Using WebLearn to aid student induction

Lettitia Derrington (Department for Continuing Education) received a project grant to develop a WebLearn feature that could be made available across the University to support the online induction of postgraduate students. http://blogs.it.ox.ac.uk/adamweblearn/2015/11/university-teaching-awards-2015/

Lettitia built an ‘Induction Lessons Tool’, made entirely with the standard Lessons Tool in WebLearn. It was trialled within the CPD Centre, Department for Continuing Education in 2016-17 (with eight programme sites), offered to other teams within ContEd in 2017-18 (four additional sites) and is now in a format that could be rolled out to the wider University.

We asked Lettitia to describe how she customised WebLearn in this way to meet the needs of tutors and students in ContEd.

The aim was to create an induction area for postgraduate students as an alternative to, or to complement face-to-face induction activities. We wanted to provide a sense of progression through the various steps that students need to take and to make the information visually appealing and the content engaging. We also needed to ensure that we provided the essential information that departments have to provide for inductions as well as signposting useful information from the wider University.

I used the Lessons Tool to create a grid layout and to embed images and videos easily. It also allows me to embed generic files held on a central site, so that updating the information can be carried out in one location with the changes automatically updating all individual sites.

I hope that describing the different areas with a question – ‘Have you…..?’, emphasises the importance of the tasks, which is substantiated by quotes from previous students describing how important/useful it is.

I used colour on the main boxes as a differentiating factor, and I have carried the colour coding through to the subpages. I don’t think that it is very obvious to the students, but the subpages are divided into white and coloured boxes. The white information contains the essential information that departments have to provide, whilst the coloured boxes contain additional information to enhance the student experience.

Feedback from students has been good. The Induction section has been very useful as a resource to help them to do everything they need to be ready. All in all, it has had an immensely positive impact in supporting the delivery and administration of ContEd courses.

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Usage Satistics

Every year we traditionally present the number of unique logins in Week 1 of Trinity Term. This can be viewed as a rough measure of the growth of a service. As you can see, apart from one year, growth has been steadily increasing  year on year.

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WebLearn Tests tool

A powerful way for your students to test their understanding…

WebLearn offers a tool called ‘Tests’, which allows tutors and lecturers to create pools of questions and assessments based on selecting questions to present to students. Students can take the test in their own time and benefit from hints and feedback provided by the tutor when creating the questions.

The following questions types are possible:

The process of creating a test involves the following steps:

  1. Create questions in a question pool – options are available to provide overall feedback or hints
  2. Build an assessment by selecting questions to present (either sequentially or randomly)
  3. Test drive the assessment (test) as a student
  4. Set options such as open and close dates, time limits, number of attempts etc.
  5. Publish the test for students to take

The Tests tools keeps track of all attempts and provides a report showing student names, start and finish time, and scores. The data can be exported to Excel for further analysis.

Further information:

Contact us

If you would like to discuss possibilities for using the Tests tool in your courses, contact our team of learning technologists at weblearn@it.ox.ac.uk

 

 

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WebLearn and Turnitin Courses and User Groups: Michaelmas Term 2017

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. All courses are free of charge.

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

WebLearn 3-hour courses:

Byte-sized lunch time sessions:

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

Plagiarism awareness courses (Turnitin):

User Group meetings:

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New Features in WebLearn 11-ox7

A new version of WebLearn (version 11-ox7) was released on Tuesday 3 October 2017. The main ‘headline’ is that authentication has now switched to Shibboleth in anticipation of the removal of the WebAUTH service. Other improvements have been made to Reading Lists, the Peer Assessment process and Anonymous Submission sites.

Here is a list of the main improvements:

  • Change the authentication method from WebAuth to Shibboleth
  • The HTML WYSIWYG editor now has an “Insert HTML5 Media” toolbar button

  • One can now embed HTML pages containing Font Awesome icons within Lessons pages
  • On a public site in the Lessons tool, the resources folder listing is now correctly shown for non-logged in users
  • In Lessons, formatting improvements have been made to the calendar event pop-up and Forums and Announcement widgets change colour when the page’s colour scheme is modified
  • Reading Lists: links to journal articles now open in a new tab
  • NHS users can now post messages to the Email Archive
  • Additional ‘Joinable Sites’ options have been enabled – you can now specify whether Joinable Sites can be joined by any logged in user or just by users with an Oxford SSO account.

Anonymous Essay Submission & Assignments Tool

  • On Anonymous Submissions (AS) sites, one cannot now allow Students to see their TII reports – the option is greyed out
  • A “reveal assignment on this date” option has been added, this means an assignment can be set up but students will not see it in the list until the “visibility date” is reached
  • If peer assessment already selected then the configuration options are shown by default
  • The default End date of the Peer Assessment period is 7 days after Accept Until date

Dynamic Lookup of Users

As part of the VLE review requirements gathering exercise, it was suggested that there should be an ‘auto-complete’ feature when adding users to a site. we have now implemented this new feature and we would like a small number of volunteers to test-drive this new facility. Please get in touch if you would like to help out.

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Lecture Capture (Replay) Forum – Wed 27 Sep PM

From the Replay Team

We will be holding the annual Replay lecture capture user forum at IT Services, Banbury Road on Wednesday 27th September from 14:00-17:30. There will be a buffet lunch beforehand from 13:00-14:00.

The forum is designed to bring Oxford staff up-to-date with the latest developments of the Replay lecture capture service and is an ideal opportunity to meet other Replay users across the university.

