Learning Technology

Moodle and Rogo training dates

September 25th, 2017

Training dates for University of Nottingham staff have been organised in the next few weeks.  If you can’t make these, check the booking pages regularly, as we will be adding more as our room bookings come through.

Key Moodle Basics (An Introduction to Moodle)

All 2-4 in George Green Library Computer Room A13 (Please book)

  • Wednesday 4th October
  • Wednesday 25th October

Please book at https://training.nottingham.ac.uk/cbs-notts/Guests/GuestCourse.aspx?CourseRef=STFMOODLE

Rogō: An introduction to this online assessment tool (for Staff only)

Wednesday 27th September 2-4 pm University Park

Must be booked at https://training.nottingham.ac.uk/cbs-notts/Guests/GuestCourse.aspx?CourseRef=TouchIntro

Faculty, School and Individual drop-ins and one-to-ones

These are arranged to suit. Contact your Learning Technology Consultant for more details.

  • Claire Chambers, Engineering
  • Sally Hanford, Arts
  • Alvaro Roberts, Science
  • Anne Rockcliffe, Medicine & Health Sciences
  • Helen Whitehead, Social Sciences

Contact learning-technologies@nottingham.ac.uk

Mahara Upgrade: 20/21 September

September 19th, 2017

Mahara will be unavailable from: 10 am Wednesday 20th September to 10 pm Thursday 21st September. This is to upgrade to the latest version.

Mahara is an eportfolio system used to support personalised and community learning. It complements Moodle, which can be seen as the formal, structured type of learning technology. Mahara is the personalised, social, reflective side. It is in pilot phase at the University, used in a few Schools around the institution. Mahara is student-centred and some of its features include:

  • Create portfolios to share with staff and external mentors, showcasing best pieces of work
  • Create an online CV
  • Keep a learning journal or blog
  • Collate evidence of learning against skills and outcomes
  • Create student groups that are like social networks

Contact learning-technologies@nottingham.ac.uk for further information

 


New features in Moodle 3.2

September 1st, 2017

An update of Moodle on 7-8th September takes us to version 3.2. It is predominantly similar to the previous version but has a few new features and some interface updates to make it easier to use. While we do this upgrade, Moodle will be completely unavailable from 8 am on Thursday 7th to 6 pm on Friday 8th September.

A few highlights are:

  • The new Recycle bin means you no longer need worry about losing accidentally deleted course items or courses, as it’s now possible easily to restore them.
  • Dashboard is the new name for My Home and there’s a new profile page with quick links to blog entries, forum posts, badges – and a new preferences page to customise your user experience and notifications
  • Improvements to the Forums mean you can pin a “sticky” post to the top of a thread, reply by email, share links to individual posts (not just threads) and subscribe to individual posts so you can be very selective about exactly what discussions you are notified about.
  • Enhanced features in various activities including four new question types in Quiz, and the ability to select more than one option in Choice (Poll)
  • You can now delete a section with all its contents in one go.
  • There are improvements to the Atto editor particularly relating to creating tables and equations.

We are publishing a series of blog posts about the new features, or new ways to use old features. See

Sending Messages inside Moodle

August 30th, 2017

Moodle 3.2 has new messaging and notifications functions that are easier to use. You can configure for yourself the way you want Moodle to notify you about important events on the web site – you can choose email or direct mobile notifications.  There’ll be more about this in a later blog post.

The Messages function is like an Instant Message or text message which you can use to find and contact any other Moodle user – and it works on any device.

To access Messages drop down your personal menu on the top right of the Moodle page, and select Messages.

In the Messages Window you can search Messages or Contacts

In the bottom left, select which you wish to work with: Messages or Contacts

Clicking Contacts allows you to search for someone. Type their name or part of it into the box.

You can click on their name:

Add them to your contacts (useful for those you contact regularly) or send a message.

 

You can see any messages received from that person.

Type your message and click Send.

