Weblearn blog

Subscribe to Weblearn blog feed
Tips and information concerning Oxford University's on-line learning environment
Updated: 34 min 40 sec ago

Innovative use of WebLearn – Oxford Online Programme in Sleep Medicine

7 July 2017 - 12:13pm

In 2014 Oxford University approved a brand new postgraduate programme in Sleep Medicine. The two-year online programme leads to a postgraduate diploma (PGDip) or a Master of Science degree (MSc).

The programme is hosted by the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute (SCNi), at the University of Oxford which “brings together world leading expertise in basic and human sleep and circadian research and in the evaluation and management of sleep disorders” (Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, 2016).

Learning technologists in Medical Sciences and IT Services were involved in building a customised portal and customised online course components in WebLearn. In tandem with the course development team, the learning technologists have tried hard to design a programme that attempts to imitate the face-to-face, personalised Oxford learning experience.

This approach is achieved through small student groups, moderated online discussions, live webinars and collaboration with subject specialists to reflect the most recent research findings. It was particularly important to employ aspects of personalisation, e.g. showing students only material that is relevant to them, at the appropriate time (depending on current module, week etc.).

In the structure of the online modules, the WebLearn ‘Lessons tool’ was used to offer the pedagogical advantage of tailoring a learning pathway for the students, with integrated content, relevant activities and assessment opportunities.

The customised interface and personalisation features were realised by taking advantage of WebLearn’s ‘behind-the-scenes’ RESTful web services API and rendered using a popular open source JavaScript framework called Angular 2. A very modest amount of development work was undertaken by the WebLearn team to make this approach possible.


Categories: Blogs

System Improvements: WebLearn v11-ox6

20 June 2017 - 3:01pm

WebLearn was upgraded on 20th June 2017 to version 11-ox6. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the disruption.

Here is a list of some of the improvements:

  • Single file upload limit is now 250MB (Resources, Assignments etc.)
  • A link to one’s personal Calendar has been added in the top right Top Right “personal” drop down

  • Anonymous Submission sites
    • Site Info tool cannot now be removed in error
    • It is now not possible to change the Admin Site – all ‘submission’ sites are forced to be managed by Exams and Assessment
  • Favourite sites are now clickable

  • One can how hide / or un-hide one’s self in a site via Home > Preferences > Sites
  • Replay (Recorded Lectures)
    • All instances now have the same ‘play button’ icon
    • Individual recordings can now be inserted into Lessons (using IMS LTI Content Item Message)
  • Citations List improvements
  • Site Members will display the photos which have been set in a user’s Profile by default (as there are currently no available ‘official photos’)
  • Interactive videos (and other content types) from h5p.org can now be used within Lessons (and Resources): “H5P makes it easy to create, share and reuse HTML5 content and applications. H5P empowers everyone to create rich and interactive web experiences more efficiently“. H5p includes
    • Interactive YouTube videos (annotate, ask questions etc.)
    • Image juxtaposition
    • Drag and drop / Drag the words
    • Hotspots
    • Many many more content types

  • Resources:
    • The superfluous recycle bin link has been removed
    • Folders can be expanded on a mobile phone
    • Emoticon images inserted pre-WebLearn 11 will now appear correctly
  • Forums and Topics are correctly copied during ‘Duplicate site’ and ‘Import from site’ both seem to lose
  • Researcher Training Tool
    • Search Results page is now fully responsive
    • Improved rendering in Internet Explorer 11
  • Lessons tool: ‘Add section break above’ no longer results two blocks appearing below



Categories: Blogs

Copyright support site in WebLearn – updated June 2017

5 June 2017 - 10:43am

The Copyright support site in WebLearn has been updated with a new ‘look’ and links to the latest information about copyright requirements, with specific reference to the use of learning materials in a virtual learning environment. The site is publicly available.

The support site in WebLearn is being developed in conjunction with the Bodleian Libraries; it provides links to copyright guidance currently being updated and expanded by Bodleian librarians and staff in the University’s Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM) division, in line with the provisions of the University’s CLA (Copyright Licensing Agency) licence.

