Reminder: Legacy courses will not issue certificates after August

In just about four weeks, we will be shutting down what we in the office call “old Moodle” — our exam and certificate platform that lives at school.saylor.org.

After August 26th, you will not be able to log in to school.saylor.org or directly access your data there. We will preserve records of certificates issued and other related, high-level data — essentially, what you find on your transcript in ePortfolio.

Certificates will no longer be issued for legacy courses after August 26th. This does not affect, in any way, certificates for the fully-supported courses at learn.saylor.org. It only affects certificates for the courses that are listed at legacy.saylor.org. If and only if your course is listed here, you must complete the exam with a score of 70% or better before August 26th in order to earn a course completion certificate.

What does this mean for you?

First, please download, print, and/or save specific data that you want to keep: examples include unit quiz and final exam results (the pages that show you what you got correct, incorrect, etc.).

Second, please plan to complete the final exams to earn certificates for legacy courses before August 26th! Some reminders: you can take the exams at any time that you feel ready to do so; you can take the exams multiple times; you must pass the exam with a 70% or better to earn a certificate.

Third, remember that the legacy courses and learning materials will continue to be available! Only the hosted exams and certificate issuing will come to an end.

Some questions you might have…

Why? Why are you doing this?!?
The most complete information can be found in our blog post from April, but this is about focusing our resources so that we can continually improve upon supported courses and focus more clearly on our our mission as a small nonprofit organization.

What is the point of taking the course if there is no certificate?
We know that certificates are a great motivator. We will not pretend otherwise! Nevertheless, we believe that a great part of the course’s value remains even when the certificate has gone. If the course helps you to learn and then continue to learn, and if it provides you with the confidence to demonstrate and act upon that learning, any certificate is a mere formality, a signal of skill but not proof in and of itself. To put it another way, the best demonstration of what you know and can do is you yourself, knowing and doing.

Can you please make [My Course] a fully-supported, non-legacy course?
Probably not, honestly. It is always possible, but the mostly likely scenario for taking a course back from legacy status is that a partner organization (school, business, etc.) works with us to update, improve, and support the course. We should say, though, that just as Wikipedia is “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit“, so our legacy courses are ready for reuse, remixing, and sharing (especially if you’re into GitHub).

How do I keep my stuff?
Log in to https://school.saylor.org, click into a course you have worked on (either through “My courses” or the main listing of courses in the center of the page, find a quiz or final exam, open a specific attempt, and then “print” the page either to paper or to a file (usually a PDF). We created a short, silent film that illustrates this process only slightly less well than Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton might have done (okay, rather less well, but Chaplin and Keaton are not available to us).

Related news

We are looking into ways to keep final exams for legacy courses available to the public in ways that will be useful to students (that is to say: human readable, and not a confusing jumble of LaTeX and Moodle markup and tags and other stuff). We will communicate more when we know more, but questions and suggestions are welcome any time.

We are continuing to think about what we call “bundled certificates” — certificates that recognize a group of courses, including for students who have completed our older majors or significant portions thereof.

Changes are also coming to our eportfolio — we will likely move many functions over to our main courses site (learn.saylor.org) and elsewhere, and close down some other functions. More details on that soon!

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