March 20th, 2015 posted by
Since upgrading Moodle last summer, we have been really pleased with the positive feedback we have received for the new look and feel. We know many really like the new colourful design.
However, we also know some users find the background image too distracting and want to remove it. We have listened to your feedback.
There are a number of options available to users, for example along the top row you can choose to increase or decrease the font size to suit your own requirements. Along the bottom row you can change the colour scheme, including (now for the first time) the option to remove the background image completely by selecting the option highlighted.
This gives you even more choice over how Moodle looks and what looks best for you will of course depend on you own personal preferences. Here are the options…
March 19th, 2015 posted by
How do you change the order of sections or topics on a Moodle module page? Staff have told us that they are finding dragging and dropping items around the Moodle page difficult, especially if there are a lot of items, or a lot of sections. Drag and drop sometimes ends up with items moved to unexpected places.
As an alternative to drag and drop try this:
1. Turn editing on and simply click once on the cross icon
2. A menu will appear from which you can choose the new location.
The same actions can be used to move items such as resources or activities on the Moodle page (it’s likely the list of possible destinations will be rather longer).
Posted in Moodle
March 11th, 2015 posted by
Jisc’s new guide Enhancing the student digital experience: a strategic approach launched on Monday at the Jisc Digital Festival in Birmingham.
Based on the findings from the Jisc digital student research project and ongoing consultation with sector partners, this new online guide explores the complex issues institutions are facing in relation to the student digital experience and provides practical guidance, resources and examples of how others are responding to these challenges.
The guide comprises seven sections which can be tackled individually or in any order that suits your particular need:
» Deliver a relevant digital curriculum
» Prepare and support students and staff to study and work successfully with digital technologies
» Engage in dialogue with students about their digital experience and empower them to develop their digital environment
» Deliver an inclusive digital student experience
» Deliver a robust, flexible digital environment
» Develop coherent policies for ‘bring your own’ (devices, services and data)
» Take a strategic, whole-institution approach to developing the student digital experience
The guide is aimed at a wide range of staff in UK higher education, further education and skills including learning and teaching, library, IT and support staff as well as those working in estates and more senior managers with responsibility for the digital experience/environment.
To follow the developments of the Digital Student project, visit the project blog at digitalstudent.jiscinvolve.org and join the chat on Twitter #digitalstudent.
March 10th, 2015 posted by
There will be an upgrade to the Moodle-Turnitin plugin this Thursday 12th March at 5pm (UK time: 1 am Malaysia and China). The service will be at risk for approximately an hour. We expect minimal disruption but recommend avoiding using the Turnitin tools in that time.
The upgrade aims to improve the Turnitin software linked to Moodle.
- Similarity column (matching score) now correctly sorts.
- Further work on where the Turnitin user agreement appears (when not using plagiarism plugin).
- Ability to export entire class (section) now fixed.
- Late submission is now indicated clearly.
March 6th, 2015 posted by
Speakers from UCL and Nottingham will present assessment strategies that have had a measurable effect on student satisfaction. The round table will support an extended discussion around assessment literacy for students and staff
The event will begin with two speakers presenting on examples of assessment strategies that have had a visible impact on the student experience as measured by NSS results. The two speakers illustrate how in different contexts, applying key principles of good practice in assessment can serve to systematically enhance the student experience. The examples tackled programme level:
- assessment design (e.g. reduction of assessment load in a principled manner)
- management (e.g. communication, planning)
- student engagement (e.g. via the use of formative assessments)
Dr Teresa McConlogue is a Senior Teaching Fellow at University College London working in the School of Life and Medical Sciences (UCL). She will present on cases at UCL where they have reviewed programmes of study and addressed “hygiene factors” with demonstrable improved results on ensuing NSS.
Dr Neil Hughes is the Director of Modern Language Teaching at CLAS (UoN). He will discuss an example of an assessment strategy, its key features, the implementation in a programme and the impact on NSS over a period of two years.
After tea, the event will continue with a round table. The topic for discussion will be enhancing assessment literacy for academic staff and students. Teresa will share further descriptions on cases and approaches to enhancing assessment. This will be an opportunity to discuss initiatives from the University of Nottingham and an opportunity to exchange ideas with a representative from UCL working in Life and Medical Sciences.