The message is:

  • Provision of resources (images, text, articles etc.) for students in WebLearn falls largely under the terms of the CLA licence. For queries contact your college or departmental contact person.
  • Be aware that even if a journal article is your own work, you may have signed away the copyright to a publisher.
  • Always check the terms and conditions of the item, or failing that, request permission from the rights holder.
  • Consider releasing your own material under a Creative Commons licence to make the usage conditions clear to others.
More information from the Bodleian Libraries:
Categories: Blogs

Local WebLearn coordinators

2 June 2017 - 5:05pm

Are you a local WebLearn coordinator (or administrator) and are you aware of your responsibilities regarding your unit’s WebLearn presence? Register to attend the lunch time session offered free of charge by IT Services (Mon 12 June 2017, 12:30 – 13:30): WebLearn: Overview for local WebLearn coordinators.

At Oxford, management of a unit’s WebLearn presence is devolved to one or more ‘local WebLearn coordinators’ in the unit who act as a contact between the unit and the central WebLearn service.

  • The local WebLearn coordinator(s) should be the first point of contact for the unit’s WebLearn users and also act as local administrator(s).
  • They can allocate rights to other members of the unit to create and manage WebLearn sites.
  • We recommend that units develop a clear policy regarding who can do what within their WebLearn areas, and also assign responsibilities for keeping content and site membership up to date.
  • Local WebLearn coordinators need to monitor important announcements made by the WebLearn team and relay them back to their users as appropriate.
More information:
Categories: Blogs

Advanced options for embedding Replay lectures in WebLearn

2 June 2017 - 10:33am
Lecture Capture (Replay)

See our earlier post about how to add the Replay tool to a WebLearn site (which provides access to the Panopto web site (where the recordings are hosted) via the ‘Recorded Lectures’ link on the left hand menu).

The same post also describes how to link to an entire Replay folder from within the Lessons tool.

We have recently been alerted to that fact that advanced options are available (called ‘Custom Parameters’), which enable the following possibilities:

  • linking to multiple Replay folders from a single WebLearn site
  • embedding one individual recording within a Lessons page.

In both cases, one must supply the desired URL of the folder (or recording) in the ‘Custom Parameters’ box (see later). (A better method for doing this will become available – hopefully during summer 2017. This will be based on the open standard referred to as IMS LTI Content Item Message. Work needs to be done by the Panopto suppliers in order to achieve this alternative method.)

If you haven’t done so already, add the Replay tool to your site (via ‘Site Info’ > ‘Manage Tools’ – the Replay tool is at the bottom of the list).

Linking to more than one Replay folder on a single WebLearn site

In the ‘Site Info tool select ‘External Tools’; then select the ‘Tool Links’ tab and click on ‘Create Tool Link’ and select the Replay tool from the drop down menu.

Add a name for the ‘Button Text link and in the ‘Custom Parameters’ box type / paste


but replace everything to the right of the equals sign with the URL of the folder you wish to link to. Refer to the How to find the Replay URL section of this document for details on finding URLs – you can repeat this process for each folder that you wish to link to.

Be sure to check the ‘Add Site Link’ box to enable this named tool to appear in the left-hand menu. Remember to click ‘Save’!

Repeat the process in order to add links on the left-hand tools menu to other Replay folders:

Linking directly to a single video

There has long been the need to be able to link to one particular Replay video in much the same way as one can present a link to a YouTube video.

You can display a link to the video in the WebLearn site in one of two ways:

  • In the left-hand side tools menu; or
  • In a Lessons page – this is useful from the teaching and learning point of view, when you want to link to one particular video in your Lessons page, that is relevant to the current topic.

In either the Lessons tool (edit the previously-added ‘External tool’) or in ‘Site Info’ > ‘External Tools’,  insert the following ‘redirect URL’ in the ‘Custom Parameters’ box:

redirect_url=[ --- insert the Replay URL here --- ]

Refer to the following section of this post for details on finding URLs – you can repeat this process for each recording that you wish to link to.

How to find the Replay URL

By default (in the absence of any Custom Parameters) a link to Panopto will take the user to the parent folder corresponding to the current WebLearn site; this folder will probably contain multiple videos.

