Academic Technology Newsletter - October 2022
Academic Technology Updates
Matt Street has now joined Warwick as the new Head of Digital Learning. As well as overseeing the work of the Digital Learning Environment and eAssessment teams, Matt will also manage the work of eLearning as part of the restructured FOLD, of which Digital Learning forms one part.
- Following external network maintenance last week (Tuesday 25th) we experienced delays in email messages being sent from Moodle Forums. Following an update on Friday 28th October this problem now appears to have been resolved. The system is being monitored and work is ongoing to avoid similar issues in the future.
- We updated the Moodle theme in September to provide a fresher more contemporary look for the VLE. In addition to new icons, a sliding block tray and some accessibility enhancements we also saw the introduction of Blackboard Ally (see below). Some initial teething problems were overcome with bug fixes and updates that have been applied over the last few weeks. Further identified issues have been targeted and another update to the theme should be applied soon (expected Thursday November 3rd). This should resolve issues when dragging items up and down the page and to provide a fix for printing Moodle books as PDFs. The fix means a necessary return to a double scroll on the right hand side of the screen when the block tray is longer than the height of the screen. We also hope to add a new user tour to remind users how to open and collapse the block tray when present and to highlight accessibility features.
- The accessibility tool Blackboard Ally was made available in Moodle in September and since then there have been more than 12,000 alternative format downloads by 3406 unique users across 930 different module spaces. There have also been over 230 fixes by staff who have used the feedback from the instructor feedback and accessibility reports to improve the accessibility of content in at least 58 modules so far. We are happy to work with individuals and teams to help you understand how to use Ally and the reports better. We also ran some Ally training recently and the video from this workshop can be accessed here.Link opens in a new window Use these links to find out more about Ally for instructorsLink opens in a new window and Ally for students.Link opens in a new windowLink opens in a new windowLink opens in a new window
- The annual 'rollover' period for Moodle spaces was completed over the summer where departments had made decisions for individual spaces. However, here's a reminder for editors of Moodle spaces of how to Import (copy) content from one Moodle space to another and how to enrol users.
Training & Workshop Opportunities
- If you want help or advice on using Moodle, Vevox, H5P, Padlet or other academic technologies you can book a 1:1 training, support and consultation slot, see the training page and link to book an appointment hereLink opens in a new window.
- The next Technology Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) Forum takes place online this week on Weds. 2nd Nov. 1-2pm. See the LDCU Forum page for more informationLink opens in a new window. Or drop in to the LDCU Channel Link opens in a new windowand link to the meeting on the day.
Lecture Capture Scheduling and Echo360
- You can now change the transcription language in an individual section if the course is being delivered in a different language to institutional default.
- If you would like some guidance about managing lecture capture content stored on Echo360, please see our 'Access and manage Echo360 content' page.
- Please notify us of any changes to lecture capture bookings or central timetable data for any lecture capture requests, so we can ensure the system has updated or manually update them ourselves.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- As posted recently in the Academic Technology Super User Community team, we are getting a lot of Vevox account requests via the Helpdesk from students. Please be mindful and remind staff in your departments that students do not require accounts to participate in Vevox activities and that the website that they need to go to is https://vevox.app to enter a session ID (or the Vevox mobile app). Please do not direct students to Vevox dot com.
- As soon as user tries to register or log in with a Warwick email, it will direct them to single sign-on and generate an account request. Unfortunately there is no way for Vevox to distinguish staff members from students, thus resulting in a lot of student account requests that then have to be manually declined.
- A Vevox product update was recently implemented, meaning you can now make use of new features such as the ranking poll and self-paced quizzes. The ranking poll allows participants either to rank items in order of preference, or, if a correct answer has been set, rank in the correct order. Self-paced quizzes offer students the opportunity to complete the quiz asynchronously in their own time, whilst still receiving an instant score and feedback. More information is available at the Vevox product update (September) blog post.
- Vevox kindly joined us in September to run an introductory training session for new users, providing a great overview of the features Vevox has to offer. Please feel free to view and share the Introduction to Vevox training session recording.
JISC Discovery Tool
- The JISC Digital Capabilities Discovery ToolLink opens in a new window underwent an update over the summer. This tool is an online activity for staff and students that is designed to help the individual reflect on their digital capabilities. It produces a personalised profile that identifies current strengths and areas for development and provides links to further support, training and resources based on your profile. Now, once logged in you should follow > Discovery Tool for staff/student > Question sets & reports > Start with Overall Digital Capabilities. See the bottom of this page for information and an alternative linkLink opens in a new window
If you have any feedback, questions, comments or tips that you would like to share then please contact Jim Judges: email@example.com
This newsletter can only provide a taste and snapshot of some of the active areas of interest. If you need help and guidance, please refer to the main online Academic Technology pages. If you have a technical query with Moodle or any of our supported tools, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more general IT enquiries, or if you are unsure who to ask please contact the IT helpdesk.
All the best,
Cameron Deans, Michelle Jackman, Jim Judges, Mazaffar Meharban, Paul Trimmer, Nadine Stewart
Academic Technology | Flexible & Online Learning| Education Group | University of Warwick