E-Learning Environments team blog
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    We support Staff and Students using technology to enhance teaching & learning.

    Here you'll find updates on developments at UCL, links & events as well as case studies and personal experiences. Let us know if you have any ideas you want to share!

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    MyPortfolio Upgrade and User Group

    By Domi C Sinclair, on 25 November 2014

    Today we have upgrade the MyPortfolio system to version 1.10, you can read about the improvements this has brought on our recent post announcing the upgrade.

    In addition to this the Mahara User Group for Southern England (MUGSE) was held last week. Mahara is the name of the software used to run MyPortfolio at UCL. The user group contained a number of presentations on topics such as new users of Mahara, changing the language files and up-coming improvements. You can see a full write-up of the user group on my personal blog: http://digidomi.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/mugse-2-sparsholt-college/ Please note that as this is my personal blog it is not associated with UCL and reflects my own thoughts and opinions.

    The next user group will be happening in the first quarter of next year and is likely to be in London. More details will be shared nearer the time and once a location and date have been confirmed. It is also likely that the conference, which from this year will be known as the Mahara UK Hui (to reflect the systems New Zealand roots) will also be held in London, around the start of July.

    If you have any questions about the MyPortfolio system please get in touch with E-Learning Environments

    UCLeXtend update – November 2014

    By Matt Jenner, on 24 November 2014

    UCL’s new public-facing e-learning environment; UCLeXtend is ready and waiting for your ideas. Live since May 2013 it has attracted over 5000 learners and 23 courses. We revamped it in August 2014 and now it’s sitting pretty. But there’s a lot more to come, this is where you get involved. 

    Note: this post is largely written for an internal audience, apologies to external readers – do contact us (details below) if you have an enquiry.

    About UCLeXtend

    For those who don’t already know, it’s a Moodle-based online platform which can cater for a wide range of courses. Its core capability is to advertise courses, attract/process registrations and provide an online space for learning and teaching. Do take a look for yourself – http://extend.ucl.ac.uk 

    UCLeXtend homepage - November 2014

    UCLeXtend homepage in November 2014

    It can be used to support a range of ideas and activities and so far has been used for: 

    • CPD
    • Executive education
    • Conferences
    • Taster modules
    • Research dissemination
    • Mini-MOOCs
    • Self-paced study. 

    Some are free, others charge; some are open, others are closed/private. A few are fully online, and the majority support face to face activities. Around half are brand new – but others have been running for some time in other guises. Some are not even courses at all, and that’s OK too.  

    In brief; UCLeXtend is/offers:

    • Moodle based – get on the ground running;
    • Open registration – you do not need a UCL computer account to be a UCLeXtend learner / delegate / participant / etc. Anyone can register with their own email / password combination.
    • Payment processor – not everything in life is free, so UCLeXtend accepts most credit and debit cards (or the slower, pay-by-invoice option)
    • Free course provider – some things in life are free, you don’t have to charge for your course
    • Discounts and ‘bulk seats’ options – more information in the UCLeXtend 101 wiki

    Note: income derived from your UCLeXtend course goes directly to your department finance codes.

    Get involved & find out more

    Online guidance

    There’s a few more things to cover; but much of it is procedural or too bloaty for email. So instead; we’ve compiled online content that outlines a lot of the questions you may have, processes, a handful of forms and a few other things. Do take a look, it should cover a lot (but it’s still in development):

    https://wiki.ucl.ac.uk/display/UCLeXtend

    (UCL login required – top left of the wiki, sorry external folk)

    UCLeXtend drop-in session

    If you’re interested in exploring UCLeXtend  or have questions you want to ask please do get in touch. We’re also running a trial (one-off for now) session where you can come and ask questions, share your ideas and hear about what do next. We’ll do a demo of UCLeXtend and be on hand to talk with you. Feel free to come for the whole hour, or drop-in whenever you like. 

    Details

    2nd December 2014, 13:00 to 14:00 in Foster Court 233 

    If you can’t attend this we will look to put on more dates in the future (January onwards) or would rather do it via an online meeting or for us to come along to a departmental / faculty / teaching group session then just ask. 

    Getting started? Why not try a ‘CPD Wrapper’

    With so many options opening up; we felt it important to highlight one which is slightly easier to grasp and works well with existing provision. The concept is CPD Wrappers which we covered at the last Forum event in November. Here’s a presentation we made in E-Learning Environments which broadly outlines the ideas:

    Full URL: https://www.haikudeck.com/cpd-wrappers-uncategorized-presentation-AmK4CAMI4E

    If you’re interested in developing a ‘CPD wrapper’ (or anything else for UCLeXtend) get in touch with us, email is best – extend@ucl.ac.uk

    Contact us

    I don’t mind you contacting me directly, but you may find a faster (and more organised) response from the email above which goes to a shared inbox. Or come along to the session next Tuesday and we’ll go from there. 

