Digital Education team blog
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    Call for Participants

    By Samantha Ahern, on 19 November 2018

    Participants required for the following study:

    What synergies or conflicts exist between current Higher Education Institution Learning Analytics and student wellbeing polices?

    As part of an ongoing response to increasing concerns around student wellbeing and mental health UUK, in their September 2017 #StepChange report, recommended the alignment of learning analytics with student wellbeing. However, is it currently possible for these to be aligned?

    The aim of this study is to identify the key characteristics of existing policies relating to student wellbeing and learning analytics across the UK Higher Education sector, and the synergies or conflicts that exist between them. This will help to establish whether, at present, learning analytics and student wellbeing initiatives are sufficiently aligned, and if amendments are required to aid alignment.

    The study is looking to recruit HEIs who would be willing to share their institutional policies related to student support and wellbeing, and where applicable learning analytics.

    For details of the study please view the study’s Information Sheet.

    If you would like your institution to participate in the study please complete and return the Registration Form by Monday 17th December 2018.

    Participating institutions will be requested to share their policies by Monday 21st January 2019.

    Please return competed registration forms either via email (s.ahern@ucl.ac.uk) or by post to the address below:

    Ms S. Ahern

    ISD –  Digital Education

    UCL, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

    This project is registered under, reference No Z6364106/2018/11/55 social research in line with UCL’s Data Protection Policy.

    Download (DOCX, 36KB)

    Download (DOCX, 36KB)

    Zoomtext and Dragon for Mac – Discontinued

    By Michele Farmer, on 6 November 2018

    Zoomtext has been discontinued for the Mac. At present I do not know what they have planned, if at all, for a replacement.

    The individual Dragon for Mac has also been discontinued, however, users will be able to access Dragon for their Macs via a subscription service for Dragon Anywhere. Information on the Dragon changes can be found here.

     

     

    Globally Deactivating Portico Enrolments in Moodle

    By Janice Kiugu, on 30 October 2018

    Portico enrolments will be globally deactivated in Moodle on 6th November 2018.  This is done six weeks from the start of each term.

    How will this impact students on my course?

    • Students who are already enrolled on a Moodle course WILL continue to have access to their course (s) and WILL NOT be unenrolled.
    • Students enrolling on Portico after the deactivation WILL NOT be automatically enrolled  onto the corresponding Moodle course. Students can still be manually enrolled.
    • Students who leave the course WILL NOT be automatically un-enrollled

    Moodle and Portcio enrolments

    When Portico enrolments are active on a Moodle course, student enrolments on the course are automatically updated overnight to mirror the Portico student list for the associated module. Consequently, students who change courses, or withdraw from their studies permanently or temporarily, are automatically un-enrolled from their Moodle courses. Usually, this is desirable when students change/drop modules within the first few weeks of term. However, if Portico un-enrols students after they have been awarded any grades, these grades become inaccessible, which can be very problematic.

    Note: the ‘inaccessible’ grades, submissions and logged activity are not deleted, and can be accessed again if the student is re-enrolled manually. But, when a student is no longer enrolled on a course, there is just no way to view their content.

    Why deactivate Portico enrolments?

    To reduce the likelihood of this particular ‘inaccessible/missing grades’ problem occurring, Portico enrolments are de-activated globally in Moodle, six weeks from the start of each term.

    Can I re-activate Portico enrolments on my course(s)?

    Yes. However, please assess whether you risk losing access to some students’ grades before you do this. See instructions on re-activating Portico enrolments

    Note: Portico enrolments can be ‘deactivated’ within the course at any time by anyone with Course Administrator or Tutor access, thereby stopping any updates to the list of enrolled users on the Moodle course.

    Free LERU online digital HE summit

    By Clive Young, on 24 October 2018

     

    Do you want to talk and learn about the latest ideas and practical solutions in digital education? To see how digital approaches have enhanced blended and online education in other research universities?

    Sign up for the free online sessions at the Digital Higher Education Summit, a blended conference from LERU (League of European Research Universities), of which UCL is a member . The Online Conference will run from the 1st until the 29th of November 2018. 

