IT Services offers a variety of taught courses to support the use of WebLearn and the plagiarism awareness software Turnitin. Course books for the WebLearn Fundamentals course (3 hours) 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 course:
- WebLearn: Fundamentals – Wed 31 Oct (14:00 – 17:00); or Fri 30 Nov (09:15 – 12:15)
- Plagiarism: Interpreting Originality Reports using Turnitin – Fri 9 Nov (12:30 – 13:30)
- Plagiarism: Awareness and avoidance (for postgraduate students) – Thurs 29 Nov (12:30 – 13:30)
The University’s Disability Advisory Service brought to my attention that Policy Connect, (who describe themselves as “a cross-party think tank improving people’s lives by influencing policy”,) have recently published a report on Accessible VLEs (Twit: #AccessibleVLEs). Apparently there has been lots of interest in the findings and recommendations, from both education providers and government.
In case you had missed the announcement, new accessibility regulations came into force last Sunday (23 September 2018). The headline of the new regulations is:
The new legal requirements build on your existing obligations to disabled people under the Equality Act 2010 (or the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in Northern Ireland). These say that all UK service providers must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for disabled people.
WebLearn’s WYSIWYG HTML page editor has a built-in accessibility checker. We strongly recommend that you use it so you can be confident that web pages authored within WebLearn are accessible to all users.Summary of the Accessible VLEs Report
Here’s what Policy Connect say about their Accessible VLEs report
This report has been produced in advance of the new digital accessibility regulations becoming law in September 2018, to help the Government and FE/HE providers put in place the necessary guidance and practical provisions to turn the regulations into reality.
The new regulations, in improving equal access to higher and further education, can – if implemented well – make an important contribution to meeting the Government’s ambition to create a more prosperous and equal Britain by growing our domestic talent pool and closing the disability employment and attainment gaps.
The report’s recommendations are aimed at doing much more than simply achieving compliance with the regulations. They set out how the requirements can be met in such a way as to improve learning and education for all students whether disabled or not.
The report begins with with the context of why digital accessibility is important in education. It starts with the recent history of inclusion and sets out how digital accessibility can make virtual learning environments (VLEs) a key learning tool for all users. Chapter 2 sets out what the new regulations will mean for educational leaders, lecturers and teachers, and what kind of information and data is included or exempt. Chapter 3 describes how the Government and sector bodies can help higher and further education institutions deliver on their obligations under the regulations – implementing these recommendations will be cost-effective and help consistency of application across the sector. Chapter 4 is targeted at the higher and further education institutions themselves and provides a strategic ‘how-to’ guide to implementation, with the objective of using the requirement for digital improvements to make education and learning better for all students.Free Booklets About Accessibility!
- Access all areas: disability, technology and learning
- Making electronic documents more readable
- Writing accessible electronic documents with Microsoft Word
- Creating accessible presentations
- Making the most of PDFs
A message from Turnitin.
To clarify, during the maintenance period (Sept 22 4pm – 12:30am (Sept 23))
- it will not be possible to create or submit assignments via the Turnitin website
- it will not be possible to create a new Turnitin-enabled assignment in WebLearn (although you can create a regular assignment and then enable Turnitin checking at a later date)
- all submissions to Turnitin-enabled assignments made via WebLearn will be queued and checked once the maintenance has run its course
You may have noticed that some Turnitin customers recently experienced intermittent service interruptions or degradations. We apologize if you were one of the customers affected, and we are happy to report that our services are currently stable.
To prevent further issues of this nature, we will be performing some proactive emergency maintenance that will temporarily disrupt our services including:
- Turnitin and TurnitinUK (including all integrations)
- SimCheckOEM (TCA API)
- Feedback Studio for iOS
- iThenticate (including iThenticate via API)
PDT Sept 22 8am – 4:30pm
BST Sept 22 4pm – 12:30am (Sept 23)
AEST Sept 23 1am – 9:30am
Is your time zone not listed? Click here to find out when you’ll be affected.How will you be affected?
Users will be unable to submit and grade during this maintenance window, so please ensure that any submission deadlines are adjusted to fall outside of the window.
Thanks for your understanding and continued support of Turnitin.
Stay up to date with Turnitin system status by following @TurnitinStatus on Twitter.
