Technical Implementation Guide

Introduction to the Platform

Preparation and Resources

Authentication

Required Data Imports

Data Transfer Methods

LTI Set Up

 

Introduction to the Platform

The Campus Labs platform enables institutions to collect, manage, and report on data useful for teaching and learning, accreditation, and student success program design and improvement. The platform is offered to end-users as a software as a service (SaaS) web application, accessible via any modern web browser. The platform can, should, and in some cases, must be integrated into existing institutional data infrastructure to gain the most benefit from its capabilities through methods outlined in this article.

This article is meant to give an overview and understanding of the Technical Implementation processes used to stand up your Campus Labs products.  At the end of the Technical Implementation process, with support, training and assistance from your Technical Implementation Specialist, your Campus Labs Platform will be fully populated with your campus's data.  Allowing you to use the tools within our platform to their full potential. Once the Technical Implementation is complete, your institution will be transitioned to a Specialized Consultant who will assist with front end configuration and training. 

 

Preparation and Resources

When it is determined that your campus will need to conduct a technical implementation, your consultant will assist you and your technical team in facilitating communication and discovery meetings with Campus Labs Technical Support.  During this time we will need to accomplish the following tasks;

  • Assess and analyze the technical needs of your institution
  • Identify the primary data manager and technical contacts
  • Identify important deadlines to determine our timeline
  • Review provided technical documentation
  • Assign initial action items initiate implementation

 

Expected resource roles required for technical implementation;

Role Location Responsibility
Regional Consultant Campus Labs Your consultant is responsible for helping you stay on track during your implementation process.  They will be your main point of contact during and after implementation.
Authentication Specialist Campus Labs The Authentication Specialist will work with your Campus's IT representative to configure your platform to your identity management system. 
Campus IT Representative(s) Institution A representative from your campus with knowledge of your Network and identity management system should be available to fill this role during the early stages of Technical Implementation.  This person will work with the Authentication Specialist to authenticate your campus user records with the Campus Labs Platform.

Technical Implementation  Specialist*

Campus Labs

This role will be responsible for working with the Data Manager to transfer knowledge specific to the Core Data process.  For initial transfers, this role will assist the Data Manager in data validation and troubleshooting errors.   

This role will also be responsible for working with the campus to set expectations and an estimated timeline for the implementation, as well ensuring that the available Campus Labs resources will be able to meet those expectations. 
Data Manager(s)* Institution

This role will be responsible for extracting the required data from the Campus Source System and transferring it to Campus Labs.  They will be the primary campus contact for the Campus Labs Technical Implementation Specialist. The person in this role must have a thorough understanding of the selected exchange type (sFTP, API or Manual) as well as have access and familiarity with the SIS, EPR or other source system which data will be extracted from. 

This role will also be responsible for communicating risks from the campus to the Campus Labs team.  This would include any risk or change to the expected timeline, and any relevant information that could affect the success of the implementation. 
Specialized Consultant Campus Labs Upon completion of Technical Implementation, you will be transitioned to a Specialized Consultant(s), with expertise in the specific application(s) being implemented.  They will assist your administrative users with front end site configuration and provide training.

*Only required for Core Data Implementations

 

Technical Implementation

 

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Technical implementation is made up of two to three phases; Authentication, Data Transfers and LMS Integration/LTI Set Up.  Below is a brief description of each of these phases.  For more detail on any of these phases, click on the links provided below.

 

Authentication

 

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The process of Authentication will allow your users to sign into Campus Labs applications using credentials maintained in your institution identity management system.  During this phase of implementation, a Campus Labs Authentication Specialist will work with an IT representative from your campus to complete the Authentication Integration Worksheet, and configure your Campus Labs Platform to authenticate against the selected method.  

Once this phase is complete, users will be able to access the Campus Labs application(s) using the same credentials they use to access other systems managed by your institution.  

*Authentication must be complete before we can set up any applications.  

 

Required Data Imports

Most of the products on the Campus Labs Platform require data to be imported before the application can be used in a meaningful way.  Data is usually extracted from a SIS (Student Information System) or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) System, formatted based on Campus Labs specifications, and then imported into your application manually, via SFTP, or via API.  

Several of our products require Core Data. The Core Data exchange process enables an institution to send basic, large data sets to the Campus Labs platform in order to establish user accounts and baseline user information that will be used for data insight and reporting. There are three sets of data that are collected in Core Data:

  1. Accounts
  2. Course Data
  3. Demographics

The data will need to be extracted from your institution’s SIS, ERP or Data Warehouse and transferred in a .csv format to Campus Labs in the central repository known as Management.  From Management, the data will be pushed to the Campus Labs platform being utilized by your campus. 

See the Core Data Implementation Guide 

 

Data Transfer Methods  *Not all Data Transfer Methods are available for all products

I. Scheduled file import via Secure File Transport Protocol (sFTP) 

Allows institutions to send large data sets to the platform by saving .CSV "flat" files containing data for Accounts, Demographics and Courses into a Campus Labs hosted directory via a sFTP connection.  The institution must provide the data in the file format indicated by Campus Labs along with a manifest file (.done file) which indicates to the platform that the data file is complete and ready to be imported. Once the data and manifest files are saved to the directory, the platform processes the file and incorporates the information into its data set.

II. Web service & API endpoints 

A more advanced method, requiring proficient campus IT professionals, which allows both bulk and individual field loading of data to the platform via secure, scheduled transactions over the internet. Each data type endpoint offers the ability to create, retrieve, and update the data. This additional, fine toothed control of each data type offers institutions ultimate flexibility in the delivery and management of core data in the platform. 

III.  Manual file uploads 

This method requires a user to import the data via a web interface. This method is the most limited in terms of flexibility and is generally reserved as a last resort if the more robust options are not possible. 

 


LTI Set Up

Campus Labs tools have the ability to share authentication with an LMS via LTI.  

After receiving a domain, key and secret from Campus Labs, the LTI configuration will be completed by your institution’s IT resources, with instructions provided by Campus Labs. 

For specific information regarding LMS Integration please review the instructions specific to your LMS here.

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