DART System

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DART System: Data Analysis and Reporting Toolkit

The Data Analysis and Report Toolkit (DART) is a truly Open Source, feature-rich student information system (SIS) software package. In short, it is written in PHP, and runs on any web server with the free software combination of Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP (LAMP). DART is therefore free like a puppy! You can take it home with you, but care and feeding is something you must provide on your own, or contract with others to do for you.
DART

The original mission for DART was the tracking and analysis of student progress on any set of learning standards. This role has since expanded to include all of the major student information data needs of a medium-sized, geographically distributed school district with around 2000 active students and 250 or more active certified staff members. The district is now entering its sixth full year of using DART with 17 facilities, including 15 K-12 schools, a regional pre-vocational facility and a district office.

DART is now a well-developed Student Information System (SIS) with many feature groups or "modules" to solve the major needs of a typical school district. Although DART is not right for every school district, it is rapidly gaining features and controls to make it more easily generalizable and customized for a typical district's needs.

The first "generalized" version of DART has been created with assistance from Carnegie Mellon University's Technology Consulting in a Global Community program (TCinGC) during the summer of 2011. Thanks to the CMU team, DART is now easy for a typical school district to customize, install and maintain. Two brilliant and energetic consultants from CMU - Bolek Kurowski and Cristina Melo - lived in Unalakleet for the summer, and helped us start to make DART generalizable for other organizations. They have done an outstanding job analyzing DART's current status, mapping the system, identifying weaknesses and mapping out alternatives for DART as a sustainable Open Source project.
Technology Consulting in a Global Community logo

Unlike other student information systems, DART is completely learner-centered, not tied to staff or school schedules. It directly links to support materials for learning standards and benchmarks, and provides a intuitive interface for users. DART links relative student weaknesses directly to instructional resources in our MediaWiki-based curriculum system, and therefore permits teachers and administrators to plan for meaningful, dynamic instruction of any group of learners, as well as involve stakeholders in the building of curriculum. The curriculum system linked to DART is currently at over 14,500 pages, and has 8,600 files uploaded. The users themselves have populated the MediaWiki database.

For more information, see our Github repository, or send us an email.

Download DART

GitHub Logo
The latest build of DART (V.1.268) can be downloaded from GitHub, or you can email us.

We experimented with source code and community sites for the DART project with Launchpad, and EduForge. All future development of DART will use the GitHub. A mirror of the project information will be updated and maintained on SourceForge, and we are trying to get DART's basic description and links listed on SchoolForge.net.

Thanks to the assistance and energy of Carnegie Mellon's consultants (Bolek Kurowski & Cristina Mel), the current GitHub download includes an installer, and updated Readme file (July 30, 2011) to include an overview of customizing the system for your organization after installation. Some additional features and updates to the system are being debugged now and will be added to V.1.268 in the coming weeks, but it is a viable package at this time.

In addition, documentation for installation and customization is being written by Missouri State interns, and is posted both on this site, and on the GitHub wiki.

Getting Involved with the DART Project

DART Google Group Link
We also have a DART Google Group set up for those interested in being involved with DART's current and future direction.  We need educators, and organizations to help us get DART off the ground in other parts of the country, and the world.  We also need people who can work with PHP, MySQL / NoSQL, Javascript, and CSS stylesheets, as well as those who can help with documentation and support.  So, bring your passion for Open Source, collaborative content development, Open Content or just changing the world of education. ;-)

If you are sincerely interested in running a test version of DART for your school or district, please join the Google group above, or send an email to John Concilus for more information.

BSSD DART Contacts

The best contacts at the Bering Strait School District regarding DART are:

John Concilus, Coordinator of Educational Technology
225 Polar Bear Avenue
Unalakleet, Alaska 99684
907-624-4237
Email: jconcilus@bssd.org

Gary Jacobson, Educational Technologist
Bering Strait School District
225 Polar Bear Avenue
Unalakleet, Alaska 99684
907-624-4260
Email: gjacobson@bssd.org

Technical Requirements

DART is a free Open Source software package that will run on any Linux-based server running the Linux / Apache / MySQL / PHP ( LAMP) configuration for web services.

If you are considering implementing DART, here are the basics of what you will need from the technical side:

You can link any type of content to support learning to your learning standards in DART - this can be an open collaborative content system like BSSD, or a series vendor or district created learning support materials for those learning outcomes. Those could consist of district, state, national, industry or occupational standards of any type.

