Making recorded lectures available in WebLearn

Lecture Capture (Replay)

The Lecture Capture service (called Replay) has been available across the University for a number of months now. The service is free of charge to departments at the point of use, this means that the software which is used to capture lectures (Panopto) can be installed on any number of computers in any number of rooms, or on any personal laptops.

Replay is an IMS LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) tool that handles user authentication via WebLearn, before linking to Panopto.

A July 2016 blog post about Replay provides more information about the service.

Adding the Replay tool to a WebLearn site

Recorded lectures are made available to students by adding the Replay tool to a WebLearn site (‘Site Info’ > ‘Manage Tools’ then select the ‘Replay’ tool at the bottom of the list of tools). All site participants will be able to view the lectures in the Replay folder.

Once the tool has been added, it can be used to upload existing videos or record new ones for use in teaching. For example, a lecturer can record video snippets on their own laptop to reinforce certain topics, dispel misconceptions, or present background/supplementary information before delivering the live lecture; or, of course, record the live lecture for students to refer to later for revision and reinforcement.

The Replay tool can be accessed by students either in the left hand tools menu (with a default title of ‘Recorded Lectures’) – this will happen automatically after having added the tool as described above; and/or as a hyperlink on a ‘Lessons’ page (see next section).

The following options are available for linking to Replay recordings:

  • one entire folder containing multiple recordings (covered in this blog post)
  • multiple folders of recordings from a single WebLearn site
  • one individual recording within a Replay/Panopto folder.

The second and third possibilities are ‘advanced options’, described in a separate blog post.

Linking to a Replay folder from within a Lessons page

The Lessons tool is a relatively new addition to WebLearn. We recommend that all student-facing content be developed within the Lessons tool (rather than as an HTML page in Resources). Lessons is far better for developing structured ‘learning pathways’ for students and it offers better authoring capabilities compared to an HTML page (in Resources).

To add a link to the Replay tool from within a Lessons page, go to the Lessons tool and click on the ‘Add Content link, then click ‘Add External Tool’. (NB: the Replay tool must have already been added to the site as described above.)

Then click on ‘Replay’:

Name the link using the ‘Button Text’ box (e.g. ‘Video folder’), and choose a custom icon if you wish to replace the default icon. For this example, we will leave the ‘Custom Parameters’ box blank  (this option allows you to provide the URL and link to a particular recording within Panopto – see our separate ‘advanced options’ blog post). Click ‘Save’ at the bottom of the screen.

You will see the Replay tool linked from your Lessons page. This link will open the Panopto folder associated with this WebLearn site, and all the recordings it may contain.

The best user experience is when Panopto is opened in a new window; to change this, click on the edit button (‘pencil’ icon) alongside the item and elect to have it open in a new window: 

More information

 

 

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WebLearn and Turnitin courses: places still available

It  is the second half of Trinity term.  If you still have not managed to attend WebLearn and/or Turniitin courses,  book a place now to avoid disappointment.

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 meeting:

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Online submission of summative assessments in WebLearn

This post was written by Nicola Cooper-Harvey and appeared in the AAD news alert on 15 May 2017

Any colleagues wishing to move to online submission of summative assessments must take note of the following:

  • the relevant Examination Regulations must have been amended prior to the new academic year;
  • the assessments must adhere to the framework for online submissions agreed by Examinations Panel; and
  • they must use the centrally-provided WebLearn system.

A new facility has been created within WebLearn to enable anonymous submissions (identified by student candidate number, not by name). A special WebLearn site (called an ‘anonymous submissions’ (AS) site) needs to be allocated to manage summative online submissions and, if desired, marking.

Please email taughtdegrees@admin.ox.ac.uk if you plan to move to online submissions for the 2017/18 academic year, and/or if you wish to attend a briefing session on the use of WebLearn to do this.

 

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18 May 2017 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Today (18/5/17) is the sixth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD).

“The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.”  (http://globalaccessibilityawarenessday.org/.)”

To celebrate this, Matt Clare from Brock University, (Chair of Sakai Accessibility Working Group,) has written a blog post about accessibility (aka a11y) in Sakai and designing accessible content.

Related Links

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System Improvements: WebLearn v11-ox5

WebLearn was upgraded on 27th April 2017 to version 11-ox5. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the disruption.

Here is a list of some of the major improvements:

Peer-to-peer Chat

It is now possible to instigate a one to one chat with a fellow site member or other WebLearn user with whom you have set up a connection (via “My Home > Profile”).

To start a conversation, click on the “Chat” rectangle at the bottom right of every page and then click on the person you would like to chat to (NB, there may be a short delay before the list of users appears).

You can then have a conversation by typing in the (small) window that pops up

Lessons Page Ownership / Editing Restrictions

This release introduces a brand new concept to the Lessons tool – owning a Lessons page.

In the past, if  a site member was given permission to edit a Lessons Page then that meant they could edit (and delete) all Lessons pages on a site. It was felt that these update permissions were too loose and could result in accidental deletions or damage to sites, so the concept of an owned page was introduced (cf pages / files in Resources which all have owners).

The update allows a page to be owned by a site participant who doesnt by default have permission to edit Lessons pages. As the owner of a page, the user is able to update and edit that page and also create sub-pages from within that page (which they then also own).

