Learning Technology

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 6th-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 6th-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 6th-8th September: 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

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.]

Online Facilitation course running in July

July 4th, 2017

Online Facilitation and Designing for Engagement is a short online course that aims to provide those teaching or planning to teach an online or blended course with ideas, techniques and skills to design and facilitate engaging activities for learning online.

In this course – which takes place completely within Moodle – you’ll learn how to design engaging online activities that motivate students and promote learning in completely online/distance courses or as part of a blended course. You will practice the essential skills of online facilitation: how to initiate and keep the discussion going with a minimum of intervention.

This entirely online course will take about 6-7 hours spread (reasonably evenly) over two weeks. You will be expected to engage in online activities which develop and build practical skills.

It will be complemented by an optional short course (3-4 hours) in using Adobe Connect to run synchronous online events, meetings, tutorials and webinars. Either course can be taken separately.

Starts Wednesday 19th July until Tuesday 1st August. (Note that Moodle will be in read-only mode from 5 pm UK time 1st August to 6 pm UK time 3rd August.)

Contact helen.whitehead@nottingham.ac.uk for more information or book on the course.

Escape from Paper Mountain – an alternative way to learn about online marking

July 3rd, 2017

Would you like to try a new way of learning about online marking? A new version of Turnitin GradeMark is coming in August – from 1st August Feedback Studio will be available. It does everything that GradeMark did but the interface is cleaned up and much easier to use, plus there are a few new features. For anyone who’s new to marking with Turnitin or would like an easy upgrade session to look at the new Feedback Studio, we are offering – as well as the usual classroom-based and online training – an Escape Game, Escape from Paper Mountain.

Dr T R Nitin has been doing his marking but he has disappeared!

The Exam Board are meeting in 60 minutes. Before then you, his colleagues, need to finish his marking for him – he has done it all but you’ll need to enter missing marks and feedback into Moodle.  He obviously went a bit mad while he was marking – while the marking has been done, the assignments and details of feedback and marks are scattered around his room and most of them aren’t yet in Moodle. Can you solve the clues he’s left, finish his marking in time – and then find Dr Nitin?

We devised this Escape Game to offer a playful and problem-solving approach to choosing and implementing online marking. We aim to empower staff to feel more comfortable and confident with these particular learning technologies and to then be more able to take advantage of further focused help and training as required.

According to Wikipedia an Escape Room is “a physical adventure game in which players are locked in a room and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles and escape within a set time limit, or having completed a mission.” An Escape Game may take place in a locked room scenario or may be a “pop-up” or mobile game. In education, including HE, the concept of an escape game with puzzles has begun to be used to meet specific learning outcomes as well as for collaborative and problem-solving soft skills development for both students and staff.

Escape from Paper Mountain takes about one hour (including debrief) and is designed for groups of 4-8 staff per game (multiple games may be run). It’s suitable for any staff involved in online marking using Feedback Studio. We expect to extend the game for staff marking using Moodle Assignment, so please get in touch if you’d like to try the game from that perspective. The Game can be booked by groups or Schools by contacting learning-technologies@nottingham.ac.uk

“I was dreading an hour’s online marking training, as I am so busy, but this was different. It was really enjoyable and I feel energised for the rest of the day!”  Participant, June 2017

Moodle and Rogo cutover dates – some downtime 1 / 3 August

June 29th, 2017

Professor Sarah O’Hara, PVC for Education and the Student Experience, has written: As you will be aware, the implementation of Campus Solutions will mean a change to all of our module codes.  We are now ready to make these changes to the codes for modules running on the UNNC campus in 2017-18.  Only the module code in the title of the module will be changing. Module content will not be affected, and links to reading lists and lecture captures will be automatically updated.

 Moodle and Rogo downtime for all campuses

We will be updating the system from 5pm UK time (midnight CN/MY) on Tuesday 1st  August to 6pm UK time (1am CN/MY) on Thursday 3rd  August. Both Moodle and Rogo will be unavailable during this time across all campuses (China, Malaysia and UK) but revision-only versions of the systems will be available to support students who are undergoing exams in the resit period later in August.

