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E-Learning Newsletter – August 2022

23 August 2022 Posted in: News Tagged: , By: Steve Evans

Spanish beach

Another newsletter, another heatwave. Dept W may not look like this, but at least it’s air-conditioned. No doubt normal climactic service will be resumed before too long, but there’s plenty to look forward to – just read our newsletter.

The QMplus Theme Update is here!

After months of consultation, development, and concerted effort from all involved, the new theme for QMplus is finally here, having been successfully rolled out on the 16th August.

The new theme replaces our existing bespoke version of Moodle with the aim of making the system easier to maintain and faster to operate. Post-rollout testing has already shown that modules are loading up to three times faster than in the old theme.

If you are not up to date with all developments in this area, you can still visit our theme update page where we have a frequently asked questions section.  Additionally, if you have any queries or comments related to the rollout of these changes, you can email the theme update project at

Let’s meet … Andre Elston

Andre ElstonThis month we have sat down with Andre Elston – Digital Learning Adviser in the School of Law.

Read more about Andre.

See who we’ve been getting to know so far in this series… 

And the winner is…

winning trophyAs part of the VLE Expo Conference in May this year, we asked attendees to suggest an idea that would enhance digital education at QMUL. The most innovative idea would be awarded an Amazon voucher worth £50.

After a panel discussion, it was decided that Dr Raluca Gaina (Lecturer in Game AI, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science) had the most unique idea from the responses we had, both worthy of the voucher, and further investigation. Her idea was based around group customisation: allowing students to take different paths through a course, depending on their interests and what they need to learn, allowing them to go in-depth into topics they wish to know more about, but are not overwhelmed by choice.

Well done Raluca!

Blackboard Collaborate Decommissioning Update

Blackboard Collaborate Discontinued

The Blackboard Collaborate service was discontinued on the 31st of July. During July the video recordings were copied off of the service and the majority of files are already available in their respective courses in QMPlus via the Media Gallery. The media gallery by default is not visible to students. To change this please see the following article on the TELT web site: How to make the course media gallery visible to students. 

There will be some further work taking place over the next few week to finalise the organisation of the remaining recordings that couldn’t be linked to courses and we will update you once this has been completed.

Mile End Video Booth

We’re currently finalising the technology refresh of the Mile End Video Booth. This will mean that it will be easier to create recorded lectures and training videos using the green screen technology. We have simplified the user interface, created a new booking service and will be updating our video site as well as creating a training/induction video. The booth will be a self-service offering that you can book, turn up and record. We will be launching this ahead of the new academic year so please look out for the announcement.

Update your Zoom client

Zoom logo



If you find Zoom is not working on your PC or Mac, it may be that you need to update the version running on your computer as Zoom has recently retired Zoom Client versions below 5.3.0.

To automatically update your desktop client:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click your profile picture, then click Settings.
  3. On the  General tab in the Zoom Updates section, click the check box to enable Automatically keep Zoom up to date.
  4. Click the dropdown menu to select how often you would like to have updates installed:
  • Slow: (Default) Provides fewer updates and better stability. For users that want less frequent changes and a more mature feature set, select this option. Slow is the default for both individual and managed users. Zoom will determine if/when a new version is promoted to the Slow track based on telemetry and internal metrics.
  • Fast: Provides the newest features and updates. For users that are interested in the latest features and functionality, select this option to get updates sooner and more frequently. Zoom typically releases client updates on a monthly cadence. Upon release, the new client will be distributed to a percentage of random users on the fast track each day.


  • These updates will only trigger when the desktop client is restarted.
  • In the event that Zoom needs to provide a security update to the Zoom desktop client to keep users safe, those updates will be distributed to the entire audience simultaneously.


(Still) In Need of a New Home

Peli 1630 Case

Peli 1630 Case

TELT still have a Peli 1630 Case that’s surplus to requirements and needs a new home. Please see the Peli website for details. This is a large, rugged case for transporting delicate equipment between sites or on field trips. These Cases are unbreakable, watertight, airtight and Chemical/Corrosion proof, and can survive airport baggage handling. This case has the foam insert which is mainly intact and costs around £500 to buy. If you know of anyone who could make use of this case, that’s hardly been used please e-mail Simon Durrant. This will be on a first come first served basis. We will arrange for the porters to deliver it to any of the London Campuses.