To “give” a page to a user, click on the settings (cog) icon.

then select the owner (at the bottom of the resulting page)

The page will then show the owner (but not to students).

The best way to use this with staff is to modify the “Contribute” role and remove “edit permissions” from this role. To do this, click on “More Tools > Permissions”

and then unselect the “Update all pages or items” permission.

In summary, if you are responsible for a site in WebLearn, you can delegate responsibility for editing one or more specific Lessons pages in the site to individual members with running the risk of them damaging other Lessons pages in the site.

Reading Lists (ORLiMS)

Recent problems have come to light when editing a reading list that has a large number of items and nested sections. To combat this, we have added “integrity checking” to ensure that reading lists with incorrectly nested elements cannot be saved. We have also fixed a bug which led to incorrect “Find it on Solo” links for Journal Articles and another bug where some links to “Electronic Versions” were incorrect.

It is possible that there are some reading lists still in the system that have incorrect nesting, if you are unable to save a reading list after editing then please get in touch with the central team and report the site and name of the reading list. We will be able to update the database and modify the reading list to ensure it is in a consistent state.

Any new reading lists should now not be able to become incorrectly nested.

Bug Fixes

We have fixed a handful of other issues discovered over the last few months.

  • The “Replace Site” hierarchy management option now works correctly
  • The “Site Members” tool has improved formatting
  • The collapsible left-hand side menu now remains collapsed when moving to a different site
  • “Edit Site Information Display” on the “Overview” tool now saves correctly
  • The colour of the Turnitin Originality Report flag now displays correctly to students at all times
  • There is a more informative error message when trying to save a new file in Resources that would mean the URL would exceed the permitted maximum of 256 characters

Activity Browser

A number of minor improvements have been made to the Learning Resources Activity Browser which was developed as part of the SHOAL (Innovation) Project.

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Best practice in designing WebLearn sites and pages

The WISE project

One of the outputs of the recent WebLearn Improved Student Experience (WISE) project is a WebLearn site offering advice and guidance on various aspects to consider in building WebLearn sites and pages. The WebLearn Best Practice site encapsulates our experience in supporting 19 departments in redesigning their WebLearn areas.

Another output of the WISE project was a set of four WebLearn site templates, using the ‘box’ design and layout: Departmental Site, Programme Site, Course Site and Tutor Site. The Best Practice site provides a link to the guide on using the site templates, which illustrates how to create a new site based on a template, and then to edit the components according to your needs.

The Best Practice site provides information about the Lessons tool (including various examples of Lessons pages), and considers the question: ‘new site’ or ‘new page’? There are hints and tips about page design and layout (with examples of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ practice), images and video, accessibility and copyright.

More information:

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WebLearn and Turnitin Courses Trinity 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 meeting:

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Activity Browser: We have lift-off!

We are excited to announce that the SHOAL project’s Activity Browser has been launched!  You can find Activity Browser here: https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/activity-browser.   You can also access it from the left-hand menu of WebLearn’s Gateway home page, or from the Support page of the Digital Education website www.digitaleducation.ox.ac.uk.

If you’re curious about digital teaching tools, want to engage students in different ways both in and beyond the lecture theatre or tutorial, or want to satisfy student digital expectations, Activity Browser is for you!  It’s a searchable showcase of inspirational digital learning activities created within the university.  You can explore activities created by Oxford innovators, and see what digital tools they have chosen to tackle particular teaching challenges.  Each example includes suggestions for how to adopt and adapt the ideas and tools for your own teaching, whether for face-to-face learning in tutorials, classes or labs, or for online study, revision or assessment.

The SHOAL project was a proof-of-concept focussing on STEM subjects, but we’re aware of the innovative online teaching taking place in other subjects and we’re keen to add those resources to the collection.  We are currently looking into the easiest way for you to contribute your own online learning activities, and to grow the range of digital tools and applications in our showcase.  We will update the ‘Contribute’ page of Activity Browser in the next phase of the project.

The Browser interface will be improved when WebLearn is upgraded in Trinity.  We welcome feedback on this early version; please email shoal@maillist.ox.ac.uk.

 

 

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Using LaTeX in WebLearn

Mathematical (LaTeX) Notation is a special mark-up language designed to present mathematical notation in electronic documents. The upgrade to WebLearn 11 now means that LaTeX can be used to format equations as mathematical notation on most pages.

Once LaTeX has been enabled on a site and in a tool, one can easily add mathematical notion by enclosing equations and the like between two sets of $$.

This will produce the following output

 

 

Features:

  • identical output for all browsers and platforms
  • no images or special browser plugins required
  • accessible, with screen-reader compatibility
  • scalable font for different text sizes and zoom levels

LaTeX needs activating on each site via Site Info > Edit Site Information,

then enabling for individual tools via Site Info > Manage Tools (remembering to press ‘Save‘ at the bottom of the screen).

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Problems with Turnitin this morning (Monday 27 March)

Turnitin was erroneously returning error messages (“invalid file type”) this morning (27/3/2017) between 9am & 11am. This will have caused problems for submissions made through WebLearn’s assignment tool.

WebLearn respects error messages from Turnitin so would not try to resubmit any submissions made during this period. It will mark them with an error warning (orange triangle) in WebLearn.

If you have outstanding Turnitin reports from this period then please get in touch and we can resubmit for you.

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