Learning Technology

Emailing students from Moodle: email issues

October 7th, 2019

The easiest way to email students from Moodle is to use the Announcements feature.  When there is a problem with email, there are alternatives.

As of 4 October we have been advised of a problem with intermittent failure of the email servers to respond to Moodle, affecting the delivery of forum emails and Announcements from Moodle. Some emails from Moodle modules are not being received by students. We have reported this to IS who are looking into it.

Until this is fixed we recommend that staff also contact students via a different email route, such as via myNottingham, or by creating an email list from Moodle.

To use Moodle to create an email list for your students ,

  • Go to the module
  • Drop down the Hamburger menu
  • Click Participants

  • At the bottom of the page click “Select all [NO] Users”  or “Select all”
    (Unclick any staff you don’t want to get the message if you wish)
  • Drop down the Choose menu
  • Select Download Table data as Microsoft Excel
  • Open the spreadsheet, remove the header row. (And another chance to delete other staff from the list)
  • Select the email address column and copy
  • Paste into an email address field in a new email
  • Keep the spreadsheet for next time, or download each time if you prefer or if student enrolments have changed


Daily drop-in support for staff during October

October 1st, 2019

E06 Bean BagsFollowing the success of the ‘Open House’ sessions in the Digital Solutions Hub  (E06, Teaching and Learning Building, UP), the Learning Technology team and Digital Learning Directors have agreed to extend the support available to staff who are grappling with the use of digital tools and technologies in their teaching via a daily Digital Skills Open Workshop – which will be running from 9 am – midday, every day throughout October.

Staff and devices will be on-hand for one-on-one support with all things digital in teaching – from Moodle, to online marking, to lecture capture, to active learning in lectures and beyond.  There is no need to book – just come along to the Digital Solutions Hub any morning that you have some time, and there will be help and support ready for you.

Digital Drop In

How to see if a module is hidden from students

September 25th, 2019

To see whether a module is hidden from students, go into the module and look at the Year End and Archive block. This can be found normally at the top of the right-hand column and is visible only to staff. not students.

If the orange message is present “Module hidden from students” then it is hidden and students will not be able to see it.

Also, if the module name is greyed out in the breadcrumb trail it is hidden

Click Edit Settings on the Cogwheel menu and the visibility item is the fourth one down. (See below.)

Change to Show to make it visible to students


Xerte Online Toolkits Upgrade

September 2nd, 2019

We would like to advise University of Nottingham Xerte Online Toolkits users that we will be upgrading our version of Xerte Online Toolkits to version 3.7 on Friday 13th September at 9.00am. The service will be unavailable for approximately one hour while we carry out the upgrade.

Please see the release notes for details of the new features that will be available after the upgrade.

If you have any questions regarding the upgrade, or any other aspect of Xerte, please let Fay Cross know or contact Learning Technologies.

Open Badges Backpack changing to Badgr: last chance to move your badges

August 21st, 2019

For some time now users have been able to keep track of their Open Badges – such as those we offer for completing Your University Journey and some Health and Safety modules – using Mozilla’s Open Badges Backpack platform.

Mozilla  has been aiming to close down this platform for a while and this will be happening tomorrow on August 22nd. There are ways to move your badges to an alternative platform, Badgr, and if you haven’t already moved your badges, now is your last chance.

Mozilla states that it will continue to be an Open Badges champion. Badgr is a free and open source platform so thought to be more sustainable.  You can read more about the change here.

Microsoft Teams Meetings 2: recording a meeting

August 10th, 2019

Here’s how to record your meeting in a Microsoft Teams meeting.

Once you’re in the meeting (I’ve blurred my background here: see Blurring your background for how to do this) mouse over the image to bring up the menu bar.

Teams Menu Bar

Click the three dots for More actions.

You can then click Start recording

Don’t forget to tell other attendees that they are being recorded.

Microsoft Teams Meeting Start Recording

When you need to stop recording – it’s on the same menu.

Microsoft Teams Meeting Stop Recording

You can find your recording in Stream.

Microsoft Teams Meetings 1: blurring your background

August 3rd, 2019

Many of us at the University work in open plan offices, but we still have cause to use Microsoft Teams Meetings for a live online meeting with colleagues.

To prevent colleagues being visible to the other attendees via your webcam, or to obscure confidential or irrelevant material in your physical environment, it’s possible to blur your background in the call. This background blur is able to blur your surroundings while leaving you yourself clear and visible.

