Academic Technology Newsletter - November 2021
Academic Technology Team Update
- We are sorry to announce the departure of Kerry Pinny (Interim Head of Academic Technology). Kerry has been at Warwick for nearly 5 years and will be leaving at the end of January to take up the role as the Chief Operations Officer at the Association for Learning Technology (ALT).
- We will also be sorry to say goodbye to Academic Technologist Craig Gall who is leaving Warwick in January after three and a half years with us. He is moving back to Scotland to take up a Learning Technologist position at Strathclyde University.
- David Follows, previously one of the Audio-Visual (AV) team, is providing our team with some support and advice related to hybrid teaching before taking up his appointment as Academic Technologist in the Law department, starting on December 6th.
- Some problems can occur when sharing Echo360 content using links in Moodle. This can cause frustration and wasted time for students who often contact the helpdesk to ask for help. Care must be taken if the tutor wants to use direct links. See this discussion and advice to find out more.
- Need a quick way to add students to groups in Moodle? Academic Technology are putting together some guidance on how you can do this on mass by uploading a spreadsheet. This can save time especially if you have lots of students and groups. See the guide Import and populate groups. Once you have groups established you can restrict access by group and run many activities in group mode too. Find out more about using groups here.
- A recent LDCU Podcast highlighted the use, potential benefits and challenges of using digital badges in Moodle. You can find out more about Using badges in Moodle here.
- Did you know that if grades are manually updated in the Moodle gradebook (e.g. For Forums, Assignments, Quizzes or Category totals) then “overrides” are triggered. Once saved, these items become highlighted in orange. It is also possible to lock grades in the edit settings option in the grade item column. If this is done you will be unable to change a grade or edit comments on the individual activity grading screen (e.g. in the assignment) unless you disable the override or unlock the grade. Find out more about the Moodle gradebook here.
Mahara & MoodleX Upgrades
The ePortfolio tool Mahara (MyPortfolio) and MoodleX, the separate Moodle used for STACK and CodeRunner, will be upgraded in December. Dates and any more information to be confirmed. Find out more about using Mahara here and MoodleX here.
The eAssessment team is working on the preparation for the December/January exams. We have developed new video guides for students and staff in addition to our existing training materials. Guides for students on the most common requests have been added to eAssessment page. If you would like to discuss your needs for online exam and formative assessments, please contact us on email@example.com
Lecture Capture / Echo360
There have been a few incidents recently where video has not been recorded for a lecture or seminar. We have created new guidance on using lecture capture cameras, including turning on camera capture and using camera presets. Please see our guidance here.
NB. If video is required this should be explicitly requested when requesting lecture capture. Also, the camera will need to be enabled in most rooms via the lectern touch panel. (In-room camera controls are not available for rooms L3, L4, L5 [Sciences], B3.03 [Zeeman] & A0.23 [Social Sciences]).
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
- Upcoming Academic Technology Training sessions
- Thu 18 Nov '21 11am: Vevox 'Brunch and Learn' session
- Wed 15 Dec '21 2pm: Moodle: Getting started with Quiz
- The LDCU TEAL Forum 1-2pm on Wednesday 17th November will feature guest speakers Stefan Roesner demonstrating the use of Whiteboards in Teams and Ollie Turner giving an overview of asynchronous video making. For information about LDCU workshops including upcoming TEAL Forums and ABC Design Sprints see here.
- The Academic Development Centre (ADC) are also running a series of workshops this term. See here for more details.
Did you see? Some recent discussions
- Sign-on: The university is moving from Web sign-on to Microsoft’s cloud-based sign-in designed to improve security and user experience. This has been piloted with some teams and departments already and is now being rolled out university wide. Find out more here.
- Vevox: “We are getting a lot of requests from students for licensed Vevox accounts. These helpdesk calls are being generated automatically by students trying to register for accounts on the Vevox website. Please note and remind students that they do not need an account to participate in Vevox sessions. As participants, they need to visit vevox.app (not .com) or download the app from their device's app store and enter a session ID.”