If you wish to direct users to a different folder in Panopto, or to an individual video, then you can use Custom Parameters to set the direct link.

To find out which URL to supply as a Custom Parameter you need to access Replay through WebLearn.

To find the URL which links to an individual video you should locate the video then click on it to start it playing.

Next, copy the URL from the browser’s address bar.

To link to a folder, browse to the folder in Replay and then copy the URL from the browser.

Video URL example https://ox.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx? id=35908dbd-f115-42b5-8712-698fe2263adf Folder URL example https://ox.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Pages/Sessions/List.aspx? embedded=1#folderID=%22b6913bf1-c52d-4e47-992d-8239e3022ca8%22 More information



Categories: Blogs

Making recorded lectures available in WebLearn

2 June 2017 - 10:33am
Lecture Capture (Replay)

The Lecture Capture service (called Replay) has been available across the University for a number of months now. The service is free of charge to departments at the point of use, this means that the software which is used to capture lectures (Panopto) can be installed on any number of computers in any number of rooms, or on any personal laptops.

Replay is an IMS LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) tool that handles user authentication via WebLearn, before linking to Panopto.

A July 2016 blog post about Replay provides more information about the service.

Adding the Replay tool to a WebLearn site

Recorded lectures are made available to students by adding the Replay tool to a WebLearn site (‘Site Info’ > ‘Manage Tools’ then select the ‘Replay’ tool at the bottom of the list of tools). All site participants will be able to view the lectures in the Replay folder.

Once the tool has been added, it can be used to upload existing videos or record new ones for use in teaching. For example, a lecturer can record video snippets on their own laptop to reinforce certain topics, dispel misconceptions, or present background/supplementary information before delivering the live lecture; or, of course, record the live lecture for students to refer to later for revision and reinforcement.

The Replay tool can be accessed by students either in the left hand tools menu (with a default title of ‘Recorded Lectures’) – this will happen automatically after having added the tool as described above; and/or as a hyperlink on a ‘Lessons’ page (see next section).

The following options are available for linking to Replay recordings:

  • one entire folder containing multiple recordings (covered in this blog post)
  • multiple folders of recordings from a single WebLearn site
  • one individual recording within a Replay/Panopto folder.

The second and third possibilities are ‘advanced options’, described in a separate blog post.

Linking to a Replay folder from within a Lessons page

The Lessons tool is a relatively new addition to WebLearn. We recommend that all student-facing content be developed within the Lessons tool (rather than as an HTML page in Resources). Lessons is far better for developing structured ‘learning pathways’ for students and it offers better authoring capabilities compared to an HTML page (in Resources).

To add a link to the Replay tool from within a Lessons page, go to the Lessons tool and click on the ‘Add Content link, then click ‘Add External Tool’. (NB: the Replay tool must have already been added to the site as described above.)

Then click on ‘Replay’:

Name the link using the ‘Button Text’ box (e.g. ‘Video folder’), and choose a custom icon if you wish to replace the default icon. For this example, we will leave the ‘Custom Parameters’ box blank  (this option allows you to provide the URL and link to a particular recording within Panopto – see our separate ‘advanced options’ blog post). Click ‘Save’ at the bottom of the screen.

You will see the Replay tool linked from your Lessons page. This link will open the Panopto folder associated with this WebLearn site, and all the recordings it may contain.

The best user experience is when Panopto is opened in a new window; to change this, click on the edit button (‘pencil’ icon) alongside the item and elect to have it open in a new window: 

More information



Categories: Blogs

WebLearn and Turnitin courses: places still available

23 May 2017 - 4:50pm

It  is the second half of Trinity term.  If you still have not managed to attend WebLearn and/or Turniitin courses,  book a place now to avoid disappointment.

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 meeting:
Categories: Blogs

Online submission of summative assessments in WebLearn

19 May 2017 - 5:09pm

This post was written by Nicola Cooper-Harvey and appeared in the AAD news alert on 15 May 2017

Any colleagues wishing to move to online submission of summative assessments must take note of the following:

  • the relevant Examination Regulations must have been amended prior to the new academic year;
  • the assessments must adhere to the framework for online submissions agreed by Examinations Panel; and
  • they must use the centrally-provided WebLearn system.

