LTS to make LATTE more secure and easier to use
Published: Monday, August 27, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
Library and Technology Services began improving the University’s online learning tool, LATTE, this summer by initiating an upgrade to make it more secure and easier to use. The renovated LATTE is planned to be fully rolled out by spring 2014.
The update will include an improved interface and will make uploading files easier, though for the most part the new LATTE “will do for the community what current LATTE does today,” Josh Wilson, LTS director for academic support and user services, said in an interview with the Justice.
Additionally, the upgrade is necessary to prevent LATTE from becoming susceptible to security threats.
The update was spurred by the recent release of a new version of Moodle, the open-source platform that is customized by Brandeis to create LATTE. Because the new version of Moodle came out only recently, LTS has not decided exactly what the next version of LATTE will look like, said Wilson.
The update will cost $250,000 over two fiscal years, most of which will be spent on developer salaries, Vice Provost for Library and Technology Services and Chief Information Officer John Unsworth told the Justice. The update is viewed as necessary over the long run. “There’s nothing broken here. This is just LTS doing the responsible thing and being forward-looking and positioning Brandeis appropriately,” said Wilson. “It’s a proactive focus instead of a reactive focus.”
After the January 2014 release of the new LATTE, LTS will create a five-year plan for another major LATTE update, though there will still be periodic minor upgrades. The plan will take into account a soon-to-be implemented study of LATTE usage by students, faculty and staff.
LATTE has been used by Brandeis since fall 2007. LATTE replaced WebCT, which had been in use since fall 1997. LATTE is currently used by nearly 80 percent of Brandeis courses, with 40,000 log ins a week.
Ongoing LTS projects include work on “flexible spaces for collaboration” on Farber 1 and Farber Mezzanine in the library, according to Unsworth. Additionally, LTS recently finished a campus-wide network upgrade, redesigned its website and started a new blog.
and Sam Mintz