- Question: “We have a new member of staff starting in January. Is there a way to give the new member of staff guest access to view the Moodle before they have a Warwick University IT account?” Answer: For guests and external users who need access to Moodle please see here
- Can’t see a Moodle twinned Microsoft Teams Space? Make sure you are fully enrolled in the Moodle course space and don’t just have category enrolment or general admin rights. See original discussion.
- A query about subtitling and transcription services resulted in some ideas and tips being shared. Although there is no central budget to help with this service there is budget for transcription editing for those with reasonable adjustments. See original discussion.
- Want to use or find out more about VR in teaching at Warwick? The possibilities and challenges are explained here.
The Teams Meetings tool keeps developing and the features slowly evolve.
- A confusing and potentially troublesome Teams problem was identified recently. It has been reported that sometimes when switching from one team to another team the content of the Posts tab, in the new team space that you have just switched to, does not display correctly. Instead, you may see a long 'loading' pause and then you see the posts from the original team space that you have just switched from. The problem is being investigated by the 'Moodle team' at Microsoft. Suggested Workarounds are to avoid using the grid tiles to navigate. Either (1) use the search bar to find and navigate to your Teams or (2) use Teams List view instead of the Grid view, see here to find out how to change your Teams layout.
- In addition to the live transcript option a new feature has been recently added that can provide a downloadable transcript of any Teams meeting. In the meeting you can use the meeting controls (three dots) and select More actions > Start transcription to activate the live transcription. This is currently only available on the desktop version of Teams. More information about starting, stopping and downloading the transcript can be seen here. There is also a privacy option in personal settings that can be used by an individual to hide their identity in meeting captions and transcripts if this is ever required, see the guidance on privacy options.
- If you've organised a Teams meeting, you can download a current attendance report during the meeting as well as a downloadable final report after the meeting. The report includes the name of each person in the meeting and the time they joined and left. See the Microsoft guide to View and download meeting attendance reports here.
- We are still keeping an eye on the rollout of the much-awaited Teams ‘co-organizer’ role promised for general availability “November 2021” that we hope to see at Warwick by the end of this year; see the roadmap here.
We are updating the “Recipes for Teaching” that provide advice, ideas and tips for designing and developing teaching. With the help of this SU and LDCU community we have provided new information on the following topics:
- Record your screen to make a demonstration
- Turn a presentation into an online interactive slide show
Look out for further developments as we review, improve and consolidate the information on these recipe pages. Your feedback and input is always welcome.
Although hybrid teaching is not a University-recommended approach, current circumstances can mean it is needed or is hard to avoid. A small number of rooms have advanced equipment that provide audience microphones and cameras, but there are other ways existing equipment can still be used to provide a simple hybrid experience. Here are some useful resources related to this topic:
- Hybrid teaching technologies advice from Audio Visual Services (AV)
- Hybrid teaching at Warwick, Academic Technology advice
- Hybrid advice from Robert O’Toole Arts faculty page
IATL Project Funding: IATL is inviting applications for project support from both students and staff which explore ways of fostering community and reimagining the future of learning at Warwick. Projects under £1,500 will be reviewed by their quick response panel, and you can normally expect a response within 10 working days. Co-creation is encouraged for all projects, any projects over £1,500 up to £10,000 must include co-creation, with both students and staff working together on the project. Find out more about IATL funding here.
If you have any feedback, questions, comments or tips that you would like to share then please do get in touch with Jim Judges: email@example.com
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 each month. 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 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 for a good week and for the rest of the term.
Kerry Pinny (Interim Head of Academic Technology)
Jim Judges (Senior Academic Technologist)
Natasha Nakariakova (Service Owner, eAssessment)
and the central Academic Technology team.
Academic Technology | Flexible & Online Learning| Education Group | University of Warwick