ACIT News – Michaelmas Term 14 – Week 0 #WebLearn #iTunesU #engage #research #courses

  1. New IT Services Websites newsletter
  2. Major New WebLearn release: WebLearn 10
  3. Happy 6th Birthday to Oxford on iTunes U
  4. Engage: Social Media Michaelmas series
  5. Online Research Database Service launched
  6. Support for software selection and sustainability
  7. Research data management induction resources
  8. Open Access Week 2014: 20th-24th October
  9. ALT-C Conference
  10. Upcoming ITLP courses
  11. Upcoming WebLearn courses

1.       New IT Services Websites

We are delighted to announce the launch of our new IT Services websites: and

  • is the department’s promotional site, describing what we do and highlighting our services and projects. The content is now more dynamic and focuses on users’ needs, engagement and discovery.
  • is a new help and support repository aimed at users of our services, including what to do when things aren’t working and how to request services and products that we offer. The focus is on enabling self-help by providing you with clear and searchable information and tools that are applicable to the services you use. In time, local IT support staff and the wider University will be able to comment on and/or contribute content, which will enable a more flexible, organic conversation with IT Services.

The new website replaces the old OUCSC, BSP and ICTST sites. This means that all URLs beginning

are no longer publicly available. will be withdrawn in due course.

To minimise the impact of this change, we have applied redirects to relevant content on our new sites. Therefore, if you currently link to any pages on our old sites please check for broken links. If you have any issues or queries, please contact

2.       Major New WebLearn release: WebLearn 10

WebLearn has undergone a significant facelift with a move to WebLearn 10 (2.10-ox1).  As well as a new look, this release brings a wealth of new features, including:

New Tools/features

  •  New ‘Contact Us’ tool (as recommended by the WebLearn Student Experience study)
  • A new Syllabus tool: edit in place, calendar integration, bulk changes
  • A new Lessons tool
  • Brand new Site Members tool
  • Peer marking in Assignments tool
  • Submission of group Assignments
  • Ability to record audio and add movies to a Webpage through the WYSIWYG HTML editor
  • Short tutorial for first-time users
  • The ability to locate and link to Forum posts and Assignments within the WYSIWYG editor (via Browse Server)
  • Customisable branding for individual departments (available upon request)
  • Drag-and-drop of files into Resources through your web browser
  • Mathematical notation is available when creating web pages


  • Modern, mobile-friendly navigation
  • Improved Forums tool offering statistics and grading; an option to require users to post before they can read existing posts; word count for messages; and improved layout for setting permissions
  • Support for IMS Learning Tools Interoperability 2.0; this allows data to be sent back to WebLearn from a 3rd-party tool
  • Improved Reading Lists: items can be reordered, list items can be files in Resources

For more details, see

3.       Happy 6th Birthday to Oxford on iTunes U

Oxford on iTunes U celebrates its 6th birthday this month. It is an exciting repository of free knowledge, with over 6,000 talks and lectures available to everyone, everywhere.

Our new series ‘Big Questions in Science’ presents the latest research from Oxford on globally important issues. It’s presented in a friendly, engaging way and is a perfect starting point for our hundreds of other great science podcasts. And if you like the short-and-snappy format of ‘Big Questions’, then you’ll enjoy the series ‘Chemistry for the Future’ and ‘Flash Talk Physics’.

Other interesting content released over the last month includes series on Condensed Matter, Practical Ethics, World War One poetry and Egyptian collections, and a set of talks from the recent Alumni Weekend.

We always recommend subscribing to a new series, as more talks will be added in future and you’ll see related topics to explore further at your leisure.  The benefit of iTunes is that the content can be synced to your music player and mobile device. However, if you aren’t a user of iTunes, you can access all the material from the Oxford Podcasts website.

 4.       Engage: Social Media Michaelmas series

IT Services is running the third annual ‘Engage: Social Media Michaelmas’ programme (#OxEngage) from 14th October until 27th November. We will be hosting free lunchtime seminars, courses and workshops to inspire researchers, staff and postgraduates to develop their online presence for impact, outreach and public engagement.