Messages may appear on your screen when you log in (worth checking if there’s a new one), or may be received by email or notification on a mobile device.

Moodle My Home becomes Dashboard

August 30th, 2017

In September we will be upgrading Moodle to version 3.2. While it will look very similar to the version we have now, there are some changes will improve the user experience both for students and for staff.

The Dashboard is the new name for My Home, the “home” page for everyone.  With the Dashboard and upgraded Profile dropdown menu, it’s easier to customise the settings in your profile.

Click the arrow next to your name on the top right of the Moodle page and the new dropdown menu looks like this:

Click on Profile to see and edit your profile. You can add a description of yourself as I have (see below). There are quick links to your blog entries, your forum post, your badges and a Grades overview.

The grades overview is one new way to see grades all in one place. In the drop-down profile menu students can click Grades to see their grades from each module they are taking and click into it to see their grades and feedback. These include Moodle, Turnitin and Media assignments. Staff will see links directly to Gradebooks in each of the modules they are teaching.

Click on Messages to access your private messages in Moodle and read or send messages to other users. The Messages interface is much improved in Moodle 3.2 and we’ll cover this in a future blog post.

Click on Preferences to manage your settings to configure how you view Moodle, or how you receive messages and notifications.

In future versions of Moodle there will be even more ways to customise your experience and view progress from your Dashboard

Note: All images and descriptions are based on our 3.2 test Moodle environment and may differ slightly from the live version

At last – undelete in Moodle is possible with the new Recycle Bin

August 8th, 2017

Have you ever accidentally deleted something from Moodle? In the past it was not easy to restore it, involving copies of Moodle, crossing fingers and hoping, and sometimes it was not possible at all.

Moodle 3.2 brings a major improvement is the new feature: Recycle Bin. This allows you to undelete – although it is NOT an Undo button. The Recycle Bin link appears once something has been deleted. Items in the Recycle Bin are permanently deleted after seven days so you do need to act quickly if you delete something by accident.   

Before you delete an item, a reminder message appears:

If you mistakenly click ‘yes’, all is now not lost.

Turn editing off, reload the course page or navigate elsewhere in the course then go to the course Administration block.

The Recycle bin will be visible in the Administration block. There may be a short delay so if you don’t see it immediately, wait a few minutes and try reloading the page.

Click on the Recycle bin and then click the ‘restore’ icon next to the item you’d like to restore.

The item you deleted will be restored to its original location.

Note: Some details may change as we implement the new Moodle features.  The upgrade to Moodle 3.2 will take place  from September 6th-8th, 2017.

Sally Hanford

Moodle downtime September 7th-8th

August 2nd, 2017

Due to the UNNC project transform cutover happening in August, we need to move back the Moodle upgrade from the end of July – when we would normally do an upgrade – to the 7th-8th September.

The upgrade delivers some additional features and it is essential to move to this newer version at this time as the current version will no longer be supported by Moodle HQ. We also want to avoid the situation where we upgrade midway through the year.

Moodle will be down completely for a period in the window of 7th-8th September (8 am UK time on 7th to 6 pm UK time on 8th): we will look to limit the amount of downtime, and we will be able to confirm this detail nearer the time. There will not be a read-only version during this period.

We know the proximity to start of session makes this more disruptive than it usually would be in July and that teaching starts around this time for some people, but in order to get the upgrade in before the main start of session, this is the only possible window available to us. If anyone has any issues they are encouraged to contact us so we can help to mitigate any foreseeable problems.

Staff with questions should not hesitate to contact us at learning-technologies@nottingham.ac.uk

(Edited to add full timings.)

New Rogo training date added – 17 August 2017

August 1st, 2017

Rogo logoA new date for the training course Rogō: An introduction to this online assessment tool has been arranged.

Thursday 17th August      2-4 pm     George Green Library Computer Room (A13)  Booking is essential.

Rogō is the University of Nottingham’s e-assessment management system and is used to create and deliver online assessments both formative and summative.