A new facility has been created within WebLearn to enable anonymous submissions (identified by student candidate number, not by name). A special WebLearn site (called an ‘anonymous submissions’ (AS) site) needs to be allocated to manage summative online submissions and, if desired, marking.

Please email taughtdegrees@admin.ox.ac.uk if you plan to move to online submissions for the 2017/18 academic year, and/or if you wish to attend a briefing session on the use of WebLearn to do this.


Categories: Blogs

18 May 2017 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day

18 May 2017 - 2:54pm

Today (18/5/17) is the sixth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD).

“The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.”  (http://globalaccessibilityawarenessday.org/.)”

To celebrate this, Matt Clare from Brock University, (Chair of Sakai Accessibility Working Group,) has written a blog post about accessibility (aka a11y) in Sakai and designing accessible content.

Related Links
Categories: Blogs

System Improvements: WebLearn v11-ox5

9 May 2017 - 5:48pm

WebLearn was upgraded on 27th April 2017 to version 11-ox5. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the disruption.

Here is a list of some of the major improvements:

Peer-to-peer Chat

It is now possible to instigate a one to one chat with a fellow site member or other WebLearn user with whom you have set up a connection (via “My Home > Profile”).

To start a conversation, click on the “Chat” rectangle at the bottom right of every page and then click on the person you would like to chat to (NB, there may be a short delay before the list of users appears).

You can then have a conversation by typing in the (small) window that pops up

Batch Updates

A new ‘joinable’ site called Batch Updates has been added. If you visit this site, you will be able to

  • Add one or more users to multiple sites where you have permission to manage users
  • Change details (role / status) of users over multiple sites
  • Delete or replace a user over multiple sites

It is also possible for the central team to update contact details in bulk. we will look into making this facility available to WebLearn Coordinators, in the meantime, we are very happy to make updates upon request.

We will be looking into adding more batch updates facilities available at a later date.

Lessons Page Ownership / Editing Restrictions

This release introduces a brand new concept to the Lessons tool – owning a Lessons page.

In the past, if  a site member was given permission to edit a Lessons Page then that meant they could edit (and delete) all Lessons pages on a site. It was felt that these update permissions were too loose and could result in accidental deletions or damage to sites, so the concept of an owned page was introduced (cf pages / files in Resources which all have owners).

The update allows a page to be owned by a site participant who doesnt by default have permission to edit Lessons pages. As the owner of a page, the user is able to update and edit that page and also create sub-pages from within that page (which they then also own).

To “give” a page to a user, click on the settings (cog) icon.

then select the owner (at the bottom of the resulting page)

The page will then show the owner (but not to students).

The best way to use this with staff is to modify the “Contribute” role and remove “edit permissions” from this role. To do this, click on “More Tools > Permissions”

and then unselect the “Update all pages or items” permission.

In summary, if you are responsible for a site in WebLearn, you can delegate responsibility for editing one or more specific Lessons pages in the site to individual members with running the risk of them damaging other Lessons pages in the site.

Reading Lists (ORLiMS)

Recent problems have come to light when editing a reading list that has a large number of items and nested sections. To combat this, we have added “integrity checking” to ensure that reading lists with incorrectly nested elements cannot be saved. We have also fixed a bug which led to incorrect “Find it on Solo” links for Journal Articles and another bug where some links to “Electronic Versions” were incorrect.

It is possible that there are some reading lists still in the system that have incorrect nesting, if you are unable to save a reading list after editing then please get in touch with the central team and report the site and name of the reading list. We will be able to update the database and modify the reading list to ensure it is in a consistent state.

Any new reading lists should now not be able to become incorrectly nested.

Bug Fixes

We have fixed a handful of other issues discovered over the last few months.