This year’s sessions range from academic blogging and tweeting to using ICT to connect with schools and sharing research findings via infographics. Speakers from the British Library will discuss their experiences of exploring big research questions with the public (, and the Imperial War Museum will describe a unique training initiative, ‘Computer Club’ (

Two highlights of ‘Engage’ are:

  •  The Ada Lovelace editathon on 14th October. To celebrate the achievements of women in the sciences, join us (and a trainer from Wikipedia) in editing and updating relevant entries for key women who have made significant contributions to world knowledge.

For the latest updates on all events, follow the ‘Engage’ blog ( and Facebook page (

5.       Online Research Database Service launched

ORDS, the Online Research Database Service from the IT Services Research Support team, is now live. ORDS is a free, centrally-supported service which allows researchers to create, edit, search, and share databases. It’s open to all research staff and postgraduate research students at the University, plus their collaborators. To learn more about the service, visit

6.       Support for software selection and sustainability

The IT Services Research Support team has recently expanded its services to include software selection, software sustainability, and intellectual property. Users will benefit from the experience of the team members who run OSS Watch, the national centre of expertise in open source software and open development. You can find a case study of the team’s work in this area with the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network at

If you have a software-related issue you’d like to discuss with a member of the Research Support team, please email

Blog posts on the new services:

7.       Research data management induction resources

A new version of the research data management induction resources is now available online.  Consisting of short PowerPoint presentations (with comprehensive presenter’s notes), plus an accompanying hand-out, they are designed for use with new researchers and graduate research students to give a quick overview of key issues, and to provide pointers to further information. The resources can be downloaded from

8.      Open Access Week 2014: 20th-24th October

International Open Access Week is now in its 7th year. Our colleagues at Open Access Oxford have organised a diverse and programme of events for staff and students, which you can find at

9.       ALT-C Conference

Three members of Academic IT Services attended this year’s ALT-C Conference at the University of Warwick in early September. This annual event brings together researchers and practitioners from the learning technology community both in the UK and internationally. We were also delighted to meet up with our former director, Melissa Highton, who has been enjoying a lively start to her new post at the University of Edinburgh.

Liz Masterman of the Education Enhancement team in Academic IT has been announced as one of the chairs of ALT-C 2015. Liz will be co-chairing alongside Amanda Jefferies of the University of Hertfordshire, and the conference theme will be ‘Shaping the Future of Learning Together’.

10.   Upcoming ITLP courses

Bookings open 30 days in advance, but you can express an interest in a course and receive a reminder when booking opens.

Agent-based modelling: An introduction to modelling behaviours in your research
Mon 13 Oct 14:00-17:00
Digital media: Podcasting at Oxford FAQs
Fri 17 Oct 09:15-10:45

Digital media: Audacity – editing spoken word
Fri 17 Oct 11:00-12:00

Academic crowdsourcing: How to engage the public with your research
Tue 21 Oct 12:30-13:30

Research data management planning: An introduction for researchers
Mon 27 Oct 14:00-15:30

Spreadsheets: Working with archival lists and text in Excel
Wed 29 Oct 10:00-16:15

Digital images: Concepts
Thu 30 Oct 14:00-17:00

11.   Upcoming WebLearn Courses

We offer a variety of courses free of charge to support the use of WebLearn and associated tools to enrich students’ learning experience. Course books for the formal courses (3-hour sessions) can be downloaded at for self study.

Places on taught sessions are limited and booking is required.


WebLearn: Fundamentals
Mon 13 Oct 14::00-17:00

WebLearn: Surveys
Tue 28 Oct  14:00-17:00

Byte-sized lunch time sessions:

WebLearn Bytes: Site Management and Resources
Mon 20 Oct 12:30-1:30

WebLearn Bytes: Surveys
Mon 27 Oct 12:30-13:30

New! WebLearn: Overview for Local WebLearn Coordinators
Wed 29 Oct 12:30-13:30

Plagiarism: WebLearn and Turnitin
Wed 22 Oct 12.30 -13.30

Photo credit:
Posted in e-learning, Free online courses, Research | Tagged | Leave a comment

Leave a Reply