Rogō supports the full process from question and paper creation (including peer and external examiner reviews) to the analysis of exam results and creation of reports.  Staff can create formative quizzes, summative exams, surveys and several other paper types including peer review: there are more than 15 question types which can be used together with graphics, audio files and video.

Before we create user accounts in Rogo we usually require people to attend the Rogo: An introduction to this online assessment tool training first as there are some important features around settings and content creation that you need to know before setting up a summative assessment.  Sign up to the next training session here.  The session will:

  • Outline the features and advantages of Rogō
  • Demonstrate how to create an online quiz using Rogō
  • Give participants the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of using Rogō
  • Give details of running summative exams in Rogō

Book a  Rogō training session  (Booking essential)

Turnitin Grademark becomes Feedback Studio from 1st August

July 26th, 2017

From 1st August 2017 a new version of Turnitin GradeMark will be available when you are marking Turnitin Assignments in Moodle. The new version is called Feedback Studio and it does the same things you’re used to but with a new interface that’s easier and quicker to use.

If you haven’t yet started to use Turnitin then you’ll find Feedback Studio an effective and useful way to start electronic marking to give feedback to students on their work submitted online.

Some of the new features of Feedback Studio were listed in a previous post on Feedback Studio

The new version of Turnitin: Feedback Studio

And here’s a short video explaining how to use it:

More information from Turnitin

We’ll be providing Help, training and support to get to grips with the changes – if you have any questions, please contact your Faculty Learning Technology Consultant or learning-technologies@nottingham.ac.uk

Thoughts of a graduating student on learning technology

July 19th, 2017

Today I am graduating. After 3 years in Nottingham, it will be time to leave; the end of an era of much learning through technology.

Being a student of International Relations, we did not use Echo 360 or Rogo very much, our platform of choice has always been Moodle. I like having the slides of my lectures printed beforehand to take notes. Having them all in one place alongside the reading for each week made for an easy organisation (even when my lecture was starting 5 min later and I needed to rush to a printer). The tutors who offered every document in .pdf instead of .doc instantaneously became my favourites. Being able to see documents in my browser instead of having to download them has saved me time, computer space, and curse words.

The reading lists were given in different format, whether in the module handbook, divided week by week in the module on Moodle itself, or in one of the online reading lists. They all have their advantages and I appreciated the choice. I like to prepare my reading notes at the start of the semester and would do so by copying the references of each required reading in my OneNote from the module handbook. If I needed direct access to a content, the online reading list was only a click away, as well as the NUSearch website (which has my favour as to the best new version of a website in my time at UoN). It was especially useful when I wanted to know more about modules I was not taking or could not take, by giving me access to articles and books I was curious about. The tutors also frequently gave links to the readings week by week. I especially used them in my first year when I was discovering how to research references and was lost. The opportunity to choose was welcome as my study style transformed during my course.

The other main use of Moodle was through submitting coursework via Turnitin (and the internal Moodle assignments for my Nottingham Advantage Award). Turnitin was relatively easy after the first use. In my first year, all of my coursework was submitted both online and in hard copy, whereas it started to move towards online only in further years (and especially in my last year). Not having to print two hard copies rejoiced my environmentally-conscious mind and if not for my annoyance at having to use the not very adapted version on mobile to get my marks before being home, I would be almost entirely positive about the change. It might feel good to touch the result of a full year’s worth of work in my dissertation, but I am not sure my first essay was worth the paper and ink used to print it.

The main problem with Moodle really is the inability of most people to use it correctly (myself included). The design is quite bland and there are too many links everywhere, but having seen what other schools are capable are doing, I know that it could be more user-friendly and more pleasing for the eyes in only a few clicks and transformation.

There are so many possibilities for learning through technology from interactive lectures with Socrative and peer reviewing on Turnitin to the simplest of .pdf, if only every tutor could learn how to use them and every student how to customise their experience.

This is a guest post from Alix Gabaude, Politics and International Relations.

[Updated to add a photo from today's ceremony.]