Old-style URLs now redirect to the correct site

diversionAstute observers may have noticed that “hierarchy URLs” changed between WebLearn 10 and WebLearn 11.

In WebLearn 10, the URL of the Faculty of History was


in WebLearn 11, this was changed (for technical reasons) to


However, WebLearn 10 also supported URLs of this format


indeed, it was this style of URL that was indexed by Google. In addition, some departments use this style of URLs on their website to link to specific areas within WebLearn.

In order to combat this problem, we have recently added some logic to redirect this style of URL to the new WebLearn 11 equivalent.

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/daquellamanera/2069113311/

Posted in WebLearn | Leave a comment

WebLearn and Turnitin courses: Michaelmas term 2016

IT Services offers a variety of taught courses to support the use of WebLearn and the plagiarism awareness software Turnitin. Course books for the formal courses (3-hour sessions) can be downloaded for self study. Places are limited and bookings are required.

Click on the links provided to book a place, or for further information.

WebLearn 3-hour courses:

Plagiarism awareness courses (Turnitin):

Byte-sized lunch time sessions:

These focus on particular tools with plenty of time for questions and discussion

User Group meeting:

Posted in WebLearn | Leave a comment

Reserve your free place at the Sakai Virtual Conference on 2 November and explore the future of learning online

Sakai Virtual Conference 2016

Twitter: #SakaiVC16

The annual Sakai Virtual Conference – The Future of Learning Online: Beyond the Walled Garden – is an entirely online event with an emphasis on pedagogy, promoting student engagement and best practices in the field of technology enhanced learning. (Sakai is the software upon which WebLearn is based.)

Many of the major US universities use Sakai  so this is a unique opportunity to network with your peers ‘across the pond’ and share stories, tips and tricks. The conference is due to be held in the afternoon and evening of Wednesday 2nd November 2016.

In order to encourage participation and to help staff make the best possible use of WebLearn, Academic IT Services has paid for an institutional registration (of up to 25 seats). If you are interested in attending then please register your interest by sending an email to weblearn@it.ox.ac.uk by 31 October 2016.

As well as hearing from speakers around the world, there will be three presentations from Oxford. Lucy Tallents, who won the 2015 Teaching With Sakai Innovation Award, will present two sessions this year.

  • SHOAL project: SHaring Online Activities for Learning by Lucy Tallents and Adam Marshall. (More information about the SHOAL project.)
  • Learning pathways in Lessons by Lucy Tallents
  • Developing and using site templates by Fawei Geng

Conference Programme

prizeThe conference will start at 2pm with a keynote opening panel discussion “SakaiNGHow to Reach the Next Generation of Learners“.  The closing session which is very relevant in the context of Oxford’s upcoming institutional VLE review is entitled “Why NYU has stayed on Sakai“.  Throughout the day there will be a number of parallel sessions including course showcases, best practice, learning analytics, lighting talks, question and answer sessions and technical talks.

There will be opportunities for networking and informal discussions.  Back by popular demand, you can enter the Rogues Gallery (https://youtu.be/mpnknXbjjYw) contest to win a prize.

Conference delegates will also have opportunities to participate in games and random prize draws.  Several Amazon gift cards will be awarded, as well as a free conference registration to the Sakai LAMP CAMP – Pedagogy and Technology Conference July 25-27, 2017 (a $350 value)!

More information: http://virtconf.apereo.org/

To avoid disappointment, please reserve your seat by emailing weblearn@it.ox.ac.uk by 31 October 2016.

Posted in Sakai, WebLearn | Tagged , | Leave a comment

WebLearn unavailable Tuesday 25 October 7-9am

cisco-routerWebLearn will be unavailable between 7-9am on Tuesday 25 October 2016, there will be no service
during this period.

This action is necessary to allow IT Services staff to apply essential security fixes to the underlying Linux servers.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience that this essential work may cause.

