Learning Technology

New dates for Key Moodle Basics Training

September 21st, 2018

New dates have been arranged for Key Moodle Basics training courses – all on University Park this time

Friday 28th September     1-3 pm

Wednesday 17th October     2-4 pm

Wednesday 14th November     2-4 pm

Please book here

Eight ways that two monitors make your life easier

September 18th, 2018

More and more University staff are acquiring two display screens. If you can get an extra one, the bigger the better, and you can use them to save time and increase your productivity in a number of ways, especially when marking online. Here are 8 of them:

  1. Have your module’s Moodle page open in a window on one monitor, and the marking page, eg Feedback Studio, in the other.
  2. It’s easy to refer to Help files or videos and keep them open while following the steps in another window..
  3. Have your marking page open in one window and Word in the other, either for a personal rubric or notes or a spreadsheet.
  4. Open the assignment in Word if you prefer to read in that, and make general comments in the other window, rather than using annotation.
  5. If you use a rubric in Feedback Studio: you can pop out the rubric to see it in its entirety which is useful for marking.
  6. Useful for second marking: e.g., you can have a webinar window open (or Skype) and view the papers at the same time as you discuss them.
  7. When updating your module for the coming academic year – you can have last year’s and this year’s open in separate windows: tip, have the old one on the left and the new one the right so you always remember to update the correct one!
  8. Have Word or Xerte Toolkits open at the same time as Moodle
  • to create resources
  • to create a Module Handbook

Writing questions for quizzes in Moodle and Rogo

September 13th, 2018

Rogo e-assessmentWriting questions, such as multiple choice questions, for quizzes and tests, isn’t always easy. I like to try out quizzes sometimes and see if I can score well just by knowing how the questions work. It’s amazing how many online courses, MOOCs etc. I could have passed by gaming the quizzes…

Pitfalls to avoid

  • Try not to give clues for the correct option, e.g.,
  • Grammatical such as ending the stem with ‘an’ or ‘a’
  • Logical such as the correct item appearing in each option
  • Options that do not follow the stem grammatically or logically
  • Correct option is longer or more specific than others
  • Repeating a word in the correct option that is in the stem
  • Correct option includes the most element in common with other options
  • Avoid vague terms such ‘rarely’, ‘usually’, ‘always’ and ‘never’
  • Avoid negative questions such as ‘which of the following are not…’

Good practice

  • Put most of the detail in the stem and keep options short and roughly the same length
  • Make the options similar in grammatical structure and complexity
  • Ensure all distractors are plausible
  • Look at common errors and misconceptions as a source of distractors

Rogo-specific advice

  • Dichotomous and Extended Matching questions should have more than 1 stem. If not it is best to use an MCQ.
  • Only use Multiple Response when there is more than 1 correct option, otherwise use MCQ.
  • Multiple Response – If have 5 options where 4 are correct, the user can get 4 marks even if they select the 1 incorrect as well as 3 correct. Would be better as a MCQ asking for the 1 incorrect although negative questions not advised!
  • For image hotspots ensure the hotspot area is drawn correctly

Further Details

Case, S.M. & Swanson, DB. (1998) Constructing Written Test Questions for the Basic and Clinical Sciences. National Board of Medical Examiner
http://www.nbme.org/pdf/itemwriting_2003/2003iwgwhole.pdf Accessed 13th September 2018

Case, S.M. (1994) The use of imprecise terms in examination questions: how frequent is frequently? Academic Medicine
Accessed 13th September 2018

Collins, J. (2006). Writing Multiple-Choice Questions for Continuing Medical Education Activities and Self-Assessment Modules RadioGraphics, 26, 543-551  https://pubs.rsna.org/doi/10.1148/rg.262055145  Accessed 13th September 2018

Fray, R. F. (1995) More Multiple-Choice Item Writing Dos and Don’ts, ERIC/AE Digest https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED398238  Accessed 13th September 2018

Questions about or problems with Moodle Quiz or Rogo?

Please contact the Learning Team at learning-team-support@nottingham.ac.uk

How to add a Twitter widget to Moodle

September 7th, 2018

Step 1 – Twitter

  1. Go to publish.twitter.com
  2. Enter the URL of what you would like to embed, e.g.
    https://twitter.com/LTNottingham   to embed a user’s tweets, or e.g., #UoNFreshers to embed tweets with a hashtag (options are given on the page)
  3. Select Embedded timeline
  4. Edit  customization options if you wish (size might be most appropriate)
  5. Click Copy Code
  6.  Open a text editor (such as Notepad in Windows) and paste the text into there

Step 2 – Moodle

  1. Log in to Moodle (you will need to be an Editor or Editing teacher)
  2. Go to your module
  3. Click the ‘Turn editing on’ icon at top right
  4. Drop down the navigation menu (Hamburger menu)
  5. Scroll down to ‘Add a block’ and click it
  6. From the drop down menu choose the block:  ‘HTML’
  7. Wait for the screen to refresh and then scroll down to the bottom of the right-hand column again, where you will see
    (new HTML block)
  8. Click on the Edit/configure icon (cogwheel) for that block
  9. Click Configure (new HTML block)
  10. Give it a title (e.g., My tweetstream)
  11. In the Content box click the down arrow to reveal the second row of formatting icons and then the code icon – that looks like <> next but one to the right in the bottom row of editing icons
  12.  Paste in the code text you saved above
  13.  Click ‘Save changes’
    You will not normally need to change any other settings
  14.  Click ‘Save changes’

Return to the home screen where you will see your tweets appear.