To activate Background Blur during meetings

When you go into the meeting, select the setting for Blur My Background as in the image below

Teams Meeting How To Blur

This results in your background being blurred as illustrated below:

It isn’t perfect (I notice some of my hair has disappeared into the blur!) but it can very much reduce background distractions. It can be particularly useful if you’re joining a call from a public place or home.

Annual Teaching and Learning conference #1 (Nottingham)

July 26th, 2019

Friday May 3rd 2019 saw colleagues from across the University come together for the annual Teaching and Learning conference on the theme of universal design. This yearly event is a great opportunity for the University community to share best practice and network with colleagues. This year over 250 attendees filled the large lecture theatre in the new (yet to be named) state-of-the-art and award-winning Teaching and Learning Building (see Endnote), making time to reflect about their teaching practice and future opportunities and challenges.

Welcoming participants, Professor Sarah O’Hara, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education and Student Experience, invited participants to embrace the opportunity to share best practice and explore how the University teaching and learning agenda can be developed and moved forward. Sarah encouraged us to use the day to reflect, share and improve our practice and push the boundaries, with a view to ensuring that our students have the skills, resilience and creativity that they will need to succeed in their future lives.

Professor Sarah Speight, University Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning announced the formation of the Education Excellence Team, merging the Quality Assurance and Quality Enhancement Teams. A new web site, where you can learn more about the team’s activities, has recently been launched.

Fiona McCulloughDr Tina Byrom and Dr Fiona McCullough gave an update about improvements to the Teaching and Learning Observation College. Dr McCullough showed a video of academic staff talking about changes to the Observation College. The initiative encourages teaching staff to enter into dialogue with colleagues. ‘Gradations of formality’ have been introduced so that observations can, if preferred, be carried out on a completely informal basis. An online service will be introduced in the next academic year that will bring together observers and observees, making it easier for colleagues to support one another. The service will send automated reminders that will prompt participants to reflect on previous observation sessions.

Did you attend the Teaching and Learning Conference? Did you attend a session that we have not talked about here? We would love to hear your feedback.


The new Teaching and Learning building includes:

  • a 306-seat lecture theatre with triple projection and a Windows Surface Hub (A03)
  • 16 classrooms with Windows Surface Hubs
  • a 50-seat computer lab equipped with Engineering-specification software (C17)
  • multiple individual and group study spaces (bookable by students)
  • an interactive seminar room with presenting screens (D08)
  • a learning lab with group-study Windows Surface Hubs (D02)
  • a state-of-the-art performance studio (B02)

A full list of rooms in the Teaching and Learning Building and the available technology may be found in the Teaching room equipment guide.


Moodle 3.6 Upgrade: New Module Overview

July 26th, 2019

Now that we’ve upgraded to Moodle 3.6 (July 2019) the main change you will see is in your Module Overview. This gives you a more visual tiled view of the modules you are enrolled on, and can be sorted, filtered and displayed in various ways.

module overview

There’s a Recently Accessed block, and a Timeline block for seeing deadlines.  And you can “star” or favourite modules you wish to return to most often as well as Hide from your own view those you don’t want to see.

For more information:

Because users now see a signature module image on their Dashboard when enrolled in a module, you may wish to provide an image for your own module (the default is a monochrome pattern).

To create and upload your own module image see: How to add a module overview image

Moodle 3.6 upgrade – troubleshooting

July 25th, 2019

Some users with the Chrome browser have experienced display issues with Moodle since the upgrade. We recommend clearing your cache and cookies and this should solve the problem.

Some of the issues reported have been

  • Unable to click some links
  • Icons not appearing, or wrong icons appearing
  • Text and links jumbled up
  • Turnitin submit window too small

If you experience these or any other display issues while using Chrome, please try clearing your cache as follows:

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click More (or the three dots) .
  3. Click Settings
  4. Scroll down and click Advanced
  5. Under Privacy and Security click the arrow next to Clear browsing data
  6. Next to “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files,” check the boxes.
  7. Click Clear data.
  8. Log out of Moodle, close the browser and reopen and login again

Other browsers

If you have issues with any other browsers you can find out more about clearing your cache at Refresh Your Cache

If you have any display or formatting issues that aren’t cleared in this way, please get in touch with learning-technologies@nottingham.ac.uk