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Global Search in Moodle

Rod Digges22 November 2021

Moodle’s newly introduced global search function allows anyone in Moodle to locate a range of content including documents, forum posts, descriptions of activities and more. Search is accessed by clicking on the magnifying glass symbol found at the top right of pages within Moodle.

Staff and student searches are restricted to courses and areas within those courses where their Moodle permissions give access, i.e. courses on which they are enrolled either as students, teaching or administrative staff and where searched materials are visible to them. Students, for example, would not have search results returned from hidden courses or hidden sections/content within visible courses.

After entering a search term and pressing the return key, results are shown with additional fields allowing searches to be more narrowly focused. In addition, a range of search modifiers including wild card, boolean and proximity search characters give even more ways to refine searches.

For details of the tool and how to refine searches see this guide.

 

Global deactivation of Portico Mappings

Zaman Wong9 November 2021

Portico mappings on Moodle pages were globally deactivated this morning, 9 November 2021.  Enroled students will retain access to their Moodle courses.

How will this impact students on my course?

  • Students who are already enroled on a Moodle course WILL continue to have access to that Moodle course.
  • Students who join a Module on Portico WILL NOT be automatically enroled onto the corresponding Moodle course.  Students can still be manually enroled.
  • Students who leave the module on Portico WILL NOT be automatically unenrolled.

Moodle and Portico mappings

If Portico mappings are active on a Moodle course, student enrolments on that course are automatically updated overnight to mirror the student registrations in Portico.  Consequently, students who change courses or withdraw from their studies are automatically enrolled or unenroled from the Moodle course when their Portico record is changed.  Usually, this is desirable when students change/drop modules within the first few weeks of term.  However, if students are automatically unenroled 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-enroled manually.  But, when a student is no longer enroled on a course, there is just no way to view their content.

Why deactivate Portico mappings?

To reduce the likelihood of this particular ‘inaccessible/missing grades’ problem occurring, Portico mappings are deactivated on all Moodle courses, six weeks into each term.

Can I re-activate Portico mappings on my courses?

Yes.  However, please assess whether you risk losing access to some students’ grades before you do this.  Once a mapping is active, students will be automatically enrolled or unenrolled that evening.  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 automatic changes of students enroled on the Moodle course.

Get in quick: demos and workshops for the new session

Jim R Tyson12 October 2021

As well as our popular training courses in this new session, we are also offering some short demonstration sessions that are geared not towards teaching you to use software apps, but to understand a task associated with learning or research, to know what software is available and how to choose the right app for your work.  These are:

These are all around an hour long with some time for questions.

We are also offering:

DSD: In a Nutshell: Starting an Nvivo Project (10 December)

which will cover starting a new project, essential memoing, importing data documents, basic coding and simple queries.

And finally a longer workshop which will which will introduce Zotero for collecting and organising bibliographical references and pdfs, and also using Zotero extensions to annotate papers and generate reports on your reading:

DSD: Kick-starting your literature review (15 December).

These sessions are very valuable before you start out on a research project and can help you understand not only what software you may end up using, but what support and training you can expect at UCL.

Further information and booking links

If you have never booked a course with use before we recommend you go to full details of how to book and other practical information about our courses.

For staff on payroll and those who have previously booked on MyLearning:
Book via MyLearning

Everyone else:
Book via UCL Learning pages (this includes students and non-payroll staff, unless you’ve previously used MyLearning)

See you there!

Moodle Boards – a virtual post-it note activity added to Moodle

Rod Digges16 September 2021

Moodle Boards have been added to the variety of activity options available in Moodle courses. A Board allows students and staff to add post-its to a virtual board where they may be organised and optionally ranked. Post-its may include plain text, images, links and YouTube videos.

On the Board, Students can:

  • Add a new post with any of the following:
    • A heading.
    • Some text.
    • A link.
    • An uploaded image.
    • An embedded YouTube video.
  • Edit or Delete one of their posts.

They can also do the following depending on the board’s settings:

  • Move their notes among columns.
  • Star (vote up) someone else’s post.

The teacher can set up the activity with the following options:

  • A closing date for submissions.
  • How the posts are ordered in a column, by date or star count.
  • Whether posts can be starred – by students, teachers, or neither.

On the board a teacher can:

  • Move any of the posts from one column to another.
  • Download a copy of the board contents.
  • Download a spreadsheet of submissions of the students.

 

A Moodle mini-guide for the tool is also available.

Lecturecast Live – UCL’s new live streaming feature

Jill Reese10 September 2021

Lecturecast Live is a new feature within Lecturecast, UCL’s video capturing service, and installed across 180 teaching spaces. It now facilitates live streaming of in-classroom sessions, which remote students can access via their Moodle courses in the same manner as Lecturecast recorded teaching events. This is one of the basic hybrid teaching options introduced for the 21/22 academic year.

The live streaming function should be selected when scheduling modular events for which remote students need synchronous video transmission of a teaching event. UCL is a campus-based institution with the primary mode of teaching and learning designed to be face to face, and thus live streaming is not enabled by default.

Scheduling Lecturecast Live 

Course administrators will first access Lecturecast Scheduler and complete the initial steps to search for a CMIS booked and confirmed event. Once the teaching event is located and its tickbox is selected, users can either select ‘Create Event’ if it has not yet been scheduled for capture or ‘Edit Event’ to modify an already scheduled capture event. Lecturecast Live is an option listed within ‘Additional Capture Info’ (see image).

