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Late Summer Assessments in Moodle

Anisa I YPatel29 May 2019

This year 18/19 sees a significant increase and change in practice to the late summer assessments process:(https://www.ucl.ac.uk/academic-manual/recent-changes/late-summer-assessments-2018-19).

In order to facilitate this change the new 18/19 Snapshot will remain read/write however until the 20th September for the reasons detailed below.

Please note: If you have any assessment due after 20th September 2019, this will NOT apply to you. Please follow your existing processes.

Change in Practice of Moodle Use and Late Summer Assessments

To facilitate the changing combination of required end of year tasks in combination with the late summer assessments, we now request that all late summer assessments take place within the 18/19 Moodle Snapshot that will be created on the 26th of July 2019.

The reason why we are asking that you follow this guidance is as follows:

  • All associated course content and student/cohort data will remain consistent and associated with the correct Moodle snapshot in this case 18/19
  • Completing late summer assessment within the 18/19 Snapshot allows all the “live” Moodle courses to be reset and normal end of year course activities to take place from the 29th July, so course teams can begin immediately on 19/20 courses
  • Additional Moodle course creation is kept to a minimum within the live Moodle instance, and aids in Moodle housekeeping activities (reducing dead/unwanted courses, improving long term database performance).

What are we doing to facilitate this change?

  • The Moodle 18/19 Snapshot will remain read/write until the 20th September 2019 (2 weeks after the final assessment date for late summer assessments)
  • Digital Education will retain the current two Moodle selection/landing screen however, it will be re-purposed to direct students to the Snapshot Moodle for late summer assessments
  • Digital Education will create a global banner within “live” Moodle directing students to the Snapshot for the duration of the late summer assessment period
  • Digital Education will place other redirection adverts/links within “live” Moodle to highlight to students that late summer assessment activities can be found within the 18/19 Snapshot

How can you prepare for Late Summer Assessments?

If you wish to prepare in advance courses that will have late summer assessments requirements, we recommend the following: –

Within any course where late summer assessments will be taking place create a hidden section and place any material or submission points within that section. This can be done in the current “live” Moodle up until the 26th July 2019 as preparation. Alternatively, it can be done within the 18/19 Snapshot which will be available on the 27th July 2019.

When you are ready to make late summer assessment material/submission points available simply unhide the section within the course on the 18/19 Snapshot.

Details on how to create and hide sections within Moodle can be found in the following miniguide: https://wiki.ucl.ac.uk/x/RgxiAQ

For any questions regarding Moodle and Late Summer Assessments please email digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk.

We also have a page which has some commonly asked questions about Late Summer Assessments which may help:

https://wiki.ucl.ac.uk/display/MoodleResourceCentre/Late+Summer+Assessments+-+2019

 

Improving Inclusivity – observations from the UCL Education Conference 2019

EliotHoving9 April 2019

I had the opportunity to attend the 2019 UCL Education Conference on Monday 1st April 2019. The conference was themed around:

  • Widening participation
  • BME (Black Minority Ethnic) Attainment
  • Assessment and Feedback
  • Supporting student success
  • Digital education and innovations

Although it was April Fool’s day, and Brexit loomed large, the conference was full of sober analysis and creative initiatives.

The opening plenary by Anne-Marie Canning MBE challenged Universities to play a greater role in promoting inclusivity in their internal practices, and in the broader public sphere as powerful and influential institutions capable of bringing about change. A subsequent panel discussion raised plenty of questions over the structural and everyday challenges to inclusivity, including whether inclusivity was a process or an outcome. This set the tone for the workshop sessions for the remainder of the day. I attended three sessions, which were part of the Digital education and innovations stream of the conference. Each session demonstrated a creative and pragmatic way to improve inclusivity in the classroom.

Photo by Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash

Multisensory and personalised feedback

Maria Sibiryakova presented her approach to teaching writing in Russian. She highlighted the challenge of teaching to a diverse cohort where students can have different experiences of living in Russia and different interests in learning Russian. In the course, students complete seven mini-essays (500 words each) and Maria provides audio and written feedback to students, which combine to “feedforward” into the next assessment.

Maria presented some of the benefits of using audio feedback, including:

  • Multisensory feedback – hence more accessible,
  • Improves teaching presence – students hear you and your voice,
  • Conversational and personalised feedback, and
  • Often quicker to produce.

Maria used a tool called VoiceThread, which has some intriguing features. It’s also possible to deliver audio feedback using Turnitin Assignment.

Photo by Adi Chrisworo on Unsplash

Open in class discussion with Moodle Hot Questions

Rebecca Yerworth and one of her students, Xu Zhao, demonstrated how Moodle’s Hot Question activity can facilitate in-class discussions.

The Moodle Hot Question activity allows for students to submit questions and/or answers via Moodle on their phone or laptop. This facilitates class discussion by increasing the participation of students who otherwise wouldn’t speak up in class due to personal or cultural reasons. Rebecca moderates the discussion live in class, answers questions, and draws out connections between different student answers. She also finds the Hot Questions activity flexible to use as it can be enabled in Moodle and switched on with a click of a button when a new discussion is needed.

Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

Welcoming new Chemistry students through a Moodle module

Dr Stephen E. Potts presented on the development of a Moodle module for welcoming new Chemistry students.

The UCL Chemistry Undergraduate Welcome Page introduces students to the Department, their degree programme, a typical timetable, Lab safety, and even how to submit an assignment on Moodle. It also includes some fun stuff like how to join the UCL Chemical and Physical Society and a collection of molecules with silly names. The module is designed to be delivered completely online, so is Baseline+ compliant, and is released to students when they are registered but before they arrive on campus.

I found the module was a great example of making Moodle look good (yes, it’s possible!). It was visually enticing, clearly structured, and combined quiz activities, video, text and image to engage students. The course has received positive feedback so far, and Stephen plans to build on the module, possibly to include multi-lingual content. I was also really impressed by the virtual tour of the Department. Students click through main buildings and labs, in a similar manner to Google maps, and can also click on information points to view location specific information. The tour was created using a 360 camera and Google Poly.

These three presentations demonstrated some of the everyday ways that inclusivity can be improved through teaching practice and technology. They also showed that improving inclusivity can often be accomplished as part of improving student engagement overall. There was much more to the conference than can be summarised here, and you can read the conference Abstracts to find out more. A tremendous thank you to all the organisers and presenters!

Globally De-activating Portico Enrolments

Janice K MKiugu26 February 2019

Portico enrolments will be globally deactivated in Moodle on 5th March 2019.  This is usually 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.

Turnitin and Moodle Assignment training

EliotHoving7 February 2019

The Digital Education team is running two new training courses, Hands on with Turnitin Assignment, and Hands on with Moodle Assignment. Each session is practical, from a staff and student perspective you will experience the process of submitting, marking, returning marks, engaging with feedback and managing records. Both courses are applicable to Tutors and Course Administrators new to online marking or needing to refresh their knowledge.

Register through the HR Single Training Booking System or follow the links below:
Hands on with Turnitin
Hands on with Moodle Assignment

Email digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk for more information or to inquire about specific training for your Department.

New Moodle ready for start of session 2018-19!

AnnoraEyt-Dessus28 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!

New Moodle Update- September 2018

Janice K MKiugu31 August 2018

As you may have seen, for a number of reasons outlined previously, a new Moodle Platform has been rolled out for the 2018/19 academic year,  This has been a substantial undertaking, but ‘New’ 18-19 Moodle is now up, with migrated courses and student enrolments available ready for the start of term!

While there are still some ongoing issues and small updates to be made, we would like to share the progress made so far, and thank everyone for their patience and involvement in getting to this point.

What has changed?

While New Moodle has a new look and feel and some new functionality, it is still Moodle – so much of it will be familiar. Here are some highlights:

  • New landing page:  Allowing access to either Legacy or New Moodle 2018/19
  • New Course Overview: Upon login, you’ll see courses you’re enrolled on listed under In progress, Future and Past. Courses appear under each of these tabs based on the start and end dates within settings for each course in Moodle, so do check under each of these.
  • Layout and view options: Hide blocks (temporarily) or switch to ‘Full screen’ view so you can focus on the main content area.
  • Navigation: There are now new menu tabs – such as ‘My courses’ and ‘This course’ – at the top of each Moodle page, which give you quick link access to your other active courses, or Participants, grades and activities for the course you’re in.

You can find out more about New Moodle Features and some of the Known issues we are working to resolve as soon as possible.

Content migration and Courses

The Project team have liaised with Departmental Moodle Migration Coordinators (MMCs) to map courses from Legacy Moodle to New Moodle, with a Student migration team working through requests to complete the actual migration of content.  Over 6400 courses have now been migrated from Legacy to New Moodle, but if you think something has not been migrated, please confirm with your MMC in the first instance. See the list of MMCs here to find who this is for your department (UCL login required).

Courses should now be available to update, and we’ve created a New Moodle Checklist of key things to do/check to ensure that your course works well in the New Moodle and is ready for the start of term.

Portico and Category level enrolments

Student enrolments via Portico are now available. The new Portico enrolment block was released on 30th August. Staff will now be able to use the tool to enrol students on their Moodle courses at Department, Route and Module Delivery levels.  The process of mapping modules and enrolling students using the block is much the same as before and guidance is available.

Staff category level enrolments have now mostly been carried across from Legacy to New Moodle, based on confirmation from MMCs. If you had access to all courses in a category in Legacy Moodle, you should have similar access in New Moodle, though the listing of categories may be slightly different due to changes in SITS. Note that you may need to search for a course and enrol yourself on it for it to show in your Course Overview when you log in.

Training, support and guidance

New Moodle demo and drop sessions will continue to be run by Digital Education until the end of September, so please do attend to find out more and ensure your Moodle courses are ready for the start of teaching.

Thank you to everyone who’s attended sessions so far and fed back to us – we’ve tried to add your questions to the FAQs page. We’ll be communicating further plans for updates as we continue to enhance and refine New Moodle, but we do hope you’ll find the new system improved for the coming academic year.

If you have any questions or concerns, please see the New Moodle Information pages or email digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk