Technology Enhanced Learning Team

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Notes from the focus group/information session

Sessions held on
Wednesday, 5th and Thursday 13th of March

In attendance were key users and representatives from:

  1. The E-Learning Unit
  2. IT Services
  3. SBCS
  4. Maths
  5. Blizard & Wolfson Institutes & IHSE (MBBS)
  6. School of Languages
  7. Linguistics and Film
  8. School of English and Drama
  9. School of Dentistry
  10. Undergraduate Medicine
  11. School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science
  12. School of History
  13. The Language Centre (pre-sessional programme)


Purpose of the Meeting

The purpose of the meeting was for the E-Learning Unit to share information about the rollover and archive plans for 2014, which will be impacted by the upgrade of the QMplus environment over summer 2014; and to gather comments and feedback on the proposed solution.

Key information

  • The current QMplus environment will be in read-only mode from Monday, 14th July 2014, and will be unavailable on Thursday, 17th July 2014.
  • An upgraded version of QMplus (Moodle 2.6.2) will be made available to staff by the of Thursday, 17th July 2014
  • Key staff (course leaders or administrative staff) will need to ‘rollover’ course areas in the new QMplus environment tin order to reset the area and prepare it for a new intake of students.
  • An archive version of the old QMplus environment (Moodle 2.2.1) will be available after 17th July 2014, and will be given a new URL. Date and website address to be confirmed.

The Archive

The purpose of the archive…
It is intended as a resource for:

  1. Current students to be able to review work done in their courses
  2. Staff to be able to review material, content and layout of previous run versions of courses

It was not intended to be a repository of student grades and coursework submissions. OLE policy in this regard has not changed.

It was agreed that further discussions around the policy and intention of the archive would be better had outside of the informational session.

Further clarification is needed around:

  1. Have far back should the archive go? How many years?
  2. When should the current QMplus (version 2.2.1) become an archive?
  3. How many students need to submit coursework to the old QMplus environment (for example, do resit students need to resubmit coursework in QMplus? Or are there courses that start before the upgrade and continue after the upgrade where students need to be able to submit coursework)?
  4. What is meant by read-only?
  5. What happens with absolute links on the archive QMplus server? Will they have to be updated to reflect the new URL?


The Rollover Process

Rollover is the process of resetting a course area by removing students and student generated data (grades, assessment information, forum postings etc.) in preparation for the intake of a new cohort of students.

Further clarification is needed around:

  1. What happens to assignments when the course is rolled over?
  2. Previously assignments were rolled over, and this caused issues with Turnitin. It is being proposed that assignments will not be rolled over and staff will need to re-create assignments as opposed to editing old ones.

  3. Who will be allowed to rollover course areas?
  4. Last year a rollover block was introduced for all staff, allowing them to be able to schedule when and how their course was rolled over. For some schools this responsibility is not useful for individual academics to have. Should this be the responsibility of key administrative staff/e-learning staff? What happens in areas where there isn’t a key staff member who this can be allocated to?

  5. What happens to “non automatic” enrolments during the upgrade/rollover?
  6. For example, the MBBS programme has many enrolments that are managed outside of SITS.

  7. Do landing pages need to be rolled over? If so, do they have to use the block?
  8. What would happen to custom mappings during rollover? Would they have to be redone?
  9. What happens to custom grade items and categories during the rollover?
  10. These were wiped out last year – will these be retained?

The Upgrade Process

Key information:

  1. QMplus will be upgraded from 2.2.1 to 2.6.2 over the summer of 2014.
  2. The upgrade will take place on a separate environment from the current environment and data will be moved across and tested.
  3. The new environment will become available on 17th July 2014

Further clarification is needed around:

  1. What will happen to Roles and Permissions?These will be updated in preparation for the upgrade. Some users would like to be consulted on this process.
  2. How will the new and old environments be signposted for staff/students?
  3. There needs to be appropriate signposting between the live 2.6 envt and the old 2.2 archive envt after July 17th. Students may receive email reminders but they may still forget. It was suggested that some kind of prominent homepage link would be useful.

  4. What happens to new courses being requested before the 17th July but not starting until after the upgrade?
  5. It was mentioned that requests for new courses for 2014/15 academic year could be actioned on the existing live QMplus 2.2, however, users would have to understand that whilst those courses would be upgraded to 2.6 that there was no guarantee that ALL functionality would work. User testing in the next few months will clarify this.

  6. What happens to question banks and quizzes when upgraded to 2.6?This requires testing when the new environment becomes available.
  7. What happens with longer courses that run beyond the upgrade?
  8. Would students migrate mid-way through the course Or could the date for removing editing rights on the archive be moved?

  9. Will old assignments and assessment information (i.e grades and feedback) carried out on the 2.2 server still be available to students on the upgraded server?


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