Replay lecture capture service: http://help.it.ox.ac.uk/replay

Both academic and IT/AV/administrative staff are welcome to attend. The event is free, but please book if you plan to attend so that we can correctly assess numbers for lunch: https://oxford.imparando.com/accessplan/clientinput/course/coursebooker.aspx?coursedateid=42554

There will be plenty of opportunity for discussion, along with a series of brief talks, including:

  • How to get started using Replay
  • What’s new with the Replay service and the Panopto software
  • Case-studies from departments
  • Guest speakers from other UK institutions
  • The VLE review and new Panopto integration options, including embedding
  • and more…

There will also be a series of training sessions throughout the next term: Dates to be confirmed and booking links will be posted at http://help.it.ox.ac.uk/replay/trainingsessions

As always, send any enquiries to the team at replay@it.ox.ac.uk

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Innovative use of WebLearn – Oxford Online Programme in Sleep Medicine

In 2014 Oxford University approved a brand new postgraduate programme in Sleep Medicine. The two-year online programme leads to a postgraduate diploma (PGDip) or a Master of Science degree (MSc).

The programme is hosted by the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute (SCNi), at the University of Oxford which “brings together world leading expertise in basic and human sleep and circadian research and in the evaluation and management of sleep disorders” (Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, 2016).

Learning technologists in Medical Sciences and IT Services were involved in building a customised portal and customised online course components in WebLearn. In tandem with the course development team, the learning technologists have tried hard to design a programme that attempts to imitate the face-to-face, personalised Oxford learning experience.

This approach is achieved through small student groups, moderated online discussions, live webinars and collaboration with subject specialists to reflect the most recent research findings. It was particularly important to employ aspects of personalisation, e.g. showing students only material that is relevant to them, at the appropriate time (depending on current module, week etc.).

In the structure of the online modules, the WebLearn ‘Lessons tool’ was used to offer the pedagogical advantage of tailoring a learning pathway for the students, with integrated content, relevant activities and assessment opportunities.

The customised interface and personalisation features were realised by taking advantage of WebLearn’s ‘behind-the-scenes’ RESTful web services API and rendered using a popular open source JavaScript framework called Angular 2. A very modest amount of development work was undertaken by the WebLearn team to make this approach possible.

 

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System Improvements: WebLearn v11-ox6

WebLearn was upgraded on 20th June 2017 to version 11-ox6. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the disruption.

Here is a list of some of the improvements:

  • Single file upload limit is now 250MB (Resources, Assignments etc.)
  • A link to one’s personal Calendar has been added in the top right Top Right “personal” drop down

  • Anonymous Submission sites
    • Site Info tool cannot now be removed in error
    • It is now not possible to change the Admin Site – all ‘submission’ sites are forced to be managed by Exams and Assessment
  • Favourite sites are now clickable

  • One can how hide / or un-hide one’s self in a site via Home > Preferences > Sites
  • Replay (Recorded Lectures)
    • All instances now have the same ‘play button’ icon
    • Individual recordings can now be inserted into Lessons (using IMS LTI Content Item Message)
  • Citations List improvements
  • Site Members will display the photos which have been set in a user’s Profile by default (as there are currently no available ‘official photos’)
  • Interactive videos (and other content types) from h5p.org can now be used within Lessons (and Resources): “H5P makes it easy to create, share and reuse HTML5 content and applications. H5P empowers everyone to create rich and interactive web experiences more efficiently“. H5p includes
    • Interactive YouTube videos (annotate, ask questions etc.)
    • Image juxtaposition
    • Drag and drop / Drag the words
    • Hotspots
    • Many many more content types

  • Resources:
    • The superfluous recycle bin link has been removed
    • Folders can be expanded on a mobile phone
    • Emoticon images inserted pre-WebLearn 11 will now appear correctly
  • Forums and Topics are correctly copied during ‘Duplicate site’ and ‘Import from site’
  • Researcher Training Tool
    • Search Results page is now fully responsive
    • Improved rendering in Internet Explorer 11
  • Lessons tool: ‘Add section break above’ no longer results two blocks appearing below

 

 

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Copyright support site in WebLearn – updated June 2017

The Copyright support site in WebLearn has been updated with a new ‘look’ and links to the latest information about copyright requirements, with specific reference to the use of learning materials in a virtual learning environment. The site is publicly available.

The support site in WebLearn is being developed in conjunction with the Bodleian Libraries; it provides links to copyright guidance currently being updated and expanded by Bodleian librarians and staff in the University’s Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM) division, in line with the provisions of the University’s CLA (Copyright Licensing Agency) licence.

The message is:

  • Provision of resources (images, text, articles etc.) for students in WebLearn falls largely under the terms of the CLA licence. For queries contact your college or departmental contact person.
  • Be aware that even if a journal article is your own work, you may have signed away the copyright to a publisher.
  • Always check the terms and conditions of the item, or failing that, request permission from the rights holder.
  • Consider releasing your own material under a Creative Commons licence to make the usage conditions clear to others.

More information:

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Local WebLearn coordinators

Are you a local WebLearn coordinator (or administrator) and are you aware of your responsibilities regarding your unit’s WebLearn presence? Register to attend the lunch time session offered free of charge by IT Services (Mon 12 June 2017, 12:30 – 13:30): WebLearn: Overview for local WebLearn coordinators.

At Oxford University, management of a unit’s WebLearn presence is devolved to one or more ‘local WebLearn coordinators’ in the unit who act as a contact between the unit and the central WebLearn service team.

  • The local WebLearn coordinator(s) should be the first point of contact for the unit’s WebLearn users and also act as local administrator(s).
  • They can allocate rights to other members of the unit to create and manage WebLearn sites.
  • We recommend that units develop a clear policy regarding who can do what within their WebLearn areas, and also assign responsibilities for keeping content and site membership up to date.
  • Local WebLearn coordinators need to monitor important announcements made by the central  WebLearn service team and relay them to their users as appropriate.

More information:

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