  • The “Replace Site” hierarchy management option now works correctly
  • The “Site Members” tool has improved formatting
  • The collapsible left-hand side menu now remains collapsed when moving to a different site
  • “Edit Site Information Display” on the “Overview” tool now saves correctly
  • The colour of the Turnitin Originality Report flag now displays correctly to students at all times
  • There is a more informative error message when trying to save a new file in Resources that would mean the URL would exceed the permitted maximum of 256 characters
Activity Browser

A number of minor improvements have been made to the Learning Resources Activity Browser which was developed as part of the SHOAL (Innovation) Project.

Categories: Blogs

Best practice in designing WebLearn sites and pages

25 April 2017 - 4:20pm
The WISE project

One of the outputs of the recent WebLearn Improved Student Experience (WISE) project is a WebLearn site offering advice and guidance on various aspects to consider in building WebLearn sites and pages. The WebLearn Best Practice site encapsulates our experience in supporting 19 departments in redesigning their WebLearn areas.

Another output of the WISE project was a set of four WebLearn site templates, using the ‘box’ design and layout: Departmental Site, Programme Site, Course Site and Tutor Site. The Best Practice site provides a link to the guide on using the site templates, which illustrates how to create a new site based on a template, and then to edit the components according to your needs.

The Best Practice site provides information about the Lessons tool (including various examples of Lessons pages), and considers the question: ‘new site’ or ‘new page’? There are hints and tips about page design and layout (with examples of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ practice), images and video, accessibility and copyright.

More information:
Categories: Blogs

WebLearn and Turnitin Courses Trinity Term 2017

20 April 2017 - 3:43pm

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 meeting:
Categories: Blogs

Activity Browser: We have lift-off!

3 April 2017 - 11:30am

We are excited to announce that the SHOAL project’s Activity Browser has been launched!  You can find Activity Browser here: https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/activity-browser.   You can also access it from the left-hand menu of WebLearn’s Gateway home page, or from the Support page of the Digital Education website www.digitaleducation.ox.ac.uk.

If you’re curious about digital teaching tools, want to engage students in different ways both in and beyond the lecture theatre or tutorial, or want to satisfy student digital expectations, Activity Browser is for you!  It’s a searchable showcase of inspirational digital learning activities created within the university.  You can explore activities created by Oxford innovators, and see what digital tools they have chosen to tackle particular teaching challenges.  Each example includes suggestions for how to adopt and adapt the ideas and tools for your own teaching, whether for face-to-face learning in tutorials, classes or labs, or for online study, revision or assessment.

The SHOAL project was a proof-of-concept focussing on STEM subjects, but we’re aware of the innovative online teaching taking place in other subjects and we’re keen to add those resources to the collection.  We are currently looking into the easiest way for you to contribute your own online learning activities, and to grow the range of digital tools and applications in our showcase.  We will update the ‘Contribute’ page of Activity Browser in the next phase of the project.

The Browser interface will be improved when WebLearn is upgraded in Trinity.  We welcome feedback on this early version; please email shoal@maillist.ox.ac.uk.



Categories: Blogs

Using LaTeX in WebLearn

29 March 2017 - 11:49am

Mathematical (LaTeX) Notation is a special mark-up language designed to present mathematical notation in electronic documents. The upgrade to WebLearn 11 now means that LaTeX can be used to format equations as mathematical notation on most pages.

Once LaTeX has been enabled on a site and in a tool, one can easily add mathematical notion by enclosing equations and the like between two sets of $$.

This will produce the following output




  • identical output for all browsers and platforms
  • no images or special browser plugins required
  • accessible, with screen-reader compatibility
  • scalable font for different text sizes and zoom levels

LaTeX needs activating on each site via Site Info > Edit Site Information,

then enabling for individual tools via Site Info > Manage Tools (remembering to press ‘Save‘ at the bottom of the screen).

Categories: Blogs

Problems with Turnitin this morning (Monday 27 March)

27 March 2017 - 5:22pm

Turnitin was erroneously returning error messages (“invalid file type”) this morning (27/3/2017) between 9am & 11am. This will have caused problems for submissions made through WebLearn’s assignment tool.

WebLearn respects error messages from Turnitin so would not try to resubmit any submissions made during this period. It will mark them with an error warning (orange triangle) in WebLearn.

If you have outstanding Turnitin reports from this period then please get in touch and we can resubmit for you.

