Learning Technology

Feedback Studio: editing and deleting bubble comments

November 2nd, 2017

turnitinWe have been receiving reports from markers that there have occasionally been issues resulting in them being unable to edit or delete a textbox (bubble) comment on Turnitin’s Feedback Studio when using Google Chrome. The issue occurs and then later on will allow the user to edit again. We have raised this issue with Turnitin and they are investigating but as yet have not been able to provide a solution.

As we are entering the marking period for a lot of modules we suggest that if you experience this issue then you are recommended to use FireFox or Internet Explorer browsers for the time being.

Moodle improvements

October 11th, 2017

Moodle is currently running slowly at times. Our engineers continue to investigate this as a matter of urgency and we are doing all we can to identify and resolve the problem and with this in mind, we are taking the following actions:

  1. Moodle will be unavailable at a time to be confirmed  Wednesday 11th October from 6pm until 7pm [cancelled] as we make changes to improve performance generally.
  2. The Module Overview on the dashboard page of Moodle: we are temporarily disabling the notifications that appear for modules there. Such notifications include assignment deadlines and new forum posts. This should cause little inconvenience, as the information can still be accessed within your modules (see below)

How to see notifications of assignment deadlines

The Upcoming events block is available in most modules, and shows  any dates and deadlines coming up shortly. The Upcoming events block on the Dashboard shows all the deadlines in all your courses.  The Calendar block will also show all the events and deadlines.

How to see notifications of new forum posts

When you log into a module with a forum in it, you will be able to see which forums have new posts

You can also subscribe to forums. See instructions here: I’d like to change the number of emails Moodle sends me

We apologise for any inconvenience you may be currently experiencing.

Webinar: Strategies to support reading, 1 pm 27 October

October 6th, 2017

The autumn programme for the Future Teacher project (aimed at Skills, FE and HE sectors) 3.0 kicks off on Friday 27th October from 1300 to 1350.

This month’s theme is Strategies to support reading.

Reading skills are fundamental to success at every stage of education but some students struggle with reading text. Difficulties may include dyslexia, visual impairment, concentration problems or simply language differences. Technology can play a key role in supporting reading, make information easier to access, navigate, interrogate or digest.

This session will:

  • briefly explore alternative ways of communicating information
  • explore how to empower learners to use technology to make their reading as productive and meaningful as possible using
  • hidden features built into everyday tools.
  • sensible format choices
  • optional plugins for browsers.
  • apps and web services.

The Future Teacher team would love to hear from anyone who has some real life examples of student experience being transformed with technology – let them know and they’ll either weave your examples in or invite you to contribute to the session – whichever works best for you.

Sign up at https://xot.futureteacher.eu/play.php?template_id=4#page1section1

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.)