Digital Education team blog
  • We support Staff and Students using technology to enhance education at UCL.

    Here you'll find updates on institutional developments, projects we're involved in, updates on educational technology, events, case studies and personal experiences (or views!).

    Subscribe to our elearning newsletters.

  • Subscribe to this blog

  • Meta

  • Tags

  • A A A

    Moodle Summer 2017 Snapshot and Upgrade

    By Annora Eyt-Dessus, on 5 July 2017

    From 17:00 on Friday 21st July 2017 Moodle will be unavailable to all staff and students, until midday Sunday 23rd July. Moodle may be returned to service earlier than this time, however should be considered to be at risk until the Sunday. This is to allow the annual snapshot copy to be created, and update work on the platform to be completed.

    As in previous years, the snapshot allows staff and students to review their past modules in read-only mode, with an initial one month editing grace period for staff to hide content they don’t wish to be visible long-term. You can find out how to do this, and more about the snapshot as a whole, on the Moodle Resource Centre wiki.

    While there will be no major changes to look and feel or functionality, we will be taking this opportunity to perform yearly maintenance and upgrade tasks on Moodle. This is to ensure tools in use are still well supported and keep the platform running smoothly. You can find details of some of these changes in the section below.

    Updates will be posted during the upgrade weekend on the Digital Education Team Blog, our Twitter channel (@UCLDigiEd), and the Moodle News section.

    What do I have to do?

    If your module ends before the upgrade and you would like the snapshot copy to be made available to students then no further action is required. You will simply need to ensure that you hide any content you don’t want to remain visible within the one month editing period.

    You may also want to check if you are using any of the tools within Moodle that are changing this year, so you can plan ahead – see the section below.

    What if my course(s) doesn’t finish before the upgrade?

    We recognise that not all Moodle courses will end before the 21st July. Some run into August/September and others may run later, several times a year, or never stop – and in such cases a manual snapshot can be requested if needed.  More information on the process of requesting can be found in the Moodle Resource Centre wiki on the Manual Moodle Snapshot page.

    What happens after the snapshot?

    Unless it is still running, we strongly recommend that you reset your course in live Moodle and take some time to review your content so it is ready for the next cohort. For more information on preparing your Moodle course for the next academic year, see the following guidance available here: Preparing your Moodle course for the coming year.

    To see the snapshot (formerly archive) for yourself, visit: https://moodle-snapshot.ucl.ac.uk/

    All times are for the UK (BST), for other locations please convert: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

     

    Changes to UCL Moodle during the 2017 Snapshot/Upgrade

    Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
    This new, easier to use web conferencing tool will be installed and available to Staff to add to their courses. This provides the ability to run online sessions with students with polling, group breakout spaces and onscreen annotation. You’ll be able to find out more, after July 23rd, from our updated Blackboard Collaborate guidance on the Moodle Resource Centre. Note that you won’t need to do anything for existing recordings or sessions using the previous version of Blackboard Collaborate – these will still be accessible and usable, but you won’t be able to add any new sessions using the older tool.

    Turnitin Feedback Studio
    A few months ago we alerted you to the fact that Turnitin will be moving all users to its new grading and viewing interface known as Feedback Studio. From 1st August 2017, all users of Turnitin on UCL Moodle will have to use Feedback Studio to view originality reports, grade work and provide feedback. No action is necessary on your part, but you may want to find out more ahead of the changes by reading our blog post about moving to Turnitin Feedback Studio and try out the new version using Turnitin’s interactive demo.

    Moodle Course Menu block
    The Course Menu block previously provided a way to build custom navigation for Moodle courses. However, most of this functionality is now automatically available through Moodle’s standard navigation block, so to avoid confusion and ensure better support, this older tool will be removed during the summer upgrade to UCL Moodle. Again, you don’t need to do anything, as the Moodle navigation block appears by default on all courses and the old Course Menu block will simply disappear. The Digital Education team is currently liaising with owners of departmental templates so no new courses should be created with the Course Menu block.

    Campus Pack
    Campus Pack is a series of add-ons to Moodle that allowed users to create wikis, blogs, journals and podcasts. While these are useful tools, much of this functionality is already present directly in Moodle, or in other institutionally supported e-learning tools. During the upgrade we will therefore be removing the ability to add new instances of Campus Pack tools, to focus support on more widely used tools that provide similar functionality. This will not affect previously added Campus Pack activities, but you may want to investigate our guide around the Wiki activity in Moodle.

    As ever, if you experience any issues, please do let us know by emailing servicedesk@ucl.ac.uk .