Learning Technology

How to print off a list of students in a Moodle module

February 12th, 2016

Did you know it’s a simple matter to print off a list of your students in a Moodle module?  There’s no button marked “Print a student list” but all you have to do is print it from the Gradebook. There’s a little work involved in removing extraneous information, but it’s still a matter of seconds.

In your module:

  • go to the Administration block
  • Click Grades
  • At the top (next to Grader report) drop down the menu and select Export>Export to Excel
  • Unclick everything under Grade items to be included
  • Click Submit
  • You can now click Download to get a spreadsheet which can be saved, edited (e.g., to remove all columns other than names) and printed.

Teaching and Learning seminar series Feb-June 2016

February 4th, 2016

The Transforming Teaching team and the Learning Technology section invite colleagues to a series of events addressing shared issues of interest in teaching and supporting learning. Most seminars are presented by academic colleagues who will discuss their practice and students’ response to new initiatives. This series will continue to feature academic use of learning technologies.

Save the dates! More information will be available nearer the time.  See www.nottingham.ac.uk/tld/events

Wed 17 Feb 2016 12.30-2pm        A39 Sir Clive Granger Building, University Park
Students supporting student learning
PASS with Stephen Cox and the Vet School Twitter Revision Club with Liz Mossop

Wed 9 Mar 2016 12.30-2pm     C27 Coates Building, University Park
Copyright and e-learning: panel discussion
Tony Simmonds and a panel of academics

Wed 23 Mar 2016 12.30-2pm     Physics and Astronomy Building, University Park
Quality in Teaching conference

Wed 6 Apr 2016 12.30-2pm      A17 Maths Building, University Park
Gamification and ludology

Wed 4 May 2016 12.30-2pm     A33 Food Sciences, Sutton Bonington
Facilitating online learning

Wed 18 May 2016 12.30-2pm     A39 Sir Clive Granger Building, University Park
The Senior Tutor Network, personal tutoring and development

Tue 31 May 2016 12.30-2pm     C29 Physics and Astronomy Building, University Park
Your University Journey: a NOOC review

Students supporting student learning: T&L Seminar (ELC) 17 Feb

February 4th, 2016

Ways for students to offer one another peer support can vary widely from small face to face groups to use of social media such as Twitter. Our expanded series of Teaching & Learning Seminars (for the Elearning Community and other academics and teaching support staff) continues in February with a session on the theme of students supporting each others’ learning.

Dr Steve Cox (Mathematical Sciences) will talk about a scheme in his school where undergraduates in their second year and beyond assist first-years in their transition to university. PASS [Peer Assisted Study Support] leaders hold fortnightly, timetabled sessions for typically a dozen students each. These cover areas ranging from mathematical topics through exam strategies and module choice to advice on where to seek general help and information. The scheme has already proved to be popular with and beneficial to both the first-years and the PASS leaders. Dr Cox will explain how and why.

At the other end of the undergraduate life cycle, the Vet School runs an evening revision club for fourth and final year undergraduates through Twitter. It helps students to develop their reasoning skills and revise important topics and also demonstrates a professional way of using social media. Students interact with the host and with each other. The #vetfinals hashtag is used and student reps subsequently use Storify to record the session and store the result on WordPress, thereby creating further useful revision resources. Dr Liz Mossop will talk about how the sessions are run, why students use them and ask whether this learning is “peer assisted” or “tutor led”.

Date: Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

Time: 12.30 p.m. with hot drinks from 12.15 p.m.

Location: A39, Sir Clive Granger Building, University Park

To be sure we have enough tea and coffee, please e-mail laura.dominguez@nottingham.ac.uk if you intend to be present.

January in the blog

February 1st, 2016

This January in the blog we had “Five minutes with…” colleagues  Angelique Bodart, Learning Technology Consultant for the Faculty of Engineering, and  Shakeel Ahmed, systems testing guru, and looked at the Students as Change Agents project while giving advice on  How to get a screenshot of anything on your screen

Last year we concentrated a bit more on working in Moodle:

If you have any ideas or suggestions as to what you’d like to see in the blog, do contact learning-technologies@nottingham.ac.uk and let us know.

Xerte Conference 2016

January 31st, 2016

The Xerte Project is pleased to announce its 2016 conference returning to the UK this year and to be held at the University of Nottingham on 14th April 2016.

The last twelve months have been the most exciting in the history of the project, with its transition to the Apereo Foundation, the release of v3.0 and then v3.1 of Xerte Online Toolkits and the continued growth of the fantastic global community of users and developers.

