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Tips and information concerning Oxford University's on-line learning environment
Updated: 2 hours 56 min ago

Replay (Lecture Capture Service) Downtime plus Mandatory Upgrade

18 July 2018 - 9:56am

From Steve Pierce (Replay Service Delivery Manager)

Dear Replay community,

  1. Mandatory client upgrade to 5.6 or above – July 21
  2. Downtime – July 24 18:00 – 21:00
  3. Downtime – July 28 23:00 – July 29 02:00
  4. Downtime – August 11 20:00 – 23:00
Mandatory client upgrade to 5.6 or above – July 21

On Saturday, July 21, we will require Panopto for Windows, Remote Recorders, and Panopto for Mac to be upgraded to version 5.6 or above. This change will be applied to the Panopto portal at 01:00 BST. For more information on the mandatory upgrade, see this article on the Panopto support site:

The latest versions of the Panopto for Windows and Panopto for Mac manual recorders (5.7) can be downloaded from:

The latest versions of the Remote Recorders can be downloaded from:

If you are updating an existing remote recorder you should not need to inform us, but if you are installing for the first time or on a new machine, please let us know via replay@it.ox.ac.uk so that we can assign correct permissions.

Downtime – July 24 18:00-21:00

On Tuesday July 24 at 18:00 BST Panopto will be performing essential updates to the ox.cloud.panopto.eu cloud database in preparation for integration with Oxford’s new Canvas VLE. The process will take up to three hours (21:00 BST). During this downtime, you will not be able to access recordings on your server, and any attempts to upload from clients will result in a “Server unable to connect” message.

Downtime – July 28 23:00 – July 29 02:00

On Saturday, July 28, Panopto will update the ox.cloud.panopto.eu cloud database. This update will require downtime from 23:00 BST July 28 for up to three hours (02:00 BST July 29). During this downtime, you will not be able to access recordings on your server, and any attempts to upload from clients will result in a “Server unable to connect” message.

Downtime – August 11 20:00 – 23:00

On Saturday, August 11, Panopto will be making a number of updates to the Panopto Cloud infrastructure to increase performance and scalability. These updates will require downtime from 20:00 BST August 11 for up to three hours (23:00 BST). During this downtime, you will not be able to access recordings on your server, and any attempts to upload from clients will result in a “Server unable to connect” message.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please e-mail replay@it.ox.ac.uk

 

 

Categories: Blogs

Testing IMS LTI Support

13 July 2018 - 4:54pm

SaLTIre is a very useful “tool” for testing IMS LTI support. The site https://lti.tools/saltire/ provides a test Tool Provider and Tool Consumer which is great for quick checks of LTI support.

The website was originally developed as part of a JISC project.

Categories: Blogs

Add Interactive Video Content to WebLearn

2 July 2018 - 4:28pm

Those wonderful people at H5P have made some improvements to their interactive video content type. (This allows one to embed a You Tube video in an HTML page or Lessons pages and overlay quizzes, pop-up text or other types of interactions.)

Improvements include

  • Submit screen in Interactive Video – The new Interactive Video submit screen will give the learners an overview of what they’ve done and achieved in the video, and let the submit their scores and answers when they are ready. Authors can make the submit screen pop up when they want it to pop up in the video, and learners may also open it whenever they want to check their progress.
  • Free Text Question in Interactive Video – Many questions don’t have an answer that is either right or wrong. The author may want the learners to reflect and write down their thoughts instead. This is now possible in Interactive Video

To use H5P, all you need to do is visit the H5P website, register, create your interactive element and then paste the “embed code” into your WebLearn page – use the “source” view of the text available in the WYSIWYG HTML editor.

H5p includes

  • Interactive YouTube videos (annotate, ask questions etc.)
  • Image juxtaposition
  • Drag and drop / Drag the words
  • Hotspots
  • Many many more content types

Useful Links
Categories: Blogs

WebLearn Usage Over The Last 6 Years

25 June 2018 - 5:23pm

I thought it would be useful to present some of the WebLearn usage figures that we used to supply for the annual report. Many apologies for the missing unique visitors data.