Posted in Downtime, WebLearn | Tagged | Leave a comment

How to upload files into WebLearn via WebDAV using WinSCP

You will need to use WebDAV when uploading multiple files, or a large file (> 60MB) into WebLearn. However, we have had reports of users experiencing problems with Microsoft Windows when trying to connect to WebLearn via WebDAV; people are seeing reports of a “Network Error”. Most of these reports seem to be with Windows 10 but we’ve also heard the same complaint about Windows 7.

Because of this, we strongly recommend that staff and students use a dedicated third-party WebDAV client such as Cyberduck or WinSCP. Both are are available for free. In this article we concentrate on WinSCP which, unlike Cyberduck, does not need “administrator privileges” to install on one’s desktop. This may be a better option for people who have managed desktops (aka CONNECT machines).

At the time of writing (October 2016), “portable WinSCP” can be downloaded from https://winscp.net/download/WinSCP-5.9.2-Portable.zip. We have not heard of any connection problems when using WinSCP.

(It is possible that there may now be a later version, to check, visit https://winscp.net/ and check if a version later than 5.9.2 exits, if it does, visit the downloads page and choose the “portable executables”  link.)

A ZIP file containing WinSCP should be automatically downloaded when you visit the above URL, if it does not then click on the “Direct Download” link indicated in the screen shot.


Before running WinSCP it is absolutely essential to check that you are running up to date Anti-Virus software – you can never be too careful about running software downloaded from the web.

To run WinSCP you should double click on “WinSCP.exe”, elect to Run the file when asked. You should see a window that looks like this.


In oder to connect, you will need to copy the WebDAV URL from the WebLearn site that you wish to connect to, get this via Resources > Upload-Download Multiple Resources (WebDAV)

Select the file Protocol as “WebDAV” and Encryption as “TLS/SSL”. winscp-config1

Then copy the WebDAV URL from the target WebLearn site.


Paste this URL into the “Host name” box (note that it will only display weblearn.ox.ac.uk in the field, but it does store the rest) and supply your Oxford SSO username and password, click “Login”.


Assuming you have entered the correct details you will see your desktop machine’s file store in the left-hand part of the window and your WebLearn site in the right-hand pane.


You may now drag and drop between your desktop and WebLearn

Posted in Sakai, WebLearn | Tagged , | Leave a comment

WebLearn upgraded to Version 11-ox2 on 7 October 2016

WebLearn was upgraded  to version 11-ox2 on 7th October 2016. This release addresses some minor issues with WebLearn 11 and introduces some new functionality.

If you would like to suggest improvements to WebLearn then please do so by contributing to the WebLearn User Voice feedback service.


  • The Lessons Tool
    • The Add Resources Folder page component now displays optimally
    • It is now possible to add sub-pages within student pages
    • The LB-CSS folder (which is used to store uploaded CSS) is now hidden by default
  • The Contact Us tool has been re-added to all sites
  • Assignmentsquick-links
    • the attached Marked file is now accessible to students
    • Anonymous submission has been enabled; please note that this is part of a project sponsored by the Exams Department which will eventually allow official Candidate IDs and Specific Learning Difficulty notices to be surfaced in WebLearn – more information will be available in due course
  • Navigation
    • The display of the Quick Links menu has been improved
    • The display of the LHS Tool Menu has been improved
  • Site Info 
    • Two new Participant Groups have been added; each colleges now has an “Undergraduate” group and each course has a “Graduand” group
    • One can now export a list of site participants
    • When editing the description of a site via Edit Site Information, the target=”_blank” attribute is now automatically added to all non-secure hyperlinks – this will ensure that links to external http websites will open correctly
  • Resourceseditor-templates
    • Explicit instructions are now provided for users who wish to upload files without using drag and drop
    • Hidden folder names can no longer be mistakenly seen in the “access view” of resources
  • WYSIWYG HTML editor
    • The frequency of auto-save has been decreased
    • The list of page templates has been reordered
    • Tables no longer ignore Cell Padding and Cell Spacing
  • Additional Verification (AV) sites: if appropriate, the Request SMS Code page is now displayed when one does not yet have permission to access a document
  • Surveys: the Assign This Survey page no longer has scroll bars
Posted in Sakai, WebLearn | Tagged | Leave a comment

Student guide to WebLearn changes September 2016

IT Services has released a new version of the WebLearn software, which includes new features and a cleaner, more modern look.


