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Another way to tackle WebCT CE4 Content Modules

There are some limitations to webct2melete + Sakai Modules:

  • conversion may not copy certain files/links and/or rewrite paths appropriately – but perhaps could be modified to copy those resources e.g., the APPLET resources
  • no subnest even though modules 2.4+ supports it
  • only one Module tool per Sakai site, as opposed to multiple Content Modules in WebCT
  • Module's file/folder space is private – hard to get stuff in and out, unlike Sakai Resources
  • all the files and images go into 'resources' or subdir called 'images' – this could have unintended consequences if files are named the same (e.g., image002.jpg typical of WORD to HTML conversion), but are actually different.

I started looking at the rwiki tool to address some of the files/folder issues. With minimal wiki tagging, it seemed that I could get an outline structure in place with the underlying raw files (from WebCT course My-Files).

For instance, a table of contents for a CE4 module might look something like:

If I select this table of contents and cut-and-paste it into a text file, I get something like:

I. Animal Behavior and Ecology
         Animal Behavior / Behavioral Ecology
                Ch. 52 slides (DRAFT) (File: Shingles/Ch52Lecture.ppt)
                Ch. 53 slides (DRAFT) (File: Shingles/Ch53Lecture.ppt)
         Population & Community Ecology
                Handout: John James Audubon (1785-1851) on Passenger Pigeons (File: Shingles/PassengerPigeons.htm)
                Ch. 54 slides (DRAFT) (File: Shingles/Ch54Lecture.ppt)
                Ch. 55 slides (DRAFT) (File: Shingles/Ch55Lecture.ppt)

Note #1: this would be the Designer view of the Table of Contents
Note #2: this is the TOC with the numbering turned off

This "outline" could be converted to wiki as:

I. Animal Behavior and Ecology
* Animal Behavior / Behavioral Ecology
** {link:Ch. 52 slides (DRAFT)|worksite:/Shingles/Ch52Lecture.ppt}
** {link:Ch. 53 slides (DRAFT)|worksite:/Shingles/Ch53Lecture.ppt}
* Population & Community Ecology
** {link:Handout: John James Audubon (1785-1851) on Passenger Pigeons|worksite:/Shingles/PassengerPigeons.htm}
** {link:Ch. 54 slides (DRAFT)|worksite:/Shingles/Ch54Lecture.ppt}
** {link:Ch. 55 slides (DRAFT)|worksite:/Shingles/Ch55Lecture.ppt}

In Sakai Wiki > View:

And so long as all the files were copied from My-Files right into Resources as is, the links would work!

I wrote some PERL code to parse through the cut-and-paste of the WebCT CE4 Table of Contents (saved to a text file), and generate the wiki-tagged version. I could then cut-and-paste the wiki-tagged output into the wiki tool.

The code could be the backend of something (e.g., a CGI or JSF if you get fancier), then anyone could call it up with the cut-and-paste of the CE4 TOC and get back the wiki-tagged output.


  • all files copied as-is from My-Files to Resources of target site (WebDAV is your friend)
  • wiki tool enabled in site
  • PERL
  • script


1. View WebCT TOC (Designer Options, Numbering turned off)

2. cut-and-paste the TOC into a text file, e.g., outline.txt

3. run outline.txt through the perl script to generate output.txt

% perl outline.txt > output.txt

4. cut-and-paste contents of output.txt into wiki

Wiki Permissions

We probably don't want students to muck with our content. So in this case, we have to remove some privileges (create, edit).

Page Permissions By Role





yes -> no


yes -> no

  • Click on 'Edit Site Permissions'
  • Uncheck Access : Create
  • Uncheck Access : Edit

Pros and Cons


  • handles related files for embedded content (e.g., a flash page would consist of an HTML file w/ an swf file)
  • maintains the file structure that was in WebCT My-Files
  • no need to rewrite IMG or HREF tags
  • uses Resources directly, no mucking with private spaces


  • only one wiki tool (but you can add subsequent "pages")
  • no granularity of timed access to an individual section of the wiki
  • harder to edit? it's akin to HTML coding but much simplified. there is a learning curve that some may not want to overcome.
  • not "standards based" (e.g., IMS CP)

Wish List

  • a Wiki WYSIWYG editor ala Confluence's Rich Text mode
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