Technology Enhanced Learning Team


Preparing your course area for the upcoming 2018/19 year

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For: Staff

The majority of modules will now have finished for the year. The exception to these are a number which take place over the summer months, any dissertation submission areas and those which have resit students still using them. As soon as course areas no longer require student interaction for the 2017/18 academic year, they can be rolled over and prepared for the new students to be enrolled onto. Please take a look at the points listed below to ensure that your course area is ready for the new intake of students, that it is accessible and easily navigable.

If you are ensure as to whether a course area is still in use or not, please consult your colleagues. Please ask the E-Learning Unit any questions if you are unsure in order to avert disaster!

Rollover vs Duplicating a course area

If your course area is still in use by this academic year’s students, but you need to prepare the course area for next year’s students, then it is best to duplicate the course area & rename the new one so that the original QMplus area’s assignments, forums and student interaction are not wiped.
The new course’s name will need updating to 2018/19, as well as the ‘short name’ and ‘course ID code’ – this can all be done by users who have the Course Administrator role. The course’s assignments will require their submission dates, end dates & cut off dates updating to ensure that the students can access them. Similar settings for quizzes and any other activities will also need to be amended.

If you are sure that ALL student interaction with a module is complete for the year, with all resits and assignments having taken place, then the course can be ‘rolled over’ – BUT… before you do, please take a look at the checklist below to ensure it’s a smooth process and you’re covered in case of emergency.

Before you get started:

  • Check with the course convenor, departmental learning technologist or central administrator as to who is responsible for carrying out the rollover, if it is not known (to ensure that the process isn’t done multiple times by mistake, or at a time it shouldn’t be)
  • Backup the course area to be sure that you have all needed data should anything go wrong i.e. when the course has been rolled over when it shouldn’t have been.
  • Check with colleagues as to what needs to be kept or removed (i.e. forums, glossaries, groups & groupings’ structure, etc)

New things to remember:

  • Once a course area has been rolled over, the Q-Review tool-link will need un-linked and redirected to the new 18/19 year’s section. Alternatively (and more easily), the Q-Review tool-link can be deleted and a new one added. Please follow the steps shown here to link your course to the appropriate section on Q-Review.


The new academic year will soon be upon us, so now is the ideal time to delete any old courses which you have from a couple of years ago (there are lots on QMplus from pre-2016, which are no longer needed!) Remember, all your files will be available in the Archive if you need to access them down the road. Similarly, it is best to delete rather than hide old files in your course area to ensure that the page loads as quickly as possible.

Please remember to use QMplus Media to upload audio and video files to your course area. If you have lots of media already uploaded directly to your QMplus page, now is the time to transfer them to QMplus Media – which will improve the loading speed of your course area and help ensure that back-ups and restorations of course areas don’t fail (which happens sometimes if courses are overloaded with large files).

Check that there are no manually enrolled students lurking on your course area. Students enrolled via this method will retain access next year, even if an enrolment through SITS is updated to remove them.

Tidy up any resources which have been added to stop them appearing as long lists of files. We recommend putting them in organisational structures such as  folders, pages, book resources or by using the tab display. Check whether resources are named appropriately to ensure that they are accessible to all students (approx 12% of QM students are registered with DDS). Please take a look at this guide on tidying up and naming conventions and the accessibility top tips here. If you are renaming assignments, you may wish to add the due date to the name of the activity (students find it particularly helpful to have this flagged in the name when navigating through course areas).

Lastly, if you have the Module Info Block on your course area, check that the teaching staff listed & details associated with them are correct. The lead for the course will be populated by SITS, but additional staff details may need updating. To update it, please take a look at this guide. If you haven’t already, you may want to add a profile photo in the ‘User Picture’ section of your profile settings.

Other things to consider

  • If you are still having to update activities in Topic Zero (at the top of the course area) by adding hyperlinks to each piece of assessment, then now is the time to make the switch to the Assessment Information block which will automatically link to any assessment activities which you have.
  • You may wish to add an introduction to your course area – either by a welcome message or by using the first Module Announcement’s post to display at the top of the page.
  • Update the module image for your course area (or uploading an initial one), keeping the page looking fresh. This can be done by clicking ‘edit settings’ in the Settings block and then selecting an image to upload via the ‘Course Summary Files’ option.
  • Any old hyperlinks for external websites which are listed on your course area (these may have been inherited if you have taken over teaching a module from a predecessor) will need checking to ensure that they’re not broken.
  • Should you use Talis reading lists, these will need checking to ensure that they are up to date & if not, any reading material should be added/edited accordingly.
  • Check how your course appears when accessing it via a phone or tablet. Up to 33% of students use mobile devices to access QMplus, so it is important that your course area is easily navigable and that there is not too much ‘scrolling’ to get to the content.
  • We run drop in sessions twice weekly, from 1-2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please come by with any questions which you have. We shall be holding further drop ins at the start of term.
  • Should your students require help, please direct them to us via the Helpdesk. We shall also be staffing a helpdesk stall in the Library a week after they have enrolled.

Did this answer your query? If not, you can raise a ticket on the online Helpdesk or email: . Alternatively you can also request a particular guide or highlight an error in this guide using our guides request tracker.

Produced by the the Technology Enhanced Learning Team at Queen Mary University of London.

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