Date: Tues 24 March
Time: 1.30 – 4.30 pm (break at 3 pm)
Locaton: C27 Physics Building, University Park
Colleagues are invited to attend the whole event, or just the first or second half to accommodate other commitments. Tea and coffee will be available from 1.30pm. Please let Molly Fleischer know if you intend to be there, for catering purposes. Thank you.
March 4th, 2015 posted by
An extra Teaching and Learning Seminar takes place this month: Embedding Professional and employability skills in the curriculum
Location C15, Pope Building, University Park
Date Wednesday 18th March 2015
Time: 12:30-2 pm
This seminar will consider two good-practice approaches to embedding professionalism skills/employability skills into the non-clinical curriculum, presented by Pam Hagan (Medicine) and Judith Wayte (Biosciences).
In the first case study we will look at how expertise and methods in training the “professional doctor” can be adapted, transferred and disseminated to the wider University community to enhance the development of the “professional global graduate” and increase our students’ employability power. In the second case study we will explore the benefits and challenges of embedding employability within the Biosciences curriculum using a student partnership approach, supported by e-portfolio software.
The sesssion will be of benefit to anyone wishing to consider an embedded approach to supporting the development of professional skills and competencies within their curriculum.
Tea and coffee will be available from 12.15pm. Please let Molly Fleischer know if you intend to be there, for catering purposes. Thank you.
March 2nd, 2015 posted by
The subject of the talk on March 4th is Experiences of lecture capture. We have invited speakers from three different faculties to describe how lecture capture is being used in their schools and to report on the experience of staff and students with this very topical technique. The speakers are:
- Joel Feinstein (Mathematical Sciences)
- Alison Sinclair (Business School)
- Yvonne Allen (Veterinary Medicine and Science)
Date: Wednesday, March 4th, 2015
Time: 12.30 p.m. with hot drinks from 12.15 p.m.
Location: C04, Physics, University Park
To be sure we have enough tea and coffee, please e-mail email@example.com if you intend to be present.
Inter-university Teaching & Learning Conversations Webinar on Experiential Learning today at 12 noon
February 24th, 2015 posted by
Dr David Smith (@dave_thesmith), Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry, SFHEA from Sheffield Hallam University will lead an exciting webinar
today Tuesday 24th February at 12-1pm GMT*
during which he will discuss “Bringing Experiential Learning into the Lecture Theatre”
Within the teaching space conceptual descriptions are usually either vocal or presented using 2 dimensional slides and video. However, a deeper understanding can often be obtained by handing objects. These objects can be used to prompt conversations or to gain a deeper understanding of function. During this session we will bridge the virtual and physical dimensions of the webinar. Be ready to interact and bring along an object that typifies the way you teach or the subject itself.
How to join the webinar
To attend and take part in the webinar access the TLC webinar room here: https://mmu.adobeconnect.com/tlc/ To login: Enter as a guest and add your name, institution and country.
It is recommended that you access the webinar room about 30 mins in advance to test the technology. For further help with this, please check http://www.celt.mmu.ac.uk/flex/tlc.php
Webinars enable active participation using audio, video, text and the whiteboard. A headset is required to fully participate. If you are not planning to speak you will just need headphones to listen to the discussion. When you have entered the webinar room, start the Audio Setup Wizard under Meeting at the top left to check your headset.
A recording of the webinar will be made available at the same URL under a creative commons licence.
About Teaching & Learning Conversations
TLC is an exciting cross-institutional collaboration to provide open CPD opportunities for everybody teaching and/or supporting learning in Higher Education. TLC brings together colleagues from different disciplines, institutions and countries. TLCs are also open to students in HE and are very interested in including students’ contributions to the programme.
Together, participants discuss and debate a variety of current teaching and learning topics in a series of webinars which provide a great opportunity to reflect on and share good practice and to find out what is happening beyond your own institution the more global HE landscape. All webinars are open to the wider community to join.
Please feel free to share the link to the TLC programme and individual webinars with others who might also be interested. Further information and recordings from previous webinars can be found at http://www.celt.mmu.ac.uk/flex/tlc.php
February 16th, 2015 posted by
Video recordings from the Teaching and Learning Seminar (formerly E-learning Community) in November 2014
- Peer Assessment In Large Groups: Engineering – Dr Kay Bond (Faculty of Engineering) presented two distinct examples of peer assessment in a summative context and with large groups. Kay uses peer assessment and guides students through the marking criteria (n=260, Year 1). In Year 3, she organises independent peer assessment of video presentations (n=160).