We are using MediaWiki 1.16 on our servers currently. Dokuwiki is also a great alternative that does not require a MySQL server to run and operates well on multiple platforms. You could also use Google Docs, a vendor software support resource base for each course, the Common Core standards pages, or just about anything that provides support for your learning objectives. :

For reports:


Installing DART

An installer script has been built for V.1.268, and is included in the current GitHub package download. There is a new README by Cristina and Bolek that gives the basics of installation, and installation documentation section started on this wiki and the GitHub wiki by Krista and John. Additional wiki-based documentation is taking shape with screen shots and (soon) there will be Jing-based screen movies.

Also, don't forget that in order to use DART to its potential, you would need to organize, and input th standards or learning outcomes that you want to track learning progress towards. These could be state, local or national standards, mileposts toward an industry certification, or completion of a college curriculum. It is not limited to traditional schooling indicators, grades or curriculum.

Finally, the supporting instructional resource pages or media would need to be linked to each standard in either a collaborative system such as Mediawiki, or the links from a proprietary system gathered in a list for importing into DART. In our case, we started with 1700 or so pages that were the "stubs", or template pages for each BSSD standard. This is really more the province of the Curriculum and Instruction Department in most school districts rather than a technical matter, but once again, an ideal implementation will require both.

Although our wiki content appears to be part of DART while our teachers and students are using it, in reality any system that links learning support materials to standards would work. These can reside on a different server, or group of other servers if needed.

Contact John Concilus for more information about how you can use DART in your K-12 school, college, university or company for tracking progress toward any sort of standards-based goals.

DART Development / Demonstration Servers

DARTDemo V.1 Version Server

This server is a mirror of the current production version of DART that Bering Strait School District is using. This is where we test changes before uploading them to the BSSD's actual installation. If you need access to this server, contact John Concilus at the BSSD District Office for access credentials.

DART V.1.268 Development Version Server

The DART Development Server is up and running for those who wish to test-drive the changes live from the work being done by the DART community on GitHub. This version is called V.1.268 for the text keypad numbers for CMU, the abbreviation for Carnegie Mellon University. This is to honor the two consultants who gave up the summer of 2011 to contribute to the project.

Although it looks like a school district in Mississippi - the Delta School District - this server uses simulated student, teacher and principal data. Because this is a demonstration and test bed server, the data is frequently dumped and replaced. You can make changes if you would like to see how things work. Please provide feedback if you find bugs!

Also, note that the "tag cloud" views of both group and individual views calculate the highest needs based on BSSD's standards. The links from the standard names in the "tag cloud" go to our wiki-based curriculum site page- resources and instructional strategies - for that individual standard.In a real system, these links would go to resources identified or maintained any district using DART. A group's highest needs "tag cloud" is made up of the common weaknesses they have in the curriculum standards, and the individual view lists the first 30 highest relative needs.

Access Credentials

DART V.1.268 Development Server https://dartdemo2.bssd.org/
DART Demo District

Demo Admin Users

Demo Teacher Users

DART Support

We have support materials for DART V.1 created by BSSD staff for internal use, and V.1/V.1.CMU combined / dynamic tutorials in by the talented and energetic Krista Parker, of Missouri State University in Missouri. This latest documentation is being placed in its own category. In each case, DART is referred to as V.1 (BSSD 2006-Current), or V.1.CMU where things are particularly different.

Combined V.1 / V.1.268 Documentation

These document pages are being completed during the summer of 2011 as the V.1.268 trunk is being built. Krista is fleshing out the pages using workflow outlines, and screen shots from the demonstration versions of DART. The fictional Delta School District (Mississippi) is used for the screen captures. Wherever possible, Krista is labeling the different GUIs so that users can identify key differences.

DART V.1 BSSD Tutorials

The following links go to tutorial pages on each of the topics for teachers, site administrators, district administrators and students. Additional tutorial and documentation materials for DART are being prepared this summer by Krista Parker, a graduate student in Technical Writing from Missouri State University in Missouri.  Click on the link to download the pdf, or follow the link to a wiki page with more information.

DART Training Flow Chart

Have to Know

DART Login Process

DART Creating Groups

DART Editing Groups

DART Toggling

DART Drill Down!

Good to Know, Down the Road

DART Printing Individual Draft Reports

DART Who Toggled Last?

Site Administration and Management

DART Editing Notes

DART Managing Users

General User Information

DART Main Page Information

DART Navigation Bar Information

Personal tools
Namespaces
Variants
Actions
Wiki Navigation
BSSD Websites
About BSSD
BSSD Projects
Toolbox