2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 Unique visitors 12,385 15,108 14,685  17,421 Requests / hits per 1,000 12,846 11,449 12,484  16,049  23,418  23,776 Bandwidth in GB 260.27 273.93 305.36  346.91  459.39  370.62 Pages served 338,738 316,537 427,600  695,360  7,127,123  572,980 Usage statistics for the first week of Trinity Term

The number of unique visitors over the first week of Trinity Term

The number of user requests is slightly up compared to last year:

 

However, the total amount of data transferred has decreased slightly:

Categories: Blogs

WebLearn Upgraded to Version 11-ox11

25 June 2018 - 3:17pm

WebLearn was upgraded on 19th June 2018 to version 11-ox11. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the disruption.

The main focus for this release was ‘behind-the-scenes’ improvements required as part of the move to Canvas, however, there are some noteworthy improvements.

Bootstrap Library

The Bootstrap Library which is (apparently) the most popular HTML, CSS and JavaScript library in the world, is now available for use in WebLearn. (There was a bug that was preventing it from working correctly.)

Bootstrap can be used on any HTML page in WebLearn including Resources, Lessons and Announcements.

There is a dedicated blog post entitled ‘Liven up your WebLearn pages’ which gives some examples and explains exactly to to add Bootstrap elements to your pages.

This sort of thing is easy to do:

Others
  • When a new version of a file is uploaded in Lessons the filename is now corrected generated as filename-1.pdf instead of filename.pdf-1.
  • Surveys: the preview of a template is now shown in a new tab – this is on the  ‘Start a New Survey Step 1’ page.
  • CSV import into Calendar should now pick up the event type – if you are going to use this facility then please read this important note about importing event types first.
  • All JavaScript / CSS files should now be ‘versioned’ this means that there should no longer be errors stemming from cached files after a WebLearn upgrade.
  • Email templates in the Surveys tool are now verified before allowing them to be saved – this should prevent garbled email notifications being sent.
  • The Resources tool now allows selected files / folders to be excluded from a ZIP file export.
  • In the Assignments tool, an alert is now shown if the ‘Visible Date’ is set to be after ‘Open Date’
Categories: Blogs

Liven up your WebLearn pages!

19 June 2018 - 1:05pm

It is a little known fact that WebLearn now contains Twitter’s Bootstrap library. Bootstrap is world’s most popular front-end component library and can be used to make amazing-looking and fully responsive dynamic web pages.

Bootstrap allows you to easily add the following components to Lessons pages or HTML files in Resources

Plus a whole host of other techniques to make your pages more interesting. The w3schools.com Bootstrap site is a great place to start but there are a number of other places such as Tutorial Republic Bootstrap Examples, TutorialsPoint Bootstrap Tutorial and Bootsnipp.

How To …

To add Bootstrap page components all you need to do is open the WYSIWYG HTML editor, click on the “Source” button and then paste the HTML code snippets into the editor window.

The switch back to the WYSIWYG view

And hit ‘Save’!

 

 

Categories: Blogs

WebLearn unavailable on Tuesday 19/Jun/2018 7-9am

18 June 2018 - 3:34pm

We plan to upgrade WebLearn to version 11-ox11 on Tuesday 19/Jun/2018  7-9am. This upgrade will introduce a number of new features connected to the move to Canvas plus a handful of bug fixes.

There will be no service during this period.

We apologise for any inconvenience that this essential work may cause.

Categories: Blogs

WebLearn and Turnitin Courses and WebLearn User Group: Trinity term 2018

27 April 2018 - 10:53am

IT Services offers a variety of taught courses to support the use of WebLearn and the plagiarism awareness software Turnitin. Course books for the formal courses (3-hour sessions) can be downloaded for self study. Places are limited and bookings are required. All courses are free of charge.

Click on the links provided for further information and to book a place.

WebLearn 3-hour courses: Byte-sized lunch time sessions:

These focus on particular tools with plenty of time for questions and discussion

Plagiarism awareness courses (Turnitin): User Group meetings:
Categories: Blogs

WebLearn version 11-ox10 released 3 April 2018

5 April 2018 - 4:28pm

(Compiled by Nick Wilson)
WebLearn was upgraded to version 11-ox10 this week (w/c 2nd April 2018). A number of bug fixes and improvements were implemented, described below.

Resources

The ‘Embed Replay Recording’ button has been added to the CK Editor in the Resources tool

Copyright status

Two additional copyright statuses have been included in the Resources tool (‘Crown copyright’ and ‘EU copyright’)

Assignments

The Assignments tool now displays the correct maximum file size for Turnitin attachments (40MB):

The correct status of an open anonymous assignment is now shown:

Contact Us Tool

The text in the ‘Problem with access or content’ section in the Contact Us tool has been updated.