Moodle 3.4 Roadshows

September 4th, 2018

If you’d like to know more about the new features and look of Moodle, why not come along to a roadshow and see a demo and ask any questions.

Thursday 6th September Arts Centre B8 10 – 10.30 am
Thursday 6th September Hallward 101 3 – 3.30 pm
Wednesday 12th September Trent Performing Art Studio (LG18) 2 – 2.30 pm
Wednesday 19th September Coates C24 Noon – 12.30 pm
Thursday 20th September Clive Granger A31 10 – 10.30 am
Thursday 20th September B05 Lecture Block Building, Sutton Bonington 12:30 – 13.30 pm
Thursday 20th September A05, XU Yafen (Amenities Building), Jubilee 3 – 3.30 pm
Friday 21st September Humanities A21 10 – 10.30 am
Wednesday 26th September Arts Centre B8 2 – 2.30 pm
Wednesday 3rd October Trent A21 (Council Room) 2 – 2.30 pm

Most of these sessions include a drop-in element so you can get personal advice.


Moodle upgraded: security enhancements

September 4th, 2018

The recent upgrade to Moodle 3.4 has also made Moodle more secure, ensuring that the site is now fully https compliant. This means that any link to an insecure website with a web address starting ‘http:’ will fail. This includes some internal links to Moodle where you have created those links yourself, perhaps key links in  side blocks.

The error message looks like this:

An immediate fix is to edit the URL shown to start with https://moodle… instead of http://moodle… or just moodle….

We will be completing some work soon to redirect ‘http:’ links to ‘https:’ links so that where possible they continue to work. However, it may not be possible to link to some sites that start http. If you experience any problems with links then get in touch and we will be happy to look at them for you and advise on what can be done.


This video may help:

FutureTeacher webinar: Using video Wednesday 26th September 1 pm

September 3rd, 2018

This month’s FutureTeacher webinar is Rich media part 3 – using video.

It’s on Wednesday 26th September 13:00 GMT

The FutureTeacher team invite anyone interested in teaching using video, as follows:

Video clips can make resources more engaging and explanations infinitely clearer. They can also ‘humanise’ resources by making the tutor ‘present’ in the resource. We explore how and where to source videos and how to use them creatively – and inclusively – in teaching and learning. We will also discuss the myriad of tools, techniques and caveats around curating, creating, editing and using video, in its extremely wide variety of forms, productively and effectively. As always, the Future Teacher resources we create will be creative commons resources that you can adapt for your own institutional training purposes.

How you can help:
1. Contribute your own experience/expertise as a guest presenter. We’d really like to hear from you asap if you are interested in delivering a guest speaker slot during the webinar. If you are please contact us directly via futureteacher @ learningapps.co.uk.
2. Join the Future teacher mailing list if you haven’t already and share your own examples and resources of how you use video in your own practice.
3. Take part in the pre session activities – we’ll be releasing three short video clips over the next few weeks. They’ll each have identical core content but we’ll be using different video approaches to communicate it – take part in the discussions and comparisons.
4. Pass on this information to your own networks.
5. Come to the session and – ideally – bring a friend.

As always, we’d ask you to only sign up to the webinar if you intend to attend on the day – this helps with planning and with purchasing appropriate online capacity. All sessions are recorded and made available through the FutureTeacher mailing list but the real value is participating in a live community with diverse experiences.

Sign up at https://xot.futureteacher.eu/play.php?template_id=4

Keep the date:
Hundreds of teachers, lecturers, tutors, trainers etc have contributed to and benefitted from FutureTeacher webinars over the last year. We are currently planning the UK’s Future Teacher conference event at the University of York on 9 Jan 2019. We’d love to meet you and your colleagues face to face – more information to come, but hold the date for now!


Introduction to new Moodle – video

August 10th, 2018

We will be completing the Moodle upgrade to version 3.4 on Monday 3rd September between 1 pm and 8 pm UK time. The upgrade will bring various improvements to the look and feel of Moodle, as well as some new features, including:

  • a new, clearer and more intuitive Moodle theme
  • a clearer Module overview
  • new navigation and menu layouts
  • new icons
  • a two column layout
  • tabbed content
  • functional improvements to the grader report

This short video explains many of the changes:

AnswerGarden – wordcloud feedback

August 2nd, 2018

AnswerGarden.ch is a brainstorming and quick feedback tool. You can create word clouds from answers given by learners or participants in sessions. It can be used for real-time audience participation, online brainstorming and classroom feedback.  You create a topic and ask participants to reply – the ideal question would have many one-word answers.

You can use various options including creating a password so that only your class will use it, and add an admin password so that you can moderate the replies: this addresses one of my big bugbears about anonymous response tools – avoiding rude or irrelevant language. It’s easy to create and looks good: at the moment it is free. There is an iPad app.

A bug I found was that once created it took me to the wrong AnswerGarden after being created (and sent me the wrong link by email!). I had to edit the URL to the previous number in order to see mine…  And although the domain is .ch, AnswerGarden is developed in The Netherlands.

Try our AnswerGarden     Or this one


Moodle rollover 18/19

July 26th, 2018

The creation of modules for 18/19 and rollover of content is now taking place. You will be advised through your School when your modules are available to start editing in the next few weeks.

Please do not edit your 17/18 modules as they will be archived “as taught”.  Changes can be made freely in the modules for the new academic year 18-19.

The process is taking a bit longer this year because of transitions in student record systems: if you need your 18/19 modules urgently, please just let us know and we will do what we can to help (learning-technologies@nottingham.ac.uk)