Spring 2012 Trunk Enhancements

February 7, 2012

Trunk has added several new features to the Spring 2012 Course & Project sites.

  1. Student Photos

    Instructors on Course and Project sites can view photos of students who are enrolled in the course or project and have access to the site. These photos can be viewed by clicking on the Roster tool and then on the “Pictures” menu item.

  2. WIRIS Formula Editor

    All Trunk users now have access to WIRIS, a built-in mathematical formula editor, when adding content to any Trunk text box. Access to WIRIS is via an icon located in the Trunk Web Editor.

    WIRIS performs basic mathematical operations, matrix calculus, calculus and series, logic and set theory, units and Greek alphabet. Expressions are stored in standard MathML.

    A quick tour of the WIRS Formula Editor can be found here: http://www.wiris.com/en/editor/tour/launch-wiris-editor

    The WIRS Formula Editor user manual can be found here: http://www.wiris.com/editor/docs/manual

  3. Basic Project Site Template

    A basic project site template has been developed in Trunk to provide the user with an easy way to create a project site and have quick access to the Resources folder. Here are the step by step instructions to create a project site using the template: Go to My Workspace > Site Setup > New > Create Site from Template and select “project – Basic Project Site”, enter a name for your Project Site and click “Continue”. Your new project site will now appear in your list of sites.

Important Tip for Fall 2011 Courses

Since learning is cumulative, students often find it helpful to have access to courses that they have taken in the past. In Trunk, students can continue to access a course they have taken in a previous semester unless the instructor eliminates access to the course by unpublishing it. To “unpublish” a course after the semester is over, just follow the same steps as to publish: Go to Site Editor > Manage Access, uncheck the “Publish site” box and click “Update”.

Tips for 2012 Spring Courses

November 16, 2011

The shells for 2012 spring courses are now available in Trunk for faculty who want to begin working on them.  Faculty can locate their spring course sites by logging into Trunk, using their Tufts Username and Password, and going to their Quicklinks or MySites tab where they should be listed.

The spring course sites are empty and ready to have content added to them.  They are also unpublished, so no students will be able to see them until they are published by the instructor.  Faculty can follow the same recommended steps for developing spring course sites as was used for fall courses:

  • Decide if they want to move course content from Blackboard to their spring course site.  If faculty want help with migrating course content from Blackboard to Trunk, they must submit a request as soon as possible at:  http://go.tufts.edu/trunkmigration
  • Copy course content from another Trunk site to the new course site.
  • Attend a Trunk workshop.  Getting Started with Trunk and Advanced Workshops are now being held on ongoing basis as well as Open Lab sessions. You can register for a workshop here: http://go.tufts.edu/trunkworkshops.
  • Visit the Trunk Support Site at http://sites.tufts.edu/trunksupport to get lots of useful information on Trunk.

Tip 1: Copy Course Content

Some instructors may wish to copy some or all of their course site content from one course site to another course site (for instance, from a fall Trunk course site to a spring Trunk course site).

To copy the content from one course site to another course site:

  1. Go to the NEW course site.
  2. Click Site Editor / Import from Site.
  3. Click I Would LikeTo Replace My Data or I Would like to Merge My Data (read the description of each action).
  4. Select the course site from which you would like to Replace or Merge your content.
  5. Click Continue.
  6. Select the content you would like to Replace or Merge into the new course site.
  7. Click Finish. The selected content from the old site should now Replace or Merge with the new course site.
  8. Note: You must have either Instructor, TA or Course Builder access to both course sites to copy content from one course site to another course site.

Tip 2: Editing Quicklinks

By default, only 4 of your Trunk course or project site links appear in the “Quicklinks” menu at the top of the Trunk display. You can add additional Quicklinks to this menu and you can arrange the order of the Quicklink display.

To add additional Quicklinks:

  1. Go to your My Workspace site and click Preferences (or click Edit to the right of the Quicklinks list).
  2. In the “My Active Sites” box under “Tabs Displayed” set the number of Quicklinks you would like to display.
  3. Click Update Preferences.
  4. Click Home (top of the left navigation panel). Your set number of Quicklinks should now be displayed at the top of the Trunk display.

