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Digital Education team blog


Ideas and reflections from UCL's Digital Education team


Archive for the 'Moodle' Category

Update on the Moodle-SITS Marks Transfer Wizard

By Kerry, on 6 June 2024

Since the release of the Moodle-SITS Marks Transfer Wizard in March 2024, we have an important update for you. When selecting a source Moodle activity to transfer marks from, Moodle activities can now include a Grade Item or Grade Category from the Moodle Grade Book.

Previously, it was only possible to transfer marks from a single Moodle assignment, Quiz or Turnitin assignment to one or more than one assessment component in Portico.

From 6th June 2024, you will also be able to select a Grade Item that you have manually created in the Moodle Grade Book. In addition, you will be able to transfer marks from a Grade Category. This means that if you have set up a Category in the Grade Book which has its own aggregated grade calculated from its Grade Items, you can also transfer this grade to one or more than one assessment component in Portico.

Please ensure that the Grade Item or Category meet the following criteria before completing a marks transfer:

  • The mark is numeric (letter grades are not eligible) so the Grade type should be set to “value”.
  • The maximum value is 100.
  • The Grade display type is set to “Real” (other display types will not be recognised by Portico so the item or Category would not show up as a Source activity in the Marks Transfer Wizard). 

These developments were prioritised following user feedback during the pilot earlier this year. Our next priority will be to analyse requirements for SORAs, ECs, LSAs and other special cases.

You can access guidance on how to use Marks Transfer in our Wiki, which includes short screen recordings. There is now also a short Tour on Moodle for users getting started with the tool.

If you are experiencing issues with using the Marks Transfer Wizard, please check our FAQs (which are frequently updated) and if you are still unable to resolve your issue, you should contact the Digital Education Support team at digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk.

For any issues with Portico data, contact examboards@ucl.ac.uk or for issues with incorrect assessment set up, contact lifecycle@ucl.ac.uk.

For general feedback or suggestions on future developments, please contact your Faculty Champion.

Moodle Assignment with Turnitin default settings change

By Eliot Hoving, on 4 June 2024

Turnitin can be used as an assignment activity on Moodle (option a), or in a Moodle assignment where it checks the submission for text-matching but the marking remains in Moodle assignment (option b).

These two options have mostly the same settings, but currently there is inconsistency in some of default settings between the two.

To ensure the default settings are the same for both, the DLE team will change the default settings for the following options from No to Yes for Turnitin in Moodle assignment (option b).

  • Display Similarity Reports to Students
  • Allow submissions of any file type?
  • Exclude Bibliography
  • Exclude Quoted Material

These new defaults will only apply if Turnitin is enabled in a Moodle assignment. Staff can choose to override the default values if they require.

These changes will take effect from the 1st July 2024.

Any questions or issues please contact the DLE team.

MATLAB Online Courses LTI now available

By Eliot Hoving, on 13 May 2024

The Digital Learning Environment Team are pleased to announce a new MATLAB activity available on Moodle.

The MATLAB and Simulink Online Courses LTI 1.3 allows students to automatically track progress in self-paced training courses on MATLAB and Simulink. Students can move from Moodle into their MATLAB online course/s seamlessly. Courses include MATLAB for Data Processing and Visualisation, Deep Learning with MATLAB and plenty more.

You can add the activity onto any Moodle course from the activity chooser page, in the same way as you would add other activities.



Moodle course rollover for 2024/25

By Eliot Hoving, on 7 May 2024

Course administrators and tutors can now rollover Moodle courses for the 2024/25 academic year.

Please note that Lecturecast sections for the upcoming academic year 2024/25 will not to be available until the 1st of August 2024, after which the new academic year’s sections can be linked to the rolled over Moodle course. 

If you need to rollover a course for the current 2023/24 academic year, then please contact IT services.

Relevant guides: 

Moodle Exam guard

By Eliot Hoving, on 19 April 2024

UCL Moodle has been updated with a new feature called Exam guard.

What is it?

Exam guard will prevent users from editing their course from 10 minutes before the start of a Moodle quiz until 10 minutes after the quiz has finished. Exam guard does this by looking at the “open the quiz”/ “close the quiz”  setting when a Moodle quiz is created. The course editing freeze will only apply where the Moodle quiz is open for less than 5 hours as it is designed to target Moodle quizzes being used for controlled condition exams.

A banner will appear at the top of your course when Exam guard is in effect.

Exam guard banner on a course page

Why is this required?

In the past, when users have attempted to edit and save changes to a Moodle course while a quiz is underway, it has caused serious performance issues while Moodle tries to refresh caches and implement the changes. This issue is particularly bad where a large cohort (300+) are taking the quiz, and has caused exams to be disrupted.

What do I need to do?

Exam guard will work automatically and should have no impact on the majority of workflows. Staff can still post to forums, and mark submissions in other assignments. They can also add user overrides for late minute ECs and SORA students to a quiz.

Staff will not be able to edit course settings or create or edit activities in their course while the exam is running.

Staff will no longer be able to manually release a Moodle quiz by making the quiz visible at the exam start time. This workflow is not recommended or required. A better approach is for staff to set the Moodle “open the quiz” setting to the exam start date and time when creating the quiz. Students will see the quiz item on Moodle but aren’t able to access the questions or begin the quiz before the open date and time so there is no risk your exam is released early.

Important Notice: Moodle groups

By Kerry, on 12 April 2024

Groups with “Hidden” or “Only see own membership” visibility are designed by Moodle to be secure so as not to disclose sensitive information.

It recently came to our attention that as a result they cannot be used when filtering assignments for markers.

If you do require groups that are filterable for markers, you will need to create new groups with group visibility set to “visible” or “only visible to members” and avoid naming them anything that could disclose they are for SORA or another specific group of students. This is because students within such a group can see who else is a member.

Any questions, please contact digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk