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E-Learning Newsletter – February 2019

4 March 2019 Posted in: Announcements, News Tagged: , By: Richard Chantler

Echo360 User Event – Analytics for Educators

On the 18th of February, QMUL hosted the Echo360 Community User Event, under the theme of ‘Analytics for Educators’. The day proved to be a great opportunity to see what different institutions are doing in the field of analytics and to share opinions on the ethics of what data is used and how. Lastly, there was a chance to see the Echo360 roadmap – outlining what we can expect to see in Q-Review soon.  You’ll be pleased to hear that the day’s sessions were recorded and the sessions can be watched on the event page on the E-Learning Unit website.

Turnitin Service Disruption

IT Services and The E-Learning Unit have been working continuously with Turnitin to try to resolve the ongoing issue of assignment submissions not being automatically processed by Turnitin when outages have occurred and the service has resumed. Turnitin have now identified the root cause and will be producing an updated version of the plugin by the end of March. In the meantime it looks as if we will have to live with the issue however we are in negotiations with the Turnitin technical team to develop a temporary fix that can be applied after an outage to do a bulk resubmission. Updates will be provided on an ongoing basis.

A further point of note is that we have produced an alternative error message for students when their Turnitin submission fails. It reads as follows and will be implemented on the live system shortly: “Your file has been submitted successfully to QMplus. However, there is a delay in the Turnitin submission process. If this message persists for longer than 24 hours, please contact the IT Helpdesk.”

Working more closely with Schools

Charterhouse Square campus
The E-learning Unit is keen to work closely with all teaching staff at Queen Mary on helping them with approaches that either blend face-to-face and online teaching in smart and effective ways or are delivered entirely online. A key aspect of doing this is providing advice and guidance about how e-learning approaches can assist with current challenges in the classroom and assisting with training and development opportunities for staff.

From March 2019 onwards we are piloting an initiative to bring members of the central e-learning team closer to staff in schools. Once a month there will be an ELU presence in the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film, The School of Biological and Chemical Sciences and the Institutes at Charterhouse Square. A Learning Technologist will be available to meet with colleagues to discuss their teaching, share information about the latest things happening in e-learning and as eyes and ears on the ground provide an important flow of information back to inform the ongoing work and priorities of the central team.

Find out more about the initiative by reading our full working more closely in Schools article.

QMplus April Release


There will be a release on the 2nd April. This will correct various bugs outstanding from earlier releases. See the bug tracker

A couple of new features of note are:

  • Timetable widget on the dashboard
  • A Q-Review tab is automatically generated with an embedded list of all recordings if the Q-Review link is present in a module area

QMplus summer upgrade – confirmation of date

The annual QMplus summer upgrade will take place on 9th July 2019. QMplus will be unavailable for a similar time to last year i.e. half a day.

The main changes will be an upgrade to Moodle 3.6 also incorporating Moodle 3.5.

One key new feature in the upgrade will be the availability of a Global Search tool enabling users to search content across all their courses.

Further details of the changes will be communicated in future newsletters.

Digital Exam and Assessment Project (DEAP)

Having made the choice of system in January, we can now officially announce that we will be using WiseFlow. We are now in the process of setting up the license for the system. In the next week it will be configured, and training will be held later in the month for administrators, examiners and invigilators. We are working quickly to have everything in place for the first pilot exams in April, taking place in PC Labs on campus. This month, we are meeting with Brunel University London, who first piloted WISEflow in 2016, and have been scaling it up since then via Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) examinations.

A new mailbox has been setup for any queries about exams in the pilot, or just for those who are curious about the project: digitalexams@qmul.ac.uk. You can also learn more about the project on the Digital Exams and Assessment Project page on the E-Learning Unit website.

Staff development opportunities in March

Workshops

Getting Started with QMplus – a hands-on session aimed at staff who are new to our online learning environment, or those who would like a refresher:

  • Getting Started with QMplus – 20 March 2019 2-4pm – E-Learning Studio, room 0.09, Scape Building, Mile End Campus.

Please see our online booking system for more information and to book yourself a place.

Drop-in Sessions

Drop-in sessions run every Tuesday and Thursday from 1-2pm in the E-Learning Studio on the Mile End campus for any member of staff who needs help with their use of technology in their teaching. There’s no need to book, just turn up on the day and a member of the team will be available to help.

What are our users asking via The Helpdesk?

Common issues on the Helpdesk in February included questions about delaying the release of lecture recordings and issues with Turnitin. Read more in our common support questions article.

A reminder about our telephone call back service

If you need to speak to a member of the team about any issues you are having with one of our applications, we offer a telephone call back service. You can request a call back by calling the standard IT Helpdesk number, +44 (0)20 7882 8888, and asking for a member of the E-Learning Support Team to call you back.

You can find out more about the service on the call back page on the E-Learning Unit website.

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