story map about the Michigan AGOO competition. The story map has a link to an entry submission form that I created with the survey123 web designer (no download needed).  The resulting survey123 spreadsheet can be cut and pasted into the spreadsheet that the state submits to Esri. I used rules to shorten the survey if less than the maximum number of entries (5) are submitted. The locations, school names, and divisions of schools are also shown on a map in the story map.

Allison Hoff