    The blended conference comprises a ‘virtual’ online pre-conference and a face-to-face event in Utrecht. The on-campus conference in Utrecht, the Netherlands is an invitation-only event. The online conference is open to everyone. Many on-campus events will continue the topics from the online activities. The Blended Conference starts online on November 1st, four weeks before (some of) the participants convene in Utrecht.

    The LERU theme group on digital education is organising this first ever blended conference to disseminate knowledge of and experiences with digital teaching solutions in this group of leading universities. The blended approach will give a wide group of teachers and staff members the opportunity to build networks and hear about the latest developments from the different task groups.

    Please sign up if you are interested in any of these topics:

    • Video and media
    • Academic development
    • E-assessment

    … and many others

    They will keep you updated on the schedule of activities around these topics. You can also sign up for the already scheduled online activities on the online community.

    There are two ways to join the online conference:

    • As an active participant – actively joining the discussion, exchanging knowledge and experiences concerning specific topics
    • As an passive participant – hear about the latest developments from the different task groups and create new networks

    The online conference can only accommodate a limited number of active participants, so register soon on this link, https://leru.educate-it.nl/

    Video introductionLERU online digital HE summit 2018

     

    Digital evening classes?

    By Jim R Tyson, on 1 October 2018

    This term, for the first time that I know about, the Digital Skills Development team are offering sessions in the evening. I had intended to write a blog post ready for this morning promoting these sessions and encouraging people to sign up. Alas, I fell behind. However, when I logged on this morning to check our schedule of training and bookings, I was delighted to see that the two evening training sessions for R and RStudio have already attracted more bookings than any other session – and this just a few hours after booking opened!

    It will be interesting to find out how popular and successful this experiment is. If the demand is there for out of hours sessions in Digital Skills Development then we may be able to increase the offer. Do you find the idea of an evening class in digital skills attractive? Let us know in the comments.

    New Moodle ready for start of session 2018-19!

    By Annora Eyt-Dessus, on 28 September 2018

    After much work (in June, and August, and before and after!), a new Moodle Platform has been rolled out for the 2018/19 academic year, with migrated courses and Portico enrolment functionality ready for the start of term.  While Legacy Moodle will continue to be available for those finishing their 17-18 courses until early next year, all new 18-19 courses will be running in new Moodle. With staff in mind, we’ve outlined below a few things to bear in mind as you start teaching and welcoming students:

    Update your courses

    • Review your courses to ensure that content is up to date, especially in light of AMP Portico code changes.
    • Check resources and activities are set up correctly, including Lecturecast links or Library Reading lists.
    • Ensure that any assessment deadlines or activities, such as Turnitin, Moodle Assignment and Quizzes are up to date.

    To help you with this we’ve created a New Moodle Checklist with key things to check, and instructions on how to make any changes, so that your course works well in the New Moodle and is ready for the start of term.

    Check everyone is enrolled as expected

    Note: You will only be able to manually enrol students who have logged into New Moodle.

    Make your course visible

    • Even if you have students enrolled, your course will need to be made ‘visible’ so they can access it. Please follow the instructions here: https://wiki.ucl.ac.uk/x/0An0BQ

    Induct your students.

    • Point your students to the Student Help menu available on at the top of every Moodle page.
    • Consider sending your students the Moodle Quick Start Guide for students (also available in the Moodle Student Help menu) with an introduction message via a Forum on your Moodle course.
    • Try to accommodate students who are new to virtual learning environments like Moodle by explaining what they can expect on the platform, and using the Student guidance available to support them: https://wiki.ucl.ac.uk/x/RQKmAQ

    Training and support

    • New face to face training sessions are available for Getting started with Moodle – details available here.
    • There is a vast amount of guidance available  on the Moodle Guides for Staff wiki: https://wiki.ucl.ac.uk/x/-xliAQ
    • You can log issues via the ISD Service Desk: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/isd/help-support, but please do make sure that you include a URL to the page where the issue is occurring and a detailed description so this can be dealt with as fast as possible.

    There are still a few known issues with the system which we are looking to resolve as soon as possible, but we do hope you’ll find the new system improved for the coming academic year. Do take a look at the list of new features and functionality available.

    We know that this new version of Moodle has meant some extra work, and we greatly appreciate staff (and student) patience and involvement during this substantial undertaking!