To arrange the Quicklink order:

  1. Go to your My Workspace site and click Preferences (or click Edit to the right of the Quicklinks list).
  2. Select any of the site links listed in the “My Active Sites” box
  3. Use the up and down arrow button to the left to move the selected link up or down in the order.
  4. Click Update Preferences.
  5. Click Home (top of the left navigation panel). Your Quicklinks should now be displayed in the order you have set.

Tip 3: Hiding Course Site Links

All users can hide links to course (or project) sites that they do not wish to display.

To hide course site links:

  1. Go to your My Workspace site and click Preferences.
  2. Select any of the site links listed in the “My Active Sites” box that you would like to hide.
  3. Click on the right arrow button to move the select site link from the “My Active Sites” box to the “My Hidden Sites” box.
  4. Click Update Preferences.
  5. Click Home (top of the left navigation panel). The selected sites are now hidden from both the Quicklinks menu and the My Sites list of site links.
  6. Note: You can reverse the process anytime and “unhide” a site link by selecting the link in the “My Hidden Sites” box and moving it to the “My Active Sites” box.

Trunk Tips Newsletter September 2011

October 7, 2011

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Trunk Tips, an e-newsletter that provides useful, timely information on Trunk, Tufts’ new collaboration and learning environment. This issue focuses on tasks that are needed to begin teaching with Trunk this fall.

Tip 1: Log in and Explore

Go to http://trunk.tufts.edu and log in using your Tufts Simplified Sign-on credentials (UTLN + webmail password). There are three types of sites in Trunk:

  1. My Workspace is a special type of site that serves as a private work area for each Trunk user. This is where you land when you first log in.
  2. Course sites are used in conjunction with Tufts academic courses and are automatically created from the Student Information System (SIS). Starting this September, faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering, and the Fletcher School will be using Trunk for their courses instead of Blackboard.
  3. Project sites are designed to facilitate collaboration by a group of users. Anyone with Tufts credentials can create and use project sites.

Tip 2: Don’t lose your work!

Trunk times out after 30 minutes of inactivity. To avoid losing your work, save or complete tasks at regular intervals. (Many tasks have a “Finish” button). Remember that Trunk cannot detect typing inside the text editor as “activity”. Therefore, save often!

Tip 3: Publish your course site

Trunk course sites are automatically populated by SIS with students accounts as students register for the course. However, students who are registered for your course cannot see your Trunk course site until you publish it. To publish a course site go to Site Editor/Manage Access. Check the “Publish” box and click on “Update”.

Tip 4: Adding/Removing Students

Students who are not enrolling for a course via SIS must be added manually to the site. If you are an instructor who needs to add a student to your site, go to the Site Editor, click Add participants and type in the email of the student. If they have a Tufts email, use the top box. If they do not, use the bottom box and make sure to send notification. When manually adding students, you must choose the “Student – Nonregistered” role.

Trunk Tips Newsletter October 2011

October 7, 2011

October 2011

Tip 1: Copying or Moving Folders and Files

Folders and files in Resources can be copied or moved from one site to another site by an Instructor, TA or Course Builder in a Course site, an Organizer or Participant in a Project site or the Owner of a My Workspace site. When you copy a file or folder to another site, you are making a duplicate copy to post on the other site. When you move a file or folder, you are physically moving the file or folder from one location to another.

To copy or move a single folder or file from one site to another:

  1. Locate the site you are copying or moving files or folder to. From the Tools Menu, click Resources.
  2. At the base of the window, click Show other sites. This will display all of the folders in Resources from all the sites that you have permission to copy or move.
  3. Locate the file or folder in the list of other sites that you would like to copy or move. Note: Click the folder plus sign (+) to display the contents of the folders.
  4. To the right of the folder or file you want to copy or move, click the Actions button. Select Copy or Move.
  5. To the right of the folder you want the item pasted to, click the Actions button. To copy, select Paste Copied Items. To move, select Paste Moved Items.