What’s changed?phone

Here are a few of the features that will make it easier for you to use WebLearn.

Better on mobile devices

WebLearn automatically adjusts to the size of your device’s screen. If you are using a mobile phone, WebLearn hides the left hand menu and displays menus at the top of the screen, so you can see more of your page content.






favourites3Favourite sites

‘Sites’ is where you can see a list of all the WebLearn sites of which you are a member; click on one of the stars next to your favourite sites and they will always appear on the Favourites bar at the top of every page.




profile-pictureAdd your profile photo

You can now add a profile picture (and other information about yourself). This photo will be displayed when you make a posting in the Forums tool. Clicking on your photo (or name) will display options for Preferences, a short Tutorial about WebLearn, and the Log out option.

MyHomeMy Workspace is renamed ‘My Home’

My Home is a private area for your own personal use. You can:

  • store files in your own private Resources area
  • create HTML files (private or publicly viewable) in Resources
  • view an integrated Calendar showing entries from all your sites
  • create your own private Calendar entries
  • view Announcements from all your sites

replayLecture capture

Surveys show that automated lecture capture is the #1 service requested by students at Oxford University. In response to this need, Replay Lecture Capture is a new and evolving service that allows students to review an audio/visual presentation of what was presented in a lecture or seminar, and provides an archive and ‘view again’ facility for exam preparation and revision.

PASystem messages

WebLearn has a system-wide messaging tool. We will use this to keep you informed about upcoming maintenance so you can plan your work.

More …

More detailed information about the changes to WebLearn is available on the WebLearn update page.

Further help


Posted in WebLearn | Tagged | Leave a comment

Sakai Virtual Conference 2016 The Future of the Learning Online: Beyond the Walled Garden November 2, 2016 – Online

332px-Sakai_Logo.svgTweet, tweet: #SakaiVC16

Registration is open for the Sakai Virtual Conference. Registration is $50 per person, with all proceeds going toward Sakai feature development. Attendees will have the opportunity to provide input on the enhancements they would like to see in Sakai. (Sakai is the software upon which WebLearn is based.)

The Sakai Virtual Conference will take place entirely online on Wednesday, November 2, 2016.  You’ll attend presentations in concurrent session webinar rooms, ask the presenters live questions, and get the conference experience without the expense of travel. There will be opportunities for networking, informal discussions, and back by popular demand, enter our Rogues Gallery (https://youtu.be/mpnknXbjjYw) contest to win a prize. The “conference location” will be in Sakai, and we will be using Sakai tools such as Lessons, Forums, etc. to facilitate interaction among attendees. If you are comfortable in Sakai, you will easily engage in this virtual experience.

Find out how your peers are using Sakai at their institutions! Learn from early adopters of Sakai 11. Presentations will focus on effective teaching and learning practices, online pedagogy, and engaging students using technology.

The Sakai Virtual Conference is a unique opportunity to network with your peers and share stories and best practices in an online venue.

Register today and stay tuned for publication of the full program! For more information, see: http://virtconf.apereo.org/

Neal Caidin, Sakai Community Coordinator, Apereo Foundation

Wilma Hodges, Sakai Virtual Conference 2016 Planning Committee Chair

Ian Dolphin, Executive Director, Apereo Foundation

Posted in WebLearn | Leave a comment

How to upload files into WebLearn via WebDAV using Cyberduck

cyberduck-icon-384You will need to use WebDAV when uploading multiple files, or a large file (> 60MB) into WebLearn. However, we have had reports of users experiencing problems with Microsoft Windows when trying to connect to WebLearn via WebDAV; people are seeing reports of a “Network Error”. Most of these reports seem to be with Windows 10 but we’ve also heard the same complaint about Windows 7.

Because of this, we strongly recommend that staff and students use a dedicated third-party WebDAV client such as Cyberduck or WinSCP. Both are are available for free. In this article we concentrate on Cyberduck which needs “administrator privileges” to install on one’s desktop.

WinSCP does not necessarily need such administrator rights.

Download Cyberduck from https://cyberduck.io/ and is also available for a Mac. We have not heard of any connection problems when using Cyberduck.

Here’s a 35sec video that explains how to use Cyberduck with Sakai (WebLearn) – with WebLearn you should use your Oxford Single Sign On (SSO) username and password.

Here’s a slightly more comprehensive video that also shows the installation process.

Posted in Sakai, WebLearn | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

WebLearn upgraded to v11-ox1.1 on 16th September 2016

wl-11-new-front-pageWebLearn was upgraded  to version 11-ox1.1 on 16th September 2016. This release addresses most of the known major issues with WebLearn 11. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience that these problems may have caused.

The 11-ox1.1 release has addressed a number of issues with the Lessons tool, introduced wider LHS buttons so that labels are no longer truncated, and fixed issues with adding multiple IMS LTI tools, uploading to Resources, Chat and Sign-up. We have also updated WebLearn’s content filters so audio and video from podcasts.ox.ac.uk can be embedded on pages.

Some users may experience display issues which can be cured by forcing a page refresh.  For Windows press Ctrl & F5; for Mac/Apple press Apple + R or cmd + R; for Linux press F5. This website will explain in more detail: http://www.refreshyourcache.com/.

If you would like to suggest further improvements then please do so by contributing to the WebLearn User Voice feedback service.

Known Issues

The following are still known to be causing minor problems. We will be addressing these as a matter of urgency and hope to have fixes in place by the start of term (or very soon after).

  • the Contact Us tool is missing from most sites – now fixed
  • the Site Icon is now a little oversized – now fixed
  • images, tables and iframes when added via the HTML WYSIWYG editor are non-responsive, i.e. they do not shrink when viewed on a mobile
  • some HTML tables ignore the ‘cellpadding’ and ‘cellspacing’ attributes – we will address this as soon as possible
  • some pages, for example, Choose Login Route and Validate Your Account, do not yet display the WebLearn logo

There are also some known issues that only affect WebLearn when used on a mobile phone and these will take slightly longer to fix, one example is that some of the less well-used tools (for example, Tests and the Researcher Training Tool) are not yet optimised for small-screen usage.

In addition, Windows 10 seems to have a problem with its WebDAV implementation. When trying to map a network drive to a WebLearn site, it occasionally reports a “Network Error”. The problem is not apparent when using a dedicated WebDAV client such as Cyberduck (which can be downloaded free of charge) so we would recommend this approach to all Windows 10 users. All other versions of Windows seem to work without issue.

Full List of Changes

If you would like more details about these changes then please contact the Service Desk.

  • Lessons Tool
    • images and videos are now responsive when added to a Lessons page using the “Embed” option – note that images inserted via the WYSIWYG HTML editor do not yet shrink on a mobile phone
    • the problems with content not being saved to a page have been fixed
    • version information has been added to all JavaScript and CSS references which should stop problems with cached pages
    • it is now possible to embed a Resources folder listing
    • embedded Announcement and Forums summaries now display better
    • the “back” and “next” buttons are now present
  • Navigation
    • tool and sub-site labels are no longer truncated in the LHS menu and display better on a mobile phone
    • the LHS sub-site labels are now removed when the menu is collapsed and fly out upon mouse-over
  • Others
    • the Site Members tool now has the correct name and doesn’t give an error if you are not logged in
    • service-wide announcements no longer obscure the screen on a mobile
    • chat now displays correctly when the transcript contains a hyperlink
    • the problems which prevented participants with the ‘access’ role from uploading into Resources have been fixed
Posted in e-learning, Sakai, WebLearn | Tagged | Leave a comment