WebLearn was upgraded to version 11-ox12 at the end of August: this was a small release.Improvements
- Lessons, the correct list of content providers is now listed on the More Tools > External Tool Import’ page – this is the page where IMS Content Item ‘objects’ are linked to or embedded
- Lessons – embedded H5P objects now include a “resize script” which prevents scroll bars from appearing on the H5P item
- The spreadsheet export from Gradebook now contains a user’s SSO (or email address for external users) in addition to their full name.
- Resources can now export an IMS Common Cartridge (as well as a ZIP file) – this is useful for moving material to Canvas – more work in this area is planned
There is a separate blog post about using the brilliant H5P.
We recently received this from the people at *Research about the *Unity platform. (*Unity is another name for the Apereo Open Academic Environment)
*Unity will close down on 10 September 2018. After that you won’t be able to use it any more, so if you have any material you want to keep hold of, you need to download it before then.
We’ve taken this decision because, although *Unity was popular with many users, it wasn’t adopted by university IT departments. Without their support, we can’t make a success of it.
Our goal was to create an open platform for cooperation between academics everywhere with shared governance, so that academia could reclaim space that has been colonised by big technology players. This idea is explained here: http://oaeproject.org/2015/12/11/reintermediation.html. But, with some notable exceptions, it proved impossible to get university IT departments to buy into this vision.
An FAQ for dealing with practical issues has been posted at https://www.unity.ac/faq and you can also ask questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that if we receive large numbers of queries it may take some time to reply.
Thank you for using *Unity and good luck with your studies.
With best wishes,
From Steve Pierce (Replay Service Delivery Manager)
Dear Replay community,
- Mandatory client upgrade to 5.6 or above – July 21
- Downtime – July 24 18:00 – 21:00
- Downtime – July 28 23:00 – July 29 02:00
- Downtime – August 11 20:00 – 23:00
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:
- 32-bit https://ox.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Cache/184.108.40.206353/Software/PanoptoRemoteRecorder.exe?arch=X86&useCustomBinary=True
- 64-bit https://ox.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Cache/220.127.116.11353/Software/PanoptoRemoteRecorder.exe?arch=Amd64&useCustomBinary=True
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.)
- 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.
- Interactive YouTube videos (annotate, ask questions etc.)
- Image juxtaposition
- Drag and drop / Drag the words
- Many many more content types
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:
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
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.
- 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’
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
- Dropdown lists (for links)
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’!
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.
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:
- WebLearn: Fundamentals – Thurs 3 May (09:15 – 12:15); or Mon 14 May (09:15 – 12:15); or Tues 12 June (14:00 – 17:00)
- WebLearn: Design and content – Tues 22 May (09:15 – 12:15)
These focus on particular tools with plenty of time for questions and discussion
- WebLearn Bytes: Site Management and Resources – Tues 8 May (12:30 – 13:30)
- WebLearn Bytes: Assignments tool – Tues 15 May (12:30 – 13:30)
- WebLearn Bytes: Lessons tool – Tues 22 May (12:30 – 13:30)
- WebLearn Bytes: Surveys – Tues 5 June (12:30 – 13:30)
- Plagiarism: WebLearn and Turnitin – Fri 25 May (12:30 – 13:30)
- Plagiarism: Interpreting Originality Reports using Turnitin – Fri 1 June (12:30 – 13:30)
- Plagiarism: Awareness and avoidance (for postgraduate students) – Fri 15 June (12:30 – 13:30)
(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.
The ‘Embed Replay Recording’ button has been added to the CK Editor in the Resources tool
Two additional copyright statuses have been included in the Resources tool (‘Crown copyright’ and ‘EU copyright’)
The Assignments tool now displays the correct maximum file size for Turnitin attachments (40MB):Contact Us Tool
The text in the ‘Problem with access or content’ section in the Contact Us tool has been updated.Others
- A security vulnerability has been patched in which password reset tokens are not bound to users.
- 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.
- Sign-up events now show their correct times in Office 365.
- 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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep up to date on Twitter by following the hashtag #oxtalent2018.
OxTALENT closing date: Friday 27th April.
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.
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: email@example.com
- 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
- 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
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.
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
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.
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
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- The title of the main panel of the Overview page has been changed from (the meaningless) Site Information Display to the more sensible Welcome!
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.
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.
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.
*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.