We thought it might be useful to outline what tasks the WebLearn team are currently working on. The focus at the moment is on 4 projects but we are also spending time inducting two new developers and two new learning technologists:
- WebLearn Improved Student Experience (WISE) project (see: https://blogs.it.ox.ac.uk/adamweblearn/wise-project/) – The WISE project will support departments, faculties, colleges and units to fast-track the development and improvement of their WebLearn presence in order to deliver an enhanced (and consistent) student digital experience, as per recommendations from previous projects.
- Developing an Online Reading List Management System (ORLiMS) at the Bodleian Social Science Library (Innovation Project) – Major improvements to the design, functionality and user interface of WebLearn’s Reading List tool
- Researcher Training Tool Improvement Exercise (RATTIE) – Numerous improvements to the user experience plus big fixes.
- Rewriting the WYSIWYG HTML editor ‘item picker’. (This relates to the pop-up window that appears when you opt to ‘Browse Server’ from within the editor.) This work is being undertaken by a student intern.
In the future, WebLearn is poised to switch to switch over to using the IT Services Group Store as the provider of institutional groups (unit and course groups); this will happen in July.
There is some good news in that the Education IT Board has approved the Mobile Learning with WebLearn (MOLE) project brief. (A project brief is a pre-project phase where requirements are fully-defined and the project plan is made.) The full project will transform WebLearn into a fully responsive service meaning a much-improved user experience on a mobile phone. In addition, the project will develop a handful of ‘Learning App’s and the next few months will be spent mapping out exactly what Apps will be developed.
WebLearn will also be providing the back-end to the Humanities Division’s ‘Frameworks: The Oxford Mobile Career Planner’. The project is in its very early stages so details may change but it is currently planned that WebLearn will act as a data store and present anonymised skills audit data to skills training officers who will be able to assess the effectiveness of Research Training at Oxford University. The project will also develop an App for students to record and reflect upon researcher career development in terms of skills accrued.
Another substantial piece of work is the rewrite of the integration code that links WebLearn and TurnItIn (the plagiarism awareness service). Turnitin are withdrawing the current interface (API) and moving to an IMS Basic LTI with extensions approach. The new integration should be invisible to the end user although we may be able to improve the range of options available via WebLearn’s Assignments tool.