WebLearn report: Oct 2011- Jan 2012

Period: Oct 2011- Jan 2012

Software

New WebLearn was upgraded in Jan 2012 – it now stands at v2.6-0×10. For more detailed information please looked at the relevant blog post:

We will move to Sakai 2.8 at Easter.

Improvements & Bug Fixes

  • The owner of a template can be changed. This is the most frequently requested feature enhancement and will effectively allow the authoring of Survey Templates to be a collaborative process. Templates can now easily be passed from user to user.
  • When a template is a copied, an annotated duplicate of each individual original question now appears in the owner’s question bank
  • Events from merged calendars are now part of the ‘subscribe’ (Private URL) link
  • One can subscribe to a calendar via the synoptic view of the schedule
  • There is a publicly accessible Graduate Training WebLearn site containing most courses (link from front page)
  • Training on this site can now be categorised according to the Researcher Development Framework
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA) went live on 24th Jan, users must register to use 2FA sites and sites can only be created via the Examinations and Assessment team. It is now possible to use SAML2 to protect a WebLearn site with an extra “password” which is sent to a registered user as an SMS. Work has been undertaken to ensure that there are no “back doors” into such a site, eg, webDAV access has been disabled.

Training and Guidance

The revamped WebLearn Guidance Site went live just before Christmas. We are planning several new courses:

  • WebLearn: Assessment and Feedback
  • Plagiarism: Turnitin Fundamentals
  • Plagiarism: Interpreting Originality Reports using Turnitin
  • Plagiarism: Information skills for students
  • Plagiarism: Tackling and managing plagiarism in the internet age

Projects

The Student Enrolment System II finished at Christmas.

The OXAM Migration project formally finished at Christmas – the software is currently undergoing user acceptance testing.  This replicates and improves upon the incumbent OXAM service and is now deployed within WebLearn.

The Nexus-WebLearn integration project has made slow progress, next on the hit list is insertion of (Tutorial) sign-up events in personal calendars.

The WebLearn team has now started work for the Blavatnik School of Government (BSG) as part of their project to provide their students with an iPad App interface to their learning material.

The OxCAP Phase I project was successful and now OxCAP Phase II has started (in January) and will run until March 2013. This is a JISC funded initiative to expose data (as a public XML feed) about graduate training courses at Oxford. OxCAP II addresses local needs: we will develop an internal protected feed, a new WebLearn tool which will allow a search of all graduate skills training courses at Oxford to be performed, a Share Point site for entering courses data and a JavaScript library to allow basic searching on institutional websites. This project offers a solution to a problem that students (and staff) have been demanding for a while now; this project has the explicit backing of the PVC for Education and the Registrar.

Staff

A new member of staff, Roger Pearson, will started work in the WebLearn team on Nov 1st. He is working on the “assessment and feedback” project known as SIPA, he will be reviewing and developing our support of Turnitin, investigating GradeMark and PeerMark (which will also be piloted), and recommending improvements to the WebLearn Assignments tool.

A new Java developer Colin Hebert has now started, he will also work on the SIPA project but will initially do general WebLearn and BSG development work.

Upcoming

  • Improvements to Sign-up tool
  • Site templates facility – it will be possible to base a new site upon a selection made from a choice of templates each tailored for a specific situation and each containing their own help and guidance.
  • Integration of the Behaviour Composer and Epidemic Game Maker (modelling tools) into WebLearn using IMS Basic LTI (see: http://m.modelling4all.org/)
  • Move to Sakai 2.8 (incl. collapsible LHS menus, academic network creation, improved WYSIWYG editor plus lots more)
  • Sign-up tool enhancements (categories, change organiser, auto create groups, prevent withdrawing when closed, better export)
  • Formal announcement of OXAM database of past exam papers service.
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