    Hope to hear of your ideas soon!

    MyPortfolio Upgrade 25 Nov 2014

    By Domi C Sinclair, on 13 November 2014

    MyPortfolio will be unavailable on 25 November 2014  from 08:00 to 10:00 whilst we carry out a routine upgrade.
    On 25 November we will upgrade MyPortfolio to version 1.10. There are many benefits to this upgrade, including A new editable dashboard, social media block and Open Badges backpack integration.
    New editable dashboard – The dashboard now has new icons for Create, Share and Engage, which help promote the key benefits to the system. You can also now customise your dashboard so it had the information and look you want.

    MyPortfolios dashboard

     

     

     

    Social media block – There is now a social media section of the Profile which allows you to link to your sites easily. You can then include these links on any page as a nice easy series of button thank link directly to your content.

    Social media block

     

     

     

    Open Badges backpack integration – Display your public Mozilla Open Badge collections from your backpack on your MyPortfolio page.

    Open Badges in MyPortfolio

     

     

     

     

     

    If you have any questions about the upgrade please email ele@ucl.ac.uk and we would be happy to answer your questions or address your concerns.
    All times are for the UK (GMT or BST), for other locations please convert: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

    BoB (Box of Broadcasts) National

    By Natasa Perovic, on 1 November 2014

     

    How are you getting on with BoB?

    Short videos on how to record programmes and create clips and playlists:

    Quickstart

     

     

    Recording a programme

     

    Creating Clips

     

    Additional features

    To access BoB, log in with your UCL user details http://bobnational.net/

    BoB user guide http://bobnational.net/faq

    Test Moodle accounts for staff to experiment with

    By Mira Vogel, on 14 October 2014

    Find the link in your Moodle course area's Settings block.

    Moodle now gives any staff member in an editing role the ability to create up to 15 test accounts for up to 15 days. These are easy to set up from any Moodle course area. They are assigned a student role in the Moodle course area where they are set up, but their creator can use them across other course areas they edit.

    What’s the point of these?

    As Moodle editors, test accounts can help you understand the how the materials and activities you set up in Moodle will be encountered by your students, beyond what Moodle’s ‘Switch Role To’ function affords. Specifically they let you:

    • anticipate students’ needs when making design decisions in your Moodle area.
    • reassure yourself about exactly what students can access, eg when you’re hiding or revealing elements, when using Groups and Groupings, or using the Gradebook to give assessment feedback.
    • familiarise yourself with the way things display to students eg Quizzes, the Gradebook, Forum posts, email alerts.
    • anticipate student questions and author instructions accordingly, for students from their point of view.
    • discover important insights when experimenting with something new in Moodle; interacting with the new thing in one or more student roles, then logging back in as editor to see whether it works as intended from a tutor point of view.

    How can they help?

    • you can test and check as you go along – in other words you can play, experiment and build your confidence within Moodle.
    • you’re independent and don’t have to rely on colleagues to pose as students.
    • you can design your Moodle areas from an authentic student perspective, which hopefully makes them easier to use, which in turn means fewer student questions and more student satisfaction.
    • if you want to persuade your colleagues to try something new in Moodle, you don’t have to rely on their imaginations or optimism so much – you can actually show them, and even let them log in and play.

    What can you do with them?

    A few of the things you can only do with confidence if you can log in as Test Students.

    • Testing bulk enrolment into Groups.
    • Testing the difference between separate and visible Groups.
    • Testing what privacy looks like for your private Forum.
    • Testing whether the things you need to be selectively hidden are displaying as anticipated (and whether they are available when the time comes for them to be revealed).
    • Testing whether your Grouped resources and activities are displaying to your different Groups and Groupings as intended.
    • Testing whether emails from news/announcement forums are working, and how they behave, so you can instruct students about settings in a way appropriate for your course.

    How can you get some?

    There are instructions in the Moodle Resource Centre.

    Anything else to know?

    The accounts are only for Moodle and cannot be used to access other UCL services requiring full user accounts.

    Creative Commons on YouTube

    By Jessica Gramp, on 13 October 2014

    YouTubeYouTube uses the Creative Commons BY (CC BY) license. The CC BY License allows:

    • adaptations of your work to be shared; and
    • commercial uses of your work

    “By marking your original video with a Creative Commons licence, you are granting the entire YouTube community the right to reuse and edit that video.”

    http://www.youtube.com/yt/copyright/en-GB/creative-commons.html

    Is your account in good standing?
    In order to mark videos you upload to YouTube with a Creative Commons license your account needs to be in good standing. Check your account is in good standing by logging in to YouTube and going to: https://www.youtube.com/features. Under Account status check it says “Good standing”.