Upcoming staff training – development updates

Over the last few weeks, we have said goodbye to Blackboard Collaborate, and hello to a brand new QMplus theme. It has been quite a journey and we thank you for your patience.

We have also delivered several sessions to assist you with these transitions and it has been great to see so many staff in attendance and meet so many new faces. Since April, we ran:

  1. Nine (9) QMplus New Theme Awareness sessions with around 80 members of staff in attendance.
  2. Twelve (12) Getting Started with Zoom and Zoom in Teaching sessions with over 200 members of staff in attendance.
  3. Five (5) Getting Started with MS Teams and MS Teams in Teaching sessions with over 70 members of staff in attendance.
  4. Three (3) Zoom and MS Teams comparison sessions with 30 members of staff in attendance.
  5. We also ran six (6) Introduction to Blackboard Ally (for accessibility) with almost 60 members of staff in attendance.

We will now be running ‘Getting Started with QMplus’ (in the new theme) sessions instead of Theme Awareness sessions. Also, we know some of you will be returning to our preloved lecture capture system, Q-Review, we will be running a few ‘Getting started with Q-Review’ sessions, for new staff as well as to refresh the memory of our ‘older community’. Do let us know if there is anything else you would like to see on our programme.

A few upcoming sessions include:

Code Title Date Time
TELT013 Getting Started with Zoom 23/08/2022 10:00 – 11:00
 TELT013a Zoom in Teaching 23/08/2022 11:15 – 12:30
TELT001 Getting Started with QMplus 24/08/2022 10:00 – 12:00
TELT001 Getting Started with QMplus 7/9/2022 10:00 – 12:00
TELT001 Getting Started with QMplus 14/09/2022 10:00 – 12:00
TELT012 Getting Started with QM’s lecture capture system – Q-Review (based on Echo360) 15/09/2022 10:00 – 11:30
TELT012 Getting Started with QM’s lecture capture system – Q-Review (based on Echo360) 27/09/2022 14:00 – 15:30
TELT013 Getting Started with Zoom 28/09/2022 10:00 – 11:00
TELT013a Zoom in Teaching 28/09/2022 11:15 – 12:30
TELT001 Getting Started with QMplus 5/10/2022 10:00 – 12:00
TELT014 Getting started with MS Teams meetings 6/10/2022 10:00 – 11:00
TELT014a MS Teams in Teaching (interaction) 6/10/2022 11:15 – 12:30
TELT017a (Self Paced) QMplus ‘Super’ Administrator Refresher Course 10/10/2022 – 14/10/2022 09:00 – 23:59
TELT004 Assessing, marking and giving feedback using QMplus assignments 13/10/2022 10:00 – 12:30

To see a full list with details or to book on please go to our course booking site at: and search for the course code: TELT

Do you have a quick query about any of our technologies? Why not drop in online to speak to someone from the TEL team…

Drop-in sessions are still available online (in Zoom) every Tuesday and Thursday, from 1-2 pm. There’s no need to tell us you’re coming; just drop in via the Zoom link located on our Online Support area on QMplus.

What are you asking the Helpdesk?

The top queries in August were:

Question 1: I’m unable to access lecture recordings and receive the error message “Collaborate REST API problem”. How can I watch the recordings?

 Answer 1:
You can now view these recordings using the Course Media Gallery instead. The link to the gallery can be found in the Settings Block to the far right on your course page. If you do not see this option, please liaise with your local school contact as they may need to enable the gallery access.

For more details on what has changed with the location of the recordings please see the Blackboard Collaborate Decommissioning Update page.

Question 2: What can I do if my query requires speaking to someone from TELT live? (Staff only)

Answer 2:  We offer two options to speak to a member of TELT via a call:

  1. A) Book a Learning Technologist (BALT)– a 1 hour appointment with us to discuss matters that may need more attention than what could typically be addressed via a ticket or at a drop in.
  2. B) Drop Ins– If you have a query that may not require such a long session but you’d still like a call, feel free to join any of our Drop In sessions. These are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 1-2PM.

Question 3: Can I copy content or resources from one course to another?

Answer 3: Yes, you can copy content such as files, links, resources and activities between courses using the sharing cart. Here is our guide on how to make use of it: Moving content around with the sharing cart.

Read more from last month’s common support questions article.

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