Academic Technology Newsletter - May 2022
Academic Technology Updates
Academic Technology is part of the Flexible and Online Learning Division. The team provides support and advice on a range of technology enhanced learning tools including Moodle, Echo360, eStream, Mahara, Padlet, Vevox and QuestionMark Perception (QMP). We also offer consultancy and support in associated technology enhanced learning themes such as assessment, collaboration and engagement. We are pleased to welcome Sarita Sharma to the central Academic Technology team in a support role with the eAssessment team and Maz Meharban as Academic Technology Officer supporting the Digital Learning Environment (DLE) team.
Please note the important announcement about Microsoft Teams meeting recordings and Stream below. Please do share this update and any other relevant and appropriate information with academic staff and support teams in your faculty/department.
Teams Meeting Recordings in Microsoft Stream
We have been using Microsoft Stream (Classic) to store and share Teams meeting recordings for the last couple of years. This workflow will end at Warwick during w/c July 4th when we will move to the new Microsoft Stream (on SharePoint). All Microsoft users will be making this change by July 11th 2022. The user experience will be that any Teams meeting recordings made in Teams channels will be stored in SharePoint and any meeting recordings organised through the calendar will be stored in the OneDrive. Some important information:
- Auto-transcripts will still be produced (initially they will only be able to be edited by download and reupload although a quick inline edit function will be added later).
- The new expiration policy for these recordings is expected to be 2 years. The owner can change or remove the expiration date of any given recording, see: Manage the expiration of a meeting recording.Link opens in a new window
- Existing Stream Classic content will remain untouched and can continue to be shared and viewed. This will eventually be archived, but we expect that we will be given 12 months notice and a migration tool will be made available to facilitate this process and any links will continue to work.
- Videos will be able to be shared from within SharePoint and OneDrive using the same options that can currently be used to share other files. We expect an embed option to be added later. See here for information on how to share a meeting recording with othersLink opens in a new window.
- If the current functionality is not sufficient videos can still be downloaded and shared in the old Stream hosting pages or via via Echo360.
- The IT Training Team and Academic Technology will ensure any advice and support is updated and that training is provided if required. Further advice and information will be made available in the coming weeks in advance of this change to the service.
- An issue has been identified in some courses where error messages are given when attempting to restore a course or import content. Learning Systems believe this to be related to the grid format plugin which requires an update. Due to the required system downtime to update we plan to action this in a few weeks to avoid peak assessment periods.
- There has been a problem with ad hoc course creation and name change requests made via Moodle-Admin not pushing updates to Moodle. This is due to data not being sent to our Moodle hosts and Learning Systems are investigating. If in the meantime you need new courses or updates to existing ones, please submit a ticket to the Help Desk.
- As part of our annual upgrade cycle we are planning to upgrade from Moodle 3.10 to Moodle 3.11 this summer. We are aiming for this to happen in early July with a likely date of Tuesday 12th July, we are waiting for confirmation from our host. There will be some minor improvements and bug fixes but the interface and menus will remain very similar and recognisable.
- Following ongoing consultation and planned external procurement we are working towards providing Moodle with a refreshed, updated and more contemporary theme. Accessibility will also be a key consideration with new functions and features to provide more options for the display of content. The theme updates will start in July and further enhancements will continue throughout the year taking us towards the planned switched to Moodle 4.0+ in summer 2023.
- We are still working with the Learning Systems team to finalise details for the academic year rollover process. Keep an eye out for notices in the Academic Technology Super User Group in Teams for updates. To help your department's rollover to run smoothly, you can check with your departments that modules are correctly set up for the 22/23 academic year as soon as possible as the tool relies on this data.
- Colleagues in Learning Systems are exploring the possible integration of Microsoft 365 files with Moodle that would enable this content to be more easily accessed and added to Moodle using the file picker. We will update this community with any progress once we know more.
- Do you, your team or colleagues in your department need help and support using Moodle? See details about the bookable Moodle Support Sessions in the training and workshop opportunities section below....
- The latest Vevox upgrade was implemented at the end of March. Users can now benefit from the self-paced quiz functionality and Q&A labels. See the Vevox product update for further details.
- Vevox joined us at the most recent LDCU forum on Wednesday 27th April to demo the new features added in the March upgrade. We also heard from Amy Stickels about her work in Foundation Studies, where Vevox is an important tool for bringing together audiences joining from different countries. Watch the recording of the LDCU forum on Microsoft Stream.
- The ongoing theme issue has now been fixed.
- SmartEvidence frameworks have been enabled and we welcome inquiries about adding these into Mahara for use by students in developing and evidencing their portfolios.
Training & Workshop Opportunities
- The Digital Learning Environment (DLE) team is now offering a series of bookable one-to-one Moodle Support Sessions. These are intended to be short appointments to discuss users' needs and requirements so that we can advise on appropriate tools in Moodle for the activity they want to create. Appointments are available in the first instance between 12 noon and 2pm on Tuesdays, 1pm and 3pm on Thursdays and 10am and 12pm on Fridays. Sign up to appointments with DLE staff via MS BookingsLink opens in a new window.
- There is an Active Learning in Moodle Link opens in a new windowsession running on Thursday 5th May
- We have just obtained the license to use the JISC Digital Capabilities toolLink opens in a new window This online diagnostic tool allows staff and students to reflect on their digital capabilities and to identify current strengths and areas for development. It is being piloted by students this term via the all new Warwick Award and there will be an introduction, and chance to have a go at using the tool at the next TEAL Forum on Wednesday May 11th 1-2pmLink opens in a new window.
- There is now an Academic Technology Super User Guide available on our website. The guide aims to introduce super users to Academic Technology at Warwick, let them know where to find support and to explain some of the types of tasks they may be required to complete.
Videos from this year's TEALfest are now available via the TEALfest programmeLink opens in a new window.
Simply click on the link of the session you are interested in and the recording will be found at the end of the abstract for that session.
Lecture Capture and Echo360
- We are hoping to welcome John Couperthwaite, customer manager at Echo360, to Warwick, meeting in Oculus 1.06 and online on
30 May6th June at 11am to 1pm. Contact Paul Trimmer to register interest and submit your questions.
- Echo360 will be holding Echo experience 2022Link opens in a new window, their annual online conference, 27-29 June. Listen to academics and Echo360 professionals, including our own Jess Humphreys, discuss innovative engagement solutions with Echo360.
- Echo360 have merged with TurningPoint. We will be evaluating new tools now available to us for future inclusion. Read more on the EchosystemLink opens in a new window page.
- Browser-based CaptureLink opens in a new window is now available for BETA testing. We have requested this for testing and will have more to report once we have evaluated it.
- So far in 21/22: 2000 calls received; 10,000 scheduled recordings setup and completed; 350K cloud hours of usage i.e. approximate hours of viewing.
- We have received approval to enable CollectionsLink opens in a new window at Warwick. We will therefore be creating some short guidance and enabling this as soon as possible. Watch this space...
Lecture Capture Scheduling
- Please remind users NOT to use 'Record all Lectures' option when not appropriate. This option should not be used for individual session/s and should only to be used where all details have been confirmed and added to the central timetable.
- Recordings can only be setup automatically from room booking data if they have a presenter listed - otherwise, new events will not be added and updates will not be actioned. Please ensure that your room bookings have a presenter listed if you need them to be scheduled for Lecture Capture.
- And a reminder also for departments to ensure lecture capture is only requested once per session from academics or administrative staff, as multiple requests requires verification and confirmation of the request, and this leads to scheduling delays and potentially scheduling failures.
For guidance on requesting automated lecture capture, please see our guide.
If our guides still don’t answer your questions, please get in touch via email@example.com
You will no doubt have heard about the new online assessment system being implemented at Warwick from UNIwise: The Warwick Assessment System (WAS). The Pilot Phase 1 of WAS in now in full flow with four departments taking part as early adopters. The departments involved bring a good spread across faculties, variety of assessment types and cohort sizes: Applied Linguistics, IATL, Warwick Medical School (UG and MBChB) and Global Sustainable Development (GSD).
Phase 1 aims to explore the functionality and capabilities of the system within the Warwick setting, whilst gathering understanding about the levels of support that will be required for a fuller roll out. UNIwise have delivered some demo sessions and members of the phase 1 departments have been set up with accounts to familiarise themselves with the system.
A fantastic achievement for the start of the project is that live users and the first assessments are now taking place with support from the project team and FOLD and Exam Teams, all within 2 months of gaining access to the system for the first time. The longer term aim being for departments to be self-service with support from FOLD and Exam Teams when their expertise is required.
Our immediate next steps are to deal with any risks and issues that arise as we set up the system and receive feedback from Phase 1, this includes system integration and configuration, guidance, process reviews, and policy development. There will be a formal review and lessons learned for phase 1 before the plans for Phase 2 are finalised.
This tool continues to develop and evolve and new features are added periodically:
- The long-awaited Microsoft Teams co-organizer role is still "coming soonLink opens in a new window" and currently listed as May 2022, unfortunately it looks like the academic year will be over before we have access to this potentially useful feature.
If you have any feedback, questions, comments or tips that you would like to share then please do get in touch with Jim Judges: firstname.lastname@example.org
This newsletter can only provide a taste and snapshot of some of the active areas of interest. We will do our best to send these updates at least twice a term. If you need help and guidance, please refer to the main online Academic Technology pages here. If you have a technical query with Moodle or any of our supported tools, please contact email@example.com. For more general IT enquiries, or if you are unsure who to ask please contact the IT helpdesk.
All the best for a successful summer term.
Cameron Deans, Yihua Huang, Michelle Jackman, Jim Judges, Natasha Nakariakova, Kiruthika Prabhakaran, Paul Trimmer, Sarita Sharma, Nadine Stewart & Svetlana Zakhidova Find out more about the Aademic Technology team hereLink opens in a new window.
Academic Technology | Flexible & Online Learning| Education Group | University of Warwick
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This newsletter is aimed at departmental academic technology staff, moodle administrators and others with an interest in the technology enhanced learning tools provided and supported by Warwick. Please feel free to share any of the news and information with others in your department. If you have colleagues who would like to receive a notification each time this monthly newsletter is published then please ask them to use the Notify button at the top right-hand corner of our main News page. If this information is no longer of interest and you would like to unsubscribe please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim Judges).