- Peer assessment in large groups: GEM – Dr Susan Anderson (Graduate Entry Medicine) presented an example of the use of peer assessment with large groups (n=90) in Medical Education. Susan uses peer assessment in the context of formative assessment as a means of providing immediate feedback to students. She presented some exploratory data on the accuracy of students’ judgements.
- Using peer assessment in Chemical Engineering The UCL Department of Chemical Engineering’s Dr Eva Sorensen discusses her experiences of using peer assessment with fourth-year students.
- Cathy Hughes at the University of Reading talks about using peer assessment to assess individual contributions to group work
- Introducing a peer assessment activity: University for the Creative Arts lecturer Jane Armstrong explains how she constructed and evaluated the activity to help students provide more effective feedback to their peers. The case study will be of interest to lecturers, faculty and course designers in higher education.
- WebPA: Peer-Assessed Group Work in the Faculty of Engineering (University of Nottingham) Sean Moran talks about WebPA in a “Talking of teaching” blog post
- The REAP project based at University of Strathclyde section on Designing and Implementing Peer Review
- Student Peer Assessment in Higher Education: A Meta-Analysis Comparing Peer and Teacher Marks Falchikov, N. and Goldfinch, J. REVIEW OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH Fall 2000 vol. 70 no. 3 287-322
- Peer assessment “Cloudscape” in Cloudworks by Rob Parsons (OU) who did some research into peer assessment on e-LATE(D), a module about online teaching and learning for academic staff in the OU’s social science faculty. A collection of papers and other reports about peer assessment.
- Peer assessment and feedback A useful blog post from the University of Sussex Teaching and Learning Development Unit
- Peer Assessment – tell us what you really want. and Cardiff University Peer Assessment Schema (CUPAS) From the Cardiff University ELTT team.
- Peer assessment from TESTA at Greenwich University
- Peer assessment: a case study from Aileen Fyfe, a lecturer in modern British history at the University of St Andrews
- Peermark case study (PDF) from Steve Jones in the School of Biomedical Sciences at KCL
- Phil Race runs workshops on self and peer assessment and his blog has useful resources including an exercise in peer assessing sketches of cats (an amusing and effective introduction to peer-assessment for students) and a great fun introduction to self and peer assessment from Sally Brown: egg game
Technology for Peer Assessment
As well as some external tools mentioned in the case studies, such as WebPA, the University of Nottingham subscribes to Peermark, a Turnitin service, and there is also Workshop – a peer assessment activity within Moodle. We only recommend Workshop for very advanced users of Moodle, as it is quite a complicated tool to use. In the next blog post we’ll look at how to use Turnitin’s Peermark.
January 30th, 2015 posted by
Some users of Moodle.Nottingham may have noticed some unexpected unavailability of content during last weekend and earlier this week. Thank you for your understanding and patience. All affected staff have now been contacted and we have taken steps to prevent a re-occurrence.
The Moodle service normally uses a primary database; in the event of this failing, it switches over to using a secondary backup database. This failover is designed as part of a resilient and redundant infrastructure.
On Saturday 24th January at 11:16 Moodle switched to using the secondary database, but the primary database had not failed. At 13:21 on Sunday 25th January Moodle then automatically switched back to using the primary database, although this reset is normally done manually to ensure all the data is properly synchronised. The reason for the database switching is currently being investigated.
Unfortunately the same issue repeated later on Sunday afternoon, leaving another three hours of data orphaned on the secondary database. Learning Technologies are currently restoring this orphaned data onto a parallel Moodle environment and are arranging assistance for affected users in merging this data back to Moodle. Much of the data has already been restored or re-added. Student assignments and tutorial bookings have already been checked and fixed if necessary.
To prevent further issues, the failover mechanism has been disabled, and Learning Technologies are working with Information Services and external vendors to investigate why the failover occurred. A new secondary database is currently being prepared to restore resilience and redundancy and will be implemented once it is understood what caused the failover, and the issue has been rectified and tested.
We apologise for any inconvenience suffered by users. If you think you may have been affected, and have questions or need help in finding out what you lost or with restoration, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted in Moodle