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Tips and information concerning Oxford University's on-line learning environment
Updated: 18 hours 15 min ago

Did you know that Sakai has a racing car?

7 May 2019 - 1:02pm

Sakaiger

As I’m sure most readers know, WebLearn is built upon the open source Sakai platform.

One of the software’s founders, Dr Charles Severance has decided to initiate a guerrilla marketing campaign and have some fun, by buying a cheap old car (a ‘lemon’), calling it the ‘Sakaicar‘, sticking a pair of “Sakaiger” ears on it and running it into the ground on the racing circuit!

 

Categories: Blogs

WebLearn and Turnitin courses: Trinity term 2019

29 April 2019 - 5:10pm

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 and are presented at IT Services, 13 Banbury Road.

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

WebLearn 3-hour course: WebLearn Bytes sessions: Plagiarism awareness courses (Turnitin): User Group meetings will run again in Michaelmas term
Categories: Blogs

WebLearn User Group: Tues 12 March 14:00-16:00

7 March 2019 - 2:41pm

Please join us at the next meeting of the WebLearn User Group:

Date: Tuesday 12 March 2019

Time: 2:00 – 4:00 pm, followed by refreshments

Venue: IT Services, 13 Banbury Rd

Come and meet with fellow WebLearn users and members of the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team to give feedback and share ideas and practices.

Book now to secure your place.

Programme:

  • Canvas@Oxford project team: Update on the Canvas rollout to Year 1 programmes of study
  • James Shaw, Bodleian Libraries: Copyright and the CLA: Preparing digital material for presentation in a VLE
  • Jon Mason, Medical Sciences: Interactive copyright picker (based on source and intended use)
  • TEL team: Design and content for WebLearn pages
  • Adam Marshall: WebLearn updates

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

Dr Jill Fresen, Senior Learning Technologist, Technology-Enhanced Learning, IT Services, University of Oxford

Categories: Blogs

Copyright and Audio-Visual Material

8 February 2019 - 4:42pm

I thought this copyright guidance from LearningOnScreen (The British Universities and Colleges Film and Video Council) may be of interest to some.

Categories: Blogs

Free Accessibility Tool

28 January 2019 - 3:21pm

 

I thought I’d pass along the following message from JISC.

It is important to ensure that the visual content of your website and learning resources has alternative text for those who either cannot see the visual content or struggle to make sense of its interpretation.

However, how do you know what is an appropriate description? And some visual content is merely eye candy and is best hidden entirely from screenreader users rather than wasting their time announcing something that is meaningless to the learning experience.

Making this different choices requires a certain degree of understanding but the good news is that there are some excellent free training resources out there. A recent quote from a Vision Australia newsletter reminded me of the Poet training Tool (which I’ve used  – and it has nothing to do with poetry!).

Vision Australia’s partner, Benetech has provided an initiative called Poet Training Tool which provides best practice guidelines and exercises that will help you grow your skills in writing effective image descriptions benefiting everyone who needs to access your digital documents, web pages and mobile apps.

This free resource is broken up into 3 helpful sections:

  1. Helps you determine when a description is actually needed.
  2. Provides guidelines on how to write an effective description (with examples).
  3. Upload content and practice writing your own descriptions.

If you or your colleagues are going to be involved in revisiting digital images on your website or learning platform then I highly recommend using these resources.

Alistair McNaught
Subject specialist – accessibility

Categories: Blogs

WebLearn and Turnitin Courses and User Group meetings: Hilary Term 2019

14 January 2019 - 4:54pm

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 and are presented at IT Services, 13 Banbury Road.

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

WebLearn 3-hour course: Plagiarism awareness courses (Turnitin): User Group meetings:
Categories: Blogs

Free interactive webinar series on Web Accessibility

3 January 2019 - 11:19am

IT Services is offering a number of free webinars about different aspects of web accessibility so I thought it may be useful to forward the details. You may also be interested in a previous blog post about WebLearn and Accessibility.

We are pleased to announce a FREE interactive webinar series on Web Accessibility available to all members of the University.

Accessibility is about enabling any user to access content, however they choose, and it is vital that the University of Oxford continues to work to ensure equal access and opportunities.

The series will include seven webinars, aimed at website owners, managers, content editors, designers, web developers and testers. Delegates will be free to watch as many sessions as they feel are relevant to them.  The webinars will be available at your own desk through a standard internet browser. Anyone with a keen interest in accessibility is encouraged to participate.

All webinars will be held from 15:00-17:00 on the dates shown below. To book and find further information, please visit the online booking system and search for ‘Web Accessibility’, or follow the below links:

The webinars will be provided by the charity AbilityNet who have experience providing accessibility consultancy services to Barclays, Microsoft and many other blue-chip companies. They are experts in providing information relating to assistive technology and digital accessibility whilst striving to promote digital inclusion, and are also involved in a number of research projects.

For any further queries relating to the content of the webinars please contact the IT Services Testing Team (testingteam@it.ox.ac.uk) and for booking enquiries please contact the IT Learning Centre (courses@it.ox.ac.uk).

Please review the IT Learning Centre’s privacy policy which can be found on the Help website https://help.it.ox.ac.uk/courses/booking/privacy.

 

Categories: Blogs

Turnitin will be unavailable on Saturday Jan 5th 2019 from 08:00 – 16:00

11 December 2018 - 10:23am

We received the follow note from Turnitin.

Scheduled Maintenance

We’re just dropping you a note to inform you that the following Turnitin services will be unavailable on January 5th, 2019:

  • Turnitin and TurnitinUK (including all integrations and Turnitin Early Adopter Program)
  • SimCheckOEM (TCA API)
  • Feedback Studio for iOS
  • iThenticate
  • WriteCheck

To ensure that services remain stable, particularly during high submission periods, this maintenance will include several hardware updates and performance improvements.

When will services be unavailable?
  • PST January 5 08:00 – 16:00
  • GMT January 5 16:00 – 00:00 (January 6)
  • AEST January 6 02:00 – 10:00

Is your time zone not listed? Click here to find out when you’ll be affected.

How will you be affected?

While we’d love to provide an uninterrupted service, our machines require a health check every now and again…

Users will be unable to submit and grade during this maintenance window, so please ensure that any grading or submission deadlines are adjusted to fall outside of the window.

Thanks for your patience!

Stay up to date with Turnitin system status by following @TurnitinStatus on Twitter.

Follow @TurnitinStatus

Turnitin, LLC, 2101 Webster St. Suite 1800, Oakland, California 94612

Categories: Blogs

Easy Access to Your Own Personal Replay / Panopto Folder

23 November 2018 - 4:10pm

The recent WebLearn upgrade added a new link entitled “My Replay Folder” to every Oxford SSO user’s Home area (“My Home”).

When clicked this link will open a new browser tab displaying a personal folder in Panopto called “My Folder”.

By default, this folder is private and can be used for storing personal media recordings (video or audio), however, individual recordings can be moved, copied, shared with others or be made public.

Panopto have made this video explaining how to use your My Folder.

Categories: Blogs

H5P Improvements: LaTeX, Content Reuse and Copyright Handling

8 November 2018 - 5:03pm

Those wonderful people at H5P have added some new features the most impressive of which is the integration of LaTeX into all content types (eg, drag and drop, multiple choice etc.)

If you want more information then you will find that the H5P Release Notes are very interesting.

You may also be interested in this previous blog post about H5P.

Categories: Blogs

Introducing the new ‘Cabinet’ LTI tool

25 October 2018 - 2:54pm

A new (external) tool called ‘Cabinet’ has been added to WebLearn. You can find it in the “Plugins” section of the “Manage Tools” page in “Site Info”.

Integrating Object, Image and Text in Oxford Teaching

Digital technologies are revolutionising our ability to integrate objects and images into university teaching. Cabinet has been developed to support teaching with objects and images in 2D and 3D, using a range of visual materials from Oxford’s GLAM collections and beyond.

Cabinet enables you to integrate text and object in the teaching process, providing full access to visual materials for study and revision

Objects and images used in lecture courses, handling sessions, classes, tutorials and seminars are uploaded onto Cabinet to give students the opportunity to review and revise materials alongside text. Cabinet supports both classroom and independent work through close study of high-resolution digitised course materials, and through interactive tools such as tagging and annotation of materials they encounter. The platform offers both a dynamic site for analysis and interaction, and a rich archive for the course module that enables its use by any teacher of the course.

Cabinet contains features allowing in-depth engagement with sources, including annotation of objects in 3D space, embedding of multimedia such as video and audio content, and the ability to post comments to stimulate online discussions about physical and textual study materials.

Cabinet is designed to be intuitive and flexible; it suits the learning preferences of digital natives, and also addresses the variety of teaching styles and time constraints of lecturers and tutors.

Papers can be of any size and can be organised by weeks, themes or other categories.

Both faculty members and museum curators are currently populating the site with courses from across all four Divisions of the University, and are actively experimenting with the platform. Initial feedback from students and lecturers is highly positive.

Cabinet is now supported by the Technology Enhanced Learning team, who offer full support in structuring the online course and in uploading course materials. The Cabinet team at the Oxford Internet Institute also welcome further enquiries from colleagues, and can offer some additional support such as 3D imaging.

Cabinet was originally developed by a team led by Oxford Internet Institute (OII), and funded through University’s IT Innovation Seed Fund (2015-16) and the GLAM Digital Content Board

 

Links
Categories: Blogs

WebLearn and Turnitin Courses and User Group meetings: Michaelmas term 2018

8 October 2018 - 4:44pm

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

Accessibility and WebLearn

25 September 2018 - 11:49am

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!

Contact the WebLearn team if you would like hard copies of the following JISC Tech-Dis books about accessibility and particular electronic formats:

  • 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
Related Links
Categories: Blogs

Turnitin Maintenance: Sept 22 4pm – 12:30am (Sept 23)

11 September 2018 - 10:16am

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

Dear Customers,

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)
  • WriteCheck
When will services be unavailable?

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.

Follow @TurnitinStatus

 

 

Categories: Blogs

Improvements to WebLearn in version 11-ox12

7 September 2018 - 2:14pm

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.

Categories: Blogs

Free Apereo OAE service to close

31 August 2018 - 4:19pm

We recently received this from the people at *Research about the *Unity platform. (*Unity is another name for the Apereo Open Academic Environment)

Dear Colleague

*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 support@untiy.ac. 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,

Martin Atkinson
Technology Director
*Research
 

Categories: Blogs

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

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