Categories: Blogs

WebLearn and Turnitin User Group Meetings Hilary Term 2017

15 March 2017 - 11:34am
WebLearn User Group Meeting 21 March 2017, 14:00

Tuesday 21 March 2017, 14:00 – 16:00, followed by tea and cakes
IT Services, 13 Banbury Road

The meeting will feature two reports on the completed WebLearn Improved Student Experience (WISE) project, as well as information about how Replay Lecture Capture works with WebLearn, and planned WebLearn upgrades.

Booking is required to secure your place: WebLearn User Group booking.


  • Kate Lindsay (Head of TEL, Academic IT Services): Update on the VLE Review
  • The WISE team (Academic IT): Reports on lessons learned during the WISE project
  • Fawei Geng and Jill Fresen (Academic IT): Replay Lecture Capture: how does it work with WebLearn?
  • Adam Marshall (WebLearn Service Manager, Academic IT Services): Special WebLearn sites for anonymous online submissions
  • Adam Marshall: WebLearn updates

Join the WebLearn User Group site in WebLearn: https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/info/wlug for regular updates and access to audio recordings of previous presentations.

Any questions or comments?  Contact webearn@it.ox.ac.uk.

Turnitin User Group Meeting 23 March 2017, 14:00

Thursday 23 March 2017, 14:00 – 16:00, followed by refreshments
IT Services, 13 Banbury Road

Booking is required for catering purposes – book now to secure your place:Turnitin User Group booking


  • Amanda Tattersall (Exams and Assessment): Overview of the new anonymous online submissions process
  • Adam Marshall (WebLearn service manager): Configuration of WebLearn sites for anonymous online submissions
  • Jamie Whitehead (Turnitin account manager, Turnitin): Overview of Turnitin

Join the Turnitin User Group site in WebLearn – it offers a collection of resources and will add you to the group e-mail list: https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/info/plag/tiiug. Audio recordings of previous meetings are also available on this site.

Any questions or comments? Contact turnitin@it.ox.ac.uk.

Categories: Blogs

Adding icons to web page in WebLearn

8 March 2017 - 4:06pm

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, most pages in WebLearn 11 use a new icon set: Font Awesome icons. You may well recognise these icons from other websites or phone ‘Apps’. Unlike the previous (‘Silk’) icons these are not images, they are, as the name would suggest, a font. This makes them scalable and colourable (if that’s a word).

Font Awesome icons are open source and can be customised in many ways — size, colour, drop shadow, and anything that can be done with the power of CSS. They can even be made to spin around if that’s one of your hobbies.

Using Font Awesome icons on your pages

To add a Font Awesome Icon to a WebLearn page, open the HTML editor and locate the Font Awesome ‘flag’ icon at the end of the middle row (when using WebLearn on a desktop machine).

You can then select a suitable icon, either search by name or browse by using the scroll bars.

Basic customisation can be effected whilst using the picker but you can use any CSS directives via the “Source” view of the HTML WYSIWYG editor.

That’s all there is too it. Don’t go too crazy with the spinning though!

Categories: Blogs

Innovative uses of the Lessons tool – free webinar 17 March 2017

3 March 2017 - 4:48pm

The Sakai community has announced an online panel discussion on Wednesday 15 March 2017, about innovative uses of the Lessons tool in Sakai (WebLearn). Oxford University has been using the tool for two years and promoted its use during the WISE project; our team contributed many improvements to the tool to the central Sakai code base.

Join the free online discussion to hear how practitioners at various institutions are using the Lessons tool:

Date: Wednesday 15 March 2017
Time: 15:00 GMT
Big Blue Button link: <http://apereo.blindsidenetworks.net/apereo/
Password: apereo
Join Room 2

The Lessons tool provides an easy way for tutors or other site maintainers to design and implement a structured pathway of learning materials, activities and interaction in a WebLearn site. (See video: Overview of the Lessons tool).

Oxford’s own Dr Lucy Tallents won a Teaching with Sakai (TWISA) award in 2015 for her work in implementing the Lessons tool on a distance course delivered to conservationists and environmentalists in developing countries.