Others
  1. A security vulnerability has been patched in which password reset tokens are not bound to users.
  2. Various UI improvements have been made, in particular, improving the size of modal popups in the Lessons tool, and the ability to use Bootstrap in HTML pages.
  3. Sign-up events now show their correct times in Office 365.
  4. When adding a discussion topic to a Lessons page, the description of that page from the Item Properties is automatically displayed.

If you have any questions, please contact weblearn@it.ox.ac.uk

 

Categories: Blogs

Announcing OxTALENT 2108

1 March 2018 - 3:05pm

Dr Lucy Tallents receives her second certificate as an OxTALENT winner

From the OxTALENT organising committee:

Have you been impressed by a member of staff or a student who has used technology in an exciting way? Have you created a great app, or designed an eye-catching conference poster or data visualisation?

The University’s annual OxTALENT competition has launched to celebrate and reward the innovative use of digital technologies to enhance teaching, learning, research, and outreach. The awards will be presented at a red carpet evening attended by Professor Martin Williams, Pro-VC (Education). The competition is open to all students and staff, and awards can be given either to individuals or to groups. You can submit an entry yourself or nominate a colleague who has impressed you with their use of technology. For more information, including a list of competition categories and guidelines on how to enter, please visit the Digital Education at Oxford website: https://www.digitaleducation.ox.ac.uk/oxtalent

If you spot any individual or team whom you think we should consider for an award, let us know at competitions@it.ox.ac.uk

Keep up to date on Twitter by following the hashtag #oxtalent2018.

OxTALENT closing date: Friday 27th April.

Categories: Blogs

Pilot of new ‘Add Participants’ functionality

21 February 2018 - 4:32pm

We have been working hard to deliver a much-requested feature when adding participants to a site – dynamic lookup. This functionality has undergone a degree of user acceptance testing but we are very keen to pilot the facility more widely and, as such, are asking for volunteers.

If you would like to be an early adopter of this streamlined functionality then please get in touch by sending an email to weblearn at ox.ac.uk – we can enable the facility on one or more or your sites – please let us know any relevant URL(s).

The new pages cover all existing functionality but have an improved workflow with less clicks than the incumbent.

The user interface has been simpilified with better on-screen feedback.

 

Categories: Blogs

WebLearn Improvements – Version 11-ox8.1, released w/c 4 December 2017

7 February 2018 - 4:04pm

Ooops note / disclaimer! I just noticed that I had inadvertently forgotten to publish this blog post. Many apologies for the delay.

WebLearn was upgraded during the week of 4 December 2017 to version 11-ox8.1. There was no downtime associated with this release.

  • System emails now originate from a “black hole” address: weblearn-noreply@weblearn.ox.ac.uk
  • In the Lessons tool, the embedded “Forums widget” now correctly displays the name of the person who initiated the conversation (rather than the last person to read a post)
  • In the Lessons tool, the embedded ‘Calendar Widget’ now correctly displays the event icons
  • In the Lessons tool, the “Calendar widget” now changes to the correct colour when the colour scheme is modified
  • The “Recorded Lectures” dashboard is now available to all users in their home site (known as ‘My Home’), this dashboard is also available in the “Avatar Menu” (top right)

  • Joinable sites that are only available to Oxford SSO accounts now have a better description in the Site Info tool
  • External users now have access to a collated list of announcements on their home site
  • On new sites, the main panel on the ‘Overview’ page now has a more appropriate heading of ‘Welcome’
  • In the ‘Site Members’ (Roster) tool, site participants with the ‘maintain’ and ‘contribute’ roles now have permission to view site visits (prior to this fix, the permission to do this had to be set manually on each site)
  • The error message that one sees when attempting to complete a ‘single-attempt’ survey has been improved
  • “Access” (read-only) view of resources now uses Font Awesome icons

Anonymous Submission (AS) Sites / Assignment Tool
  • Students can now resubmit in an Anonymous Submission (AS) site
  • Participants with the “marker role” now have their own personal Drop Box (one use of this new functionality is for markers to exchange essays and marks with departmental administrators) – students will not see the drop box in the left-had side page menu
  • Participants with the ‘maintain’ and ‘contribute’ roles can now see and edit each other’s draft assignments
Categories: Blogs

“The Only Way Is Up” – the increasing use of WebLearn over the last few years

6 February 2018 - 11:41am

I was just preparing the monthly report for the WebLearn service and thought it may be interesting to look at the long term trend in WebLearn usage. WebLearn has been using Google Analytics since January 2015 so I plotted a graph showing how the “Number of Sessions per Month” has increased over the last 3 years – as you can see it’s a fairly steady increase.