This event will provide an opportunity to hear about the very latest developments and future plans from the project team and to learn more about the Apereo Foundation and the exciting opportunities it brings.

The Xerte conference team would also like to showcase the fantastic work that is going on in the user community and are inviting proposals for inclusion in a really exciting programme for the day. Submit your proposal here: http://goo.gl/forms/A4o3rNglqP


Three strands of presentations to suit everyone from the newest users to the technical wizards, and there are already some fantastic speakers lined up. The programme will evolve between now and the actual event but topics will include Accessibility, Learning Design, Workflows, Collaboration, Student Generated Content, Digital Storytelling, Complementary tools & techniques, Templates and Customisation and of course news of all the latest features and developments! Full programme details will be continually updated and available here: http://xot.xerte.org.uk/play.php?template_id=1

Fees & Booking:

There is a fee to attend this year but after conference fees any remaining funds will contribute towards further Xerte developments and community support.

Early-bird prices for the first 50 tickets sold are now on sale but will disappear fast. Numbers for the event are also limited, so book your place now!


Developer day 15th April:

If you’d like to get actively involved in helping to develop and improve one of the most innovative and exciting open-source projects, the main conference will be followed by a day-long meeting of the existing development team and anyone new who wishes to contribute. This second day on the 15th will be free to attend. Contact us or indicate on the booking form if you are interested in attending on the 15th and joining the Xerte developer and contributor community.

Curriculum Interventions: Information Skills and Online Reading Lists: T&L Seminar (ELC) 3 Feb

January 22nd, 2016

Interventions from the library (LRLR) at key points in the curriculum can have a powerful impact on students’ academic attainment as well as their overall satisfaction with library resources.

Elizabeth Newall (Senior Librarian, Teaching and Learning Support) will present LRLR’s Suite of Information Skills Interventions for Taught Course Students, which has already attracted over 10,000 student attendances in 275 lectures and workshops during the first semester of 2015/16.  She will explain the extensive review that led to the new information skills offer for 2015/16, talk through the interventions themselves, report how schools and departments have embedded interventions in their curricula, and share the first student feedback.         

Sarah Davies (Collections Librarian) will provide an overview of the online reading list system. She will demonstrate the ease with which reading lists can be created and maintained, along with some of the functionality offered by the system. This includes the Dashboard feature, which gives usage analytics enabling module convenors to see how students are interacting with each item on the list once it is online. If you can’t make the talk but would like to know more, watch this short promotional video where academic staff and students talk about their experiences of using online reading lists.

Date: Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Time: 12.30 p.m. with hot drinks from 12.15 p.m.

Location: B01, ESLC [Engineering and Science Learning Centre], University Park

To be sure we have enough tea and coffee, please e-mail laura.dominguez@nottingham.ac.uk if you intend to be present.

Five minutes with… Shakeel Ahmed

January 14th, 2016

Shakeel Ahmed is responsible for the testing of all systems developed and used by LRLR Learning Technology. These include systems like Moodle, Rogo and Mahara. He checks that all changes made to these systems work and that we don’t have any problems with them before they are made available for staff and students to use.

What 3 words describe you?

Considered, Pragmatic, Relaxed

Tell us something ‘unusual’ about yourself

I’ve played every single Grand Theft Auto game, even the old ones with the top down views, including the little known GTA London.

What excites you about learning technology?

Some people say we are living in times where the speed at which technology evolves is amazing. I think what’s really amazing is the speed at which we are incorporating this new technology in all aspects of our lives. Teaching and Learning should be no different. Young people today adapt to new technology and new uses of technology almost instantly, it’s completely normal for them to see new ways of using technology regularly. These same young people are our clients, we should be as technologically adaptable as they are. The challenge in doing that really excites me.

Your top tip(s)?

If you are reporting a problem, provide details.

  • What were you doing?
  • What went wrong?
  • What did you expect to happen?
  • What data was used (what page were you on, what module were you in, which assignment, which user account was used when the problem happened?)

Also include screenshots, a picture paints a thousand words.

What do you think will be the most important thing in learning technology at the University of  Nottingham in 2015/16?

2015/16 will be dominated by the Transform project. The most important thing to happen this year will be the impact that will have on systems and process in Learning Technology at UoN.

What have you learned recently?

I recently learnt how to use a tool called Jmeter. It was used to mimic user activity on the Rogo system as part of the load testing carried out to improve the performance of Rogo.

More in the Five minutes with… series

How to get a screenshot of anything on your screen

January 8th, 2016

There are all sorts of reasons why you might want to create a screenshot. If something’s gone wrong and you need to contact the HelpDesk, it’s useful to send an image of your whole screen, or just an error message (or the lack of one!). You might want to save part of a video or recording for future reference (e.g., while watching an online lecture, for your notes). You might want to save something for your own inspiration (a great course design or presentation template, a craft item, a home decor idea).

Copyright is of course, all-important. It’s OK to save images for your own purposes but don’t repurpose, republish or distribute unless the copyright of the original web page including text and images permits this. So it’s not OK to screenshot an image because the owner has prevented download, and use it in your online course.

The simplest way to take a screenshot is to use the facilities built into to your computer. Tap the Print Screen [prt sc] button on PCs. On Macs use Command+shift+4 then click and drag around the area you want to take a shot of. On iPhone or iPad press and hold the Sleep/Wake button, then immediately press and release the Home button (the screenshot can be found in your Photos app). On Android press and hold the power and volume-down buttons together.

These actions take a shot of your whole screen, and you then need to use a photo or drawing editor to cut them down to the bit you actually want to send.  Using a specific app can allow you to take a shot of a small portion of the screen or even the full web page that you have to scroll to see on screen.  Command+shift+4 on Macs alreadyallows you to choose the area to screenshot

Greenshot is a free PC program that offers the same option . Once installed (it’s open source) whenever you click Print Screen you get the option to define an area on the screen – via click and drag – and to save the resulting image in a variety of ways, including as PNG, JPG or GIF for use online.

SnagIt by TechSmith  is one of the best to pay for. (About £20 for an Education licence)

Creating graphics for online use

If you need a graphic for your blog, online course or  Moodle module:  the quickest way to create it is to do it in Word or Powerpoint, whichever is the program you’re most familiar with graphics in.  Then use one of the above programs to screenshot that graphic, save it as a PNG, JPG or GIF and use it in your course.

Students as Change Agents – an insight

January 6th, 2016

Stephen Cox along with the Maths Change Agents Team for 2015-16

In Learning Technology we take seriously the University’s commitment to engage students in evaluation, innovation and curriculum design of their learning experience. Our colleague Carina Neil coordinates the Students as Change Agents initiative. This involves students running a number of innovative projects, supported by staff and with School approval.

The wide range of themes includes setting up peer assisted learning schemes, developing new modules and making improvements to feedback. Participating students can also take a Nottingham Advantage Award module and earn credit. The scheme enables students to make a difference to teaching and learning whilst developing project management and communication skills to boost their CVs.

A recent post on the Nottingham Advantage Award blog gives more details and an interview with a participating student: Be the change you want to see in the world!  Get involved in the Students as Change Agents Module

For more information about Students as Change Agents and what’s involved in this Advantage Award module, take a look at the web page and Workspace.

Five minutes with… Angelique Bodart

January 4th, 2016

Angelique Bodart is the Learning Technology Consultant (in the Faculty and School Support Team of the learning technology Section) with responsibility for the Faculty of Engineering.  She works alongside staff and management in the faculty to develop projects to enhance the usage of learning technology in the future as well as working on the ground supporting academics through training and on a one-to-one basis.

What 3 words describe you?

Patient, goal-orientated, helpful.

Tell us something ‘unusual’ about yourself

I solo travelled around Africa for six months visiting 12 different countries; exploring the different cultures, seeing gorillas, and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

What excites you about learning technology?

I’m very interested in the use of social media as a dissemination and engagement tool; one tweet can spark off a chain of events and discussions worldwide and I find that fascinating.  My Career Guidance training also causes me to be interested in how e-learning tools can be used to engage students in self-exploration and reflection, especially when they are not even aware that they’re doing it.  In Moodle we’ve got such features as forums, wikis and Turnitin’s Peermark that can all be used for this purpose but to get different results.

Your top tip(s)?

If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.  Few people learn how to ride a bike in a day (I took something like 2yrs!).  When you start out you persevere until everything falls into place and then suddenly the world is your oyster, you can go anywhere and learn new tricks that once seemed unobtainable.  Using Moodle and other learning technology can feel similar. Once you’ve got the hang of the basics the intermediate aspects don’t seem so complicated.

What do you think will be the most important thing in learning technology at the University of  Nottingham in 2015/16?

Making sure that both student and staff experiences of Moodle are positive and there is consistent usage of modules across the three university campuses.

What have you learned recently?

I came into the role already having worked in the university for a few years and with experience of Moodle so most of my learning has been about student engagement-related activities across the university such as how Nottingham Advantage Award modules are organised and how the Students As Change Agents initiative will support student-led projects to make changes across the university and encourage academic staff-student collaboration.

More in the Five minutes with… series