Please note that this work requires a short period of complete downtime for Moodle and Rogo between 6pm and 8pm UK time (1am and 3am CN/MY) on 1st  August while we turn the read-only revision versions on. Then, on 3 August, a brief period of downtime before we return to the full versions.

This work is being carefully planned to minimise disruption to our normal business. As you know, these changes are necessary to change the source of authority from Saturn to Campus Solutions.

Any questions

Please do not hesitate to contact learning-technologies@nottingham.ac.uk if you have any questions about the downtime for Moodle and Rogo.  Both staff and students will receive reminders about this over the coming weeks. We would greatly appreciate your support in disseminating this information.

Webinar: Lego for creative strategic thinking with MBA students 20th June

June 9th, 2017

A Teaching and Learning Conversation – Interactive PODCAST
Lego for creative strategic thinking with MBA students
Tuesday 20th June 12-30-13.30 (UK Time)

With Dr Lisa Day, Director of Studies – Online MBA, University of Liverpool
And Dr Jeannie Holstein, Module Convenor Strategic Management MBA, University of Nottingham

This conversation is an opportunity to share with you our experiences of using Lego to stimulate creative strategic thinking with MBA students. We both attended a workshop session run by Dr David Oliver from the University of Sydney Business School in 2015 and came away with a great deal of enthusiasm about trying out his ideas with our students. We will share with you some of the theory behind using Lego to encourage students to work through strategic problems in a way that is collaborative, reflective and creative. We will try to make our talk participative so you get a chance to try a few things and not just listen to us. We both have experience of running a taught classroom-based session(s) that lasts between 1 hour and 3 hours for about 5 to 25 MBA students. We will share our experiences from running these classes and the lessons that we learned from putting David’s ideas into practice. If you don’t teach strategy or MBA students then you will still, we hope, pick up lots of ideas that you could adapt for other audiences.

Dr Jeannie Holstein is Assistant Professor at Nottingham University Business School and convenes and teaches on the Strategic Management Module on their MBA. She gained her PhD from Nottingham in 2014. Her first degree was in Modern History at Oxford University and she completed an Executive MBA at the University of Nottingham in 2005. An experienced business strategist, she worked in the fine china industry for a leading European consumer brand in her first career, running its UK subsidiary, prior to transitioning to an academic career. Jeannie’s research interest lies in the narrative practice of strategy and she recently published work from her thesis in the journal Strategic Organization. She had no clue that Lego could be so usefully employed in the classroom until enlightenment in Vancouver in 2015.

Dr Lisa Day is a senior lecturer with the University of Liverpool and Director of Studies for their Online MBA programme. She recently moved to the university from London Metropolitan University where she taught MBA Strategic Management for over 11 years. Earlier this year she gained her PhD from Bath University, in the area of ‘Strategy as Practice’, and is now working to publish her research. Lisa also has an MA in Higher Education and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She became interested in using Lego with MBA students after attending a workshop, along with Jeannie, at the Academy of Management Conference in Vancouver in 2015.

To find out how to join the conversation see https://tlcwebinars.wordpress.com/

App of the day: Tricider

June 5th, 2017

Tricider is a social voting tool. Create a question, collect ideas and solutions, add pros and cons, and vote for the best. Examples in Tricider’s Public Idea Space include, e.g.,

It could be used by app designers to collect ideas to improve their apps, by businesspeople to test out a marketing idea, or of course by teachers and lecturers as part of teaching and learning. It can be used to encourage students to collaborate, discuss and argue for a solution, to brainstorm answers. Students can create their own “tricisions”.

You can provide links to the “tricision”: Here is What is the best way to learn a language?


Or embed it in a blog or webpage wherever iframes are accepted (including our Moodle).

Tricider is currently free to use and does not require registration, although you get more features if you register (free). You can turn the discussion into a context with prizes. It works on smartphones and mobile devices

As with all third party apps and websites, there is never a guarantee that content will be secure and accessible at a later date, so you should copy and/or download activity content at the end of the time period allotted, especially if used in any way for assessment. Voting results from Tricider can be saved in Excel format and can be presented as graphs.

There are plenty of voting apps of various types, but I think the value of this tool is the ability to add arguments for and against a statement. It allows for a focused debate to be developed.