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

Categories: Blogs

Lecture capture and WebLearn

3 March 2017 - 12:20pm

The Lecture Capture service (called Replay) is now available across the University, after a two-year pilot of the commercial software (called Panopto). This July 2016 blog post provides more information: Replay is now a service.

What are the costs to departments?

The service is free of charge to departments at the point of use. This means that the Panopto software can be installed on any number of computers in any numbers of rooms, or on any personal laptops. The only restriction is that the annual licence fee (paid by IT Services to Panopto) depends on the number of hours recorded and viewed. Therefore access to making and viewing recorded lectures is restricted via membership of a suitable WebLearn site.

What is the difference between recorded lectures and podcasts?

The University’s podcast service has been in place since 2008. It now offers a large collection of audio and video recordings of lectures and other events or series. The majority of recordings are available to the public or as open educational resources. Recorded lectures using Replay, on the other hand, are intended for Oxford students and are restricted via membership of (or visitor access to) a WebLearn site. There are numerous pedagogical benefits for students in being able to listen during the live lecture and view the recording later for consolidation of their knowledge and revision. Usually audio and slides are sufficient, which makes the system comfortable and unobtrusive for presenters (video can be added, but this increases the complexity and cost of equipment).

Can I make my recordings public?

If you wish to make your recorded lectures public, the Replay recordings can be downloaded from the Panopto site as .mp4 files, which can then be made available via the Podcasting service.

What is required in WebLearn?

WebLearn is used as the gateway into Replay, enabling staff and students to use their Oxford single signon accounts. A suitable WebLearn site needs to be created before any recordings can be made. The site maintainer provides student access to the site and uses Site Info > Manage Tools to add the Replay tool. This is an LTI (learning tools interoperability) tool that enables authentication and the link to Panopto. The Panopto software (‘app’) needs to be downloaded (once) onto the presenter’s computer – via the same LTI tool (usually called ‘Recorded Lectures’) in the WebLearn site. The lecturer uses the WebLearn site to initiate recordings, which are automatically uploaded and stored in a corresponding Panopto folder. Students view the recordings by clicking on the ‘Recorded Lectures’ tool in the site.

Is additional training required for WebLearn site maintainers?

No additional training is required.

What Replay training is provided by IT Services?

The IT Learning Centre offers a series of short courses on the use of Replay, ranging from a getting started workshop to more advanced sessions.

More information
Categories: Blogs

Collaborative authoring of materials

2 March 2017 - 4:25pm

The 2017 version of the annual NMC Horizon Report was launched during the
final session of this years ELI conference. One of the key themes is “Collaborative Learning Approaches” (see Page 5 of NMC Horizon Report Preview, 2017 Higher Education Edition). This is defined as:

Collaborative learning, which refers to students or educators working together in peer-to-peer or group activities, is based on the perspective that learning is a social construct. The approach involves activities generally focused around four principles: placing the learner at the center, emphasizing interaction, working in groups, and developing solutions to real challenges.

It is not well known that all Oxford University staff and students already have access to a collaborative authoring environment known as *Unity. *Unity is a multi-tenant instance of the Apereo Open Academic Environment (OAE), staff and students can sign-in to OAE with the regular Oxford Single Sign-On credentials.

All UK HEIs plus a huge number of worldwide educational institutions (20,000 in total) also have access to OAE and it is possible to create ad-hoc groups containing just Oxford University staff or students or including members from any of the other participating institutions.

These groups can work together on documents, build up libraries of materials and hyperlinks, have on-line discussions or create networks of colleagues, peers or contacts at other institutions.

You can login by visiting https://ox.oaeproject.org/ or there’s a handy link in the ‘Quick Links’ drop down on every single WebLearn page. OAE works equally well on desktop or mobile.

If you wish to add collaborative exercises as part of a course then we recommend that you add a ‘Web Content’ tool (Site Info > Manage Tools) and set the URL to https://ox.oaeproject.org/. We recommend that you should ask your students to complete their profile upon first login.

We would be very interested in hearing from anybody who intends to try out collaborative authoring in OAE in their teaching.

Categories: Blogs