To copy or move more than one file or folder at once:

  1. Check-off files or folders you want to copy or move.
  2. Click Copy or Move.
  3. To the right of the folder you want to copy or move the items to, click the Clipboard Icon. This will paste the items in that folder.

Tip 2: Hiding and Showing Folders

Files or folders in the Resources tool can be hidden or displayed by an instructor, TA or Course Builder on a Course site or an Organizer on a Project site.

To hide files or folders:

  1. Locate the site where you want to hide files or folders and from the Tools Menu, click Resources.
  2. To the right of the folder or file you would like to hide, click Actions and then select Edit Details.
  3. In the Availability and Access Section, select the Hide this folder and its contents (if it is a folder) or Hide this file (if it is a file).
  4. Click Update. The file or folder will appear in Resources as grayed-out and will not be visible to students or participants. Note: Hiding a folder will also hide all of the files listed in the folder.


8,753 people have used Trunk since it was launched August 1.

1,281 instructors and 7,231 students are using Trunk.

1,071 course sites and 307 project sites have been published.

Trunk Logo Unveiled!

March 30, 2011

Trunk logo

When we approached Stoltze Design to create a logo for Trunk, we knew we wanted a logo which would signal a new era in teaching, learning, and collaboration at Tufts. We also wanted to capture the positive energy described in the Tufts Visual Identity Guide (“Tufts Brand Strategy”, “Tufts Personality”) and in the Tufts Vision Statement.

The result is a logo that is simple, elegant, and abstract enough to carry many meanings. The logo has an upward lift for new possibilities, while converging at the base, as the Tufts community comes together on a shared platform.

Name chosen for new LMS: trunk

January 24, 2011

We are pleased to introduce you to Trunk – the name of Tufts’ new collaborative learning platform, which will be replacing Blackboard on the Medford campus this fall. Trunk was the winner of the LMS university-wide naming competition that was held last December. It was selected from 285 entries and was jointly submitted by two students on the Medford campus – Belal Hakim, School of Arts and Sciences, and Adhvait Shah, School of Engineering. View the above video to learn more about our winners. We also would like to acknowledge the following students:

  • Mitchell Izower and Angela Combs, School of Medicine, who also came up with trunk but submitted it at later times than our winners
  • John Stratigis, School of Medicine, for Trunks
  • From the School of Arts and Sciences, Dan Stock, Amy Demicco, and Alyssa Rosen, who all entered The Trunk.

rSmart chosen

December 24, 2010

After careful analysis rSmart, a leading open software for education vendor, was chosen to be our Sakai service provider, helping Tufts to customize Sakai to meet the university’s needs. In this capacity, rSmart provides project planning and product configuration services including integration with SIS and LDAP authentication as well guidance in moving courses from bBoard and Angel. rSmart also provides ongoing support services based on a version of the Sakai software that has been tested and enhanced with richer documentation and configuration tools to create a robust, professional software release.

Sakai chosen as university-wide LMS

March 24, 2010

Tufts to pursue University-wide LMS strategy

February 24, 2010

UIT has been charged with facilitating a strategic planning project to recommend a new learning management system (LMS) for Tufts Univeristy that would support teaching, learning, and collaboration across Tufts diverse schools, programs, and communities.   Blackboard Basic which has been used on the Tufts Medford campus for the past 12 years is no longer a viable option.

The primary goals of the project are for the team to lead a highly participatory process:

  1. To define selection criteria based on the university’s goals and the requirements of faculty, students and administrators.
  2. To evaluate leading LMS platforms to determine which best meets Tufts criteria.
  3. To articulate a robust, coordinated support model to ensure an effective migration process, as well as excellent continuing outreach, education and service for faculty and other community members who will use the LMS to enrich their teaching, learning, and research at Tufts.
  4. To recommend a comprehensive next-generation LMS strategy for Tufts University.