Categories: Blogs

Improvements in WebLearn v11-ox9 released on 23 Jan 2018

26 January 2018 - 12:16pm

A new version of WebLearn (version 11-ox9) was released on Tuesday 23 January 2018. There have been a number of improvements especially in the area of anonymous essay submissions.

Here is a breakdown of the enhancements.

Anonymous Submissions / Assignments
  • A warning is now issued if a file has been uploaded into the Assignment tool but the user hasn’t opted to ‘Submit’
  • The Turnitin Originality Report no longer loses anonymity once the due date has passed
  • Submission sites now have their own section in the Sites Drawer

Bulk Creation of Internal Subgroups

This release sees big improvements in the area of bulk creation of sub-groups (this is in Site Info > Manage Subgroups > Bulk Creation). It is possible to define multiple sets of groups and users in a file and have them created all at once. This facility should be particularly useful for Anonymous Submissions.

Visit Site Info and opt to Manage Subgroups.

then

On the next screen you are given the opportunity to upload a CSV file which can be generated by a spreadsheet application such as Excel. The contents of the CSV file can also be pasted into an on-screen textarea.

Contact Us Tool
  • The link to the WebLearn Guidance site has been corrected
  • If a user tries to visit a site to which they dont have access, the correct contact details are now shown making it much easier to ask to be made a site member
Others
  • In the Lessons tool, on a public site, hyperlinks inserted via ‘add content’ now work correctly for non-logged in users
  • The should no longer be any emails with a return address of postmaster@weblearn.ox.ac.uk
  • The title of the main panel of the Overview page has been changed from (the meaningless) Site Information Display to the more sensible Welcome!
Categories: Blogs

ATLAS (Teaching and Learning Awards) 2018 is now OPEN

16 January 2018 - 4:43pm

NB Please get in touch with the WebLearn team if you are interested in entering. We will be very happy to help you with your entry. Oxford has supplied winners in the past. 

Posed on behalf of the ATLAS Committee

The ATLAS committee welcomes submissions from the Apereo open source education community. We invite applications that demonstrate innovative teaching and learning using Sakai (ie WebLearn), OAE, Karuta, Xerte and/or Opencast.

Based on merit, we hope to select up to six winners. Winners will be announced by the end of March 2018 and recognized at the Open Apereo Conference June 3-7, 2018 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Registration and travel expenses will be covered for award winners.

For further inquiries, please email ATLAS Chair Luisa Li (luisa.li@apereo.org).
For more information on ATLAS and previous winners, visit: https://www.apereo.org/communities/atlas.

There are two steps you need to consider to apply for this award:

Step 1: Download the application and rubric.

You will begin the process of applying for the award by completing a brief questionnaire that helps identify the best innovation rubric and application form for your entry.

Click here to start the brief filter questionnaire.

Step 2: Complete and submit the application form by February 26 2018.

You will need to fill out the application form that you have downloaded in Step 1, and save the file as a PDF with your name and the submission date in the file name, for example “ATLAS_cbrown_Feb05_2018.pdf”.  Use the link below to submit your application to the ATLAS awards committee.

Click here to submit your application.

*Notification on Supplementary Videos/Animations for Your Application:

New this year, we accept supplementary videos or animations to further demonstrate merits of your course/project or portfolio. Supplementary video/animations are NOT a requirement. Below are the guidelines for your videos:

  • Videos or animations should be produced to demonstrate innovative teaching and learning of an application and show a direct association with a criterion in the application. They should  not be a snippet of actual learning materials used in an instructional unit of your application.
  • Videos or animations supplement the screenshots you shall provide as the evidence to corroborate your rating for each criterion in the application. They do not replace the screenshots.
  • Videos or animations should be a MAXIMUM of 5 minutes. For example, you may provide one 5-min-long video or five 1-min-long videos.
  • We encourage you provide English captions in these videos or animations to meet accessibility standards and help peer reviewers understand your video content in case you use French or Spanish language in the video.
  • Any videos or animations provided should be independently created or you MUST provide information about support of the creation of the resource in the application.
  • Please upload videos to YouTube, Vimeo, or other video sharing platform and make them public. Then share the links to these videos in corresponding evidence section of each criterion in the application.