The edit schedule pop up window is shown with an arrow pointing to the new tickbox to 'Enable live stream'.

The box next to ‘Enable live stream’ must be ticked and the schedule saved. Please see step 3.3 in the Create & Edit an Individual Schedule Lecturecast Scheduler guidance.  

Bulk scheduling with live streaming has also been enabled. Please note that it can only be used when creating new schedules.

Moodle course administrators and tutors will not need to take any additional steps in Moodle to link and enable live streams than they have for other Lecturecast events. 

 

Accessing Lecturecast Live 

Students will not need to take any additional steps in Moodle to access live streams than they have for other Lecturecast recordings. 

Both students and staff will see which sessions have been scheduled for live streaming, or are currently live streaming, by the addition of a ‘LIVE’ icon to the right of the event name within Echo360 (see image). Upcoming live streams are in grey while current live streams are in green. 

List of past, current and future teaching events listed in Echo360 interface. Live streaming scheduled events noted by 'Live' icon next to event title.

The video interface will open once the event is selected. If the live stream is upcoming then students and staff will see a countdown until the live event begins. If the event is currently live streaming then students and staff will need to click on the bottom left option ‘Show Live Stream’* (see image). We recommend reminding students of this step should they encounter difficulties starting the live stream. 

 

Video interface with the option 'show live stream' highlighted in red

*We are providing feedback to Echo360 on student and staff experience in accessing the live streaming function. Please contact lecturecast@ucl.ac.uk with any comments and suggestions. 

 

Benefits 

  • Fully integrated with Moodle so students will access live streaming teaching events in the same way that they currently access Lecturecast recordings. 
  • Live streaming is automatic once scheduled. 
  • Students have the same view as Lecturecast recordings, which include the in-room video feed of the lectern and a feed of the presentation materials shared using the in-room audio-visual system. Audio continues to be captured using in-room mics. 
  • If students have connectivity issues, they can reconnect to the live stream or view the recording via Moodle once the teaching event is completed and the video has been processed and made available. 
  • Teaching staff can access viewing analytics as they would with any Lecturecast recording. 
  • Available via web browser so no additional software required. 

Considerations 

  • Of the basic hybrid options for 2021/22, Lecturecast Live is the least interactive for remote students taking part in synchronous teaching and learning because it is a one-way video stream. 
  • There may be a ten second delay or more for those viewing the live stream.

Future roadmap 

  • The Lecturecast Scheduler tool will continue to be enhanced to further facilitate the scheduling of live streaming. 

 

Documentation 

Detailed guidance on using Lecturecast, including the scheduling of live streaming, can be found in the Lecturecast Resource Centre wiki.  

Resources for basic hybrid teaching options can be found via the following: 

Basic Hybrid Teaching in UCL’s Spaces for Term 1 of 2021-22  

Support for staff teaching on-campus and online students together  

UCL Education Planning FAQs and Town Halls 2021-22 

 

Case Studies 

Echo360 Webcasting & Livestreaming articles https://echo360.com/category/webcasting-live-streaming/  

Digital Education are keen to understand which live teaching tool you use and perhaps more importantly how you use it. Please contact lecturecast@ucl.ac.uk if you would be willing to share your experiences in a case study. 

Reusing Lecturecast Recordings from previous academic years

Rod Digges13 July 2021

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Following course resets it’s important to remove old Lecturecast section and class links unless the recording has been embedded in the course, in which case you do not need to relink. After this has been done staff may want to review existing recordings for potential re-use e.g. short recordings used in flipped teaching, module introductions etc.

The way recordings are reused depends on their ownership and the way in which they’ve been published. The table below illustrates different scenarios which may apply to your course. Please use the relevant method to re-share your recordings onto your new course. Please note: Currently there is no method for the bulk duplication of recordings from one year’s Lecturecast section to the next.

 

Way recording was previously shared Owner Method for re-sharing
From Echo360 library embedded in a Moodle course using the Echo360 plugin tool in Moodle’s text editor Member of staff who uploaded Generally no action needs to be taken to re-use recordings published in this way.  These recordings remain in a course along with other course content even after a course has been reset. These recordings are independent of Lecturecast sections.  Note, that analytics for these recordings will simply accrue as they are not re-set.
Recordings shared from staff Echo360 libraries into a previous year’s Lecturecast section that now need to be published into a new academic year’s section. Member of staff who uploaded In these cases recordings which will still be available in staff’s Echo360 libraries need to be re-shared into the new year’s Lecturecast section. The method is the same as that used to originally share the content and identical to the steps from 4.1 in the guide Reuse recordings from previous academic years
Recordings shared from staff Echo360 libraries into a previous year’s Lecturecast section who’s classes are then individually linked to different areas of a Moodle course. Member of staff who uploaded This is identical to the scenario above but requires the additional steps of recreating Lecturecast activity links to individual classes. A short video on linking to individual classes is available in the guide Create a Link on a Moodle course to a Lecturecast Recording.
Recordings made in Lecturecast equipped teaching spaces and automatically shared into a section. Owned by the section and not available in any Staff Echo360 library. Any staff member who is an instructor in the section in which the content sits will have the capability to create a copy of the recording in question, this copy will be available to them in their Echo360 library from where it may be re-used using any of the methods above. The process is outlined fully in the guide Reuse recordings from previous academic years

Please see our guide for more information and video guidance on: Preparing for the new academic year – Lecturecast rollover

For any questions or concerns regarding Lecturecast please email: digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk