WebLearn and Turnitin Report: Jan 2014 – Apr 2014

 Training and Guidance

Trinity term’s programme of training has been announced:  http://wp.me/p1K8WQ-SZ


The TurnItIn Academic service suffered from poor performance throughout the whole of the last week of April; by the end of the week the problems appear to have been solved. The problem resulted in a backlog in processing student papers, but the UK service was back to normal within two days. This time the Turnitin providers sent out frequent status updates, and we fed the information to status.ox.ac.uk.


Have you got a suggestion to improve WebLearn? If so you may like to contribute to the WebLearn User Voice feedback service which available from the WebLearn Welcome page: “Suggest an Improvement”.

The WebLearn team plans to publicise the weekly Computer8 sessions to encourage users to make us of the free, individual consultation time on offer. Also, we would like to strongly encourage departments and colleges to enter this year’s OxTALENT awards in the category: “Use of WebLearn to support teaching, learning, or outreach”.

There has been an upgrade to WebLearn since the last report (to 2.8-ox10). Since the WebLearn developers are focusing on a move to sakai 10 over the Long Vacation, the ox10 release was a modest affair.

Improvements and New Features in WebLearn 2.8-ox10

General Improvements

  • All pages created via the HTML WYSWIWG editor in Resources are now delivered in ‘standards mode’ – a blog post explains the rationale for this change
  • ‘Read resources’ permission can now not be removed from the ‘maintain’, ‘contribute’ and ‘access’ roles – a blog post explains the rationale for this change
  • The ‘Switch to access role’ option is now not shown for unpublished sites
  • The ‘Graduate Training Tool’ is now known as the ‘Researcher Training Tool’ – all documentation has been updated
  • The ‘Resources Browser’ in the HTML WYSIWYG Editor should now work with Internet Explorer 11

Bug Fixes

  • Editing an existing survey no longer loses  previously selected option
  • Replacing an existing file which is available to ‘All Oxford Users’ using WebDAV no longer modifies access rights

Projects / Plans

The much delayed Groups Store project has now started. This project is being carried out by the Identity and Access Management (IAM) team; it is hoped that WebLearn integration will be forthcoming and at this stage we hope to offer basic integration by Jan 2015.

Work to move WebLearn from version 2.8 of Sakai to version 10 of Sakai in time is progressing smoothly with much progress being made, however, there is stall a large amount of work outstanding.

Planning for the project to work with Sydev to improve the resilience of WebLearn is just about complete. The project manager will be Gabriel Hanganu and the project should start on 1st June. When the work is complete this should offer greater service stability and quicker recovery times in the event of an outage.

The WebLearn team are currently investigating how students and staff would like to use WebLearn on their mobile devices. If you have a view on this then please get in touch and we will come and talk to you.


Nick Wilson has joined the WebLearn team as a Java developer. Nick used to work for Right Move and, in our opinion, has made, er, the right move in joining the team.

Nicholaas Matthijs from Cambridge University gave a presentation about the Apereo OAE on April 3rd to a crowded ISIS teaching room. Apereo OAE is a brand new platform that aims to support academic collaboration and academic networking. It is being developed by the same organisation that oversees Sakai which of course is the software which underpins WebLearn. The talk was recorded and is available for viewing now.

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