 

Categories: Blogs

WebLearn and Turnitin Courses and User Groups: Hilary Term 2018

8 January 2018 - 5:05pm

IT Services offers a variety of taught courses to support the use of WebLearn and the plagiarism awareness software Turnitin. Course books for the formal courses (3-hour sessions) can be downloaded for self study. Places are limited and bookings are required. All courses are free of charge.

Click on the links provided for further information and to book a place.

WebLearn 3-hour courses: Byte-sized lunch time sessions:

These focus on particular tools with plenty of time for questions and discussion

Plagiarism awareness courses (Turnitin): User Group meetings:
Categories: Blogs

Write your own tools and utilities using WebLearn’s Entity Broker REST interface

21 December 2017 - 11:07am

Entity Broker is a REST web service interface to Sakai. It is self-documenting, see https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/direct/describe, but as you will see, some of the documentation is somewhat lacking.

I stumbled across a blog post that Damion Young’s made about WebLearn (Sakai’s) Entity Broker, he has very kindly filled is some of the missing pieces of the jigsaw.

It is entirely possible to write useful utilities using a combination of JavaScript, HTML and calls to Entity Broker, indeed, this is how the original Mobile Oxford offered a mobile interface to WebLearn. (The current Mobile Oxford no longer offers such an interface.)

Some of the most recent WebLearn utilities / dashboards have been written in JavaScript, examples,

 

Categories: Blogs

New Student Dashboard: Collating All Recorded Lectures

15 December 2017 - 5:36pm

At the start of December we added a new personalised dashboard that displays a list of all your sites / courses that contain Recorded Lectures.

To access your dashboard you must first login to WebLearn, click on your avatar at the top right of the screen and click on ‘Recorded Lectures’ – this is the same whether on a desktop, mobile or tablet. (You can set your avatar photo by clicking on Profile in this same menu.)

The next screen will display your dashboard – it may take a couple of seconds to load depending on how many sites you belong to.

The dashboard will show a list of site titles which, if clicked, will take you to the site’s Overview page. (Note that you must be a member of a site for it to display in the list.)

The dashboard may also show a direct link to the ‘Recorded Lectures’ within a site. Click on this link to display a list of all the recordings for your course. Note that this will open in a new browser tab.

Unfortunately it is not currently possible to highlight which of your sites contain newly uploaded videos. We realise that would be very useful but it is not currently technically possible.

We hope you will find it useful to be able to access all your existing recorded lectures via this dashboard.

 

Categories: Blogs

Using WebLearn to aid student induction

1 December 2017 - 2:54pm

Lettitia Derrington (Department for Continuing Education) received a project grant to develop a WebLearn feature that could be made available across the University to support the online induction of postgraduate students. http://blogs.it.ox.ac.uk/adamweblearn/2015/11/university-teaching-awards-2015/

Lettitia built an ‘Induction Lessons Tool’, made entirely with the standard Lessons Tool in WebLearn. It was trialled within the CPD Centre, Department for Continuing Education in 2016-17 (with eight programme sites), offered to other teams within ContEd in 2017-18 (four additional sites) and is now in a format that could be rolled out to the wider University.

We asked Lettitia to describe how she customised WebLearn in this way to meet the needs of tutors and students in ContEd.

The aim was to create an induction area for postgraduate students as an alternative to, or to complement face-to-face induction activities. We wanted to provide a sense of progression through the various steps that students need to take and to make the information visually appealing and the content engaging. We also needed to ensure that we provided the essential information that departments have to provide for inductions as well as signposting useful information from the wider University.

I used the Lessons Tool to create a grid layout and to embed images and videos easily. It also allows me to embed generic files held on a central site, so that updating the information can be carried out in one location with the changes automatically updating all individual sites.

I hope that describing the different areas with a question – ‘Have you…..?’, emphasises the importance of the tasks, which is substantiated by quotes from previous students describing how important/useful it is.

I used colour on the main boxes as a differentiating factor, and I have carried the colour coding through to the subpages. I don’t think that it is very obvious to the students, but the subpages are divided into white and coloured boxes. The white information contains the essential information that departments have to provide, whilst the coloured boxes contain additional information to enhance the student experience.

Categories: Blogs

Usage Satistics

20 November 2017 - 3:37pm

Every year we traditionally present the number of unique logins in Week 1 of Trinity Term. This can be viewed as a rough measure of the growth of a service. As you can see, apart from one year, growth has been steadily increasing  year on year.

Categories: Blogs

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