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E-Learning Newsletter – May 2016

31 May 2016 Posted in: News Tagged: By: Gill Ritchie

Here is the E-Learning Unit Newsletter for May 2016. We hope you find this month’s articles useful.

QMplus Upgrade – come and see how QMplus is evolving

Our annual summer upgrade of QMplus will be taking place from July 11-13th. Not long now! As usual, our annual summer event will be showcasing some of the exciting new features and changes that the upgrade will bring. We’d like to invite all staff to our summer event on Tuesday the 21st of June at 14:00 in the David Sizer Lecture Theatre on the Mile End campus. You will also have opportunity to talk to others engaged in e-learning, while enjoying a drink and canapés. Please let us know that you’re coming by registering via Eventbrite.

Upcoming changes to Turnitin

If you are a user of the Turnitin service there are some changes coming in June which are likely to have an impact on you. This is particularly true if your teaching spans the QMplus upgrade in mid-July, for instance if you have assignment submissions due after the upgrade date. Please read our Upcoming changes to Turnitin article to find out what the changes are and what action you may have to take before the QMplus upgrade in mid-July.

What you need to know about the QMplus Hub upgrade

qmPlus-hub_white_transOn Tuesday May 31st, we planned to upgrade QMplus Hub, the part of QMplus which provides e-portfolio and group working functionality. Unfortunately, due to technical issues, the upgrade did not happen. We hope to reschedule it as soon as possible. However we ran an event on Tuesday 24th May at which two members of staff spoke about their use of the system over the past year and we showcased some of the features coming in the upgrade. You can still read about the event and see the recordings of the presentations which will give you an impression of how the system is being used and tell you what will be coming in the upgrade.

M25 Learning Technology Group – Literacies and capabilities in the digital institution

m25In March we hosted a meeting of the M25 Learning Technology Group which focussed on digital literacy. The M25 group is composed of learning technologists from in and around the London area and provides a fantastic forum for the sharing of knowledge and experience from across institutions. At this meeting we had presentations from staff from University College London and JISC as well as from our own colleagues from QMUL. Presentations covered topics such as have digital literacy frameworks actually got us anywhere and how do we discuss digital literacies with students. The event was well attended and sparked some interesting conversations about a topic which is somewhat contested but rising in visibility. Read more about the event.

Featured tool: What is Microsoft Sway?

swayIn our last newsletter, we described how a member of staff in the School of Languages Linguistics and Film has made use of Microsoft Sway to allow her students to create an online newsletter. This is a useful tool that is available to everyone at QMUL and in this article we provide more information on what Microsoft Sway is, how you can access it, and how you can make use of it in your teaching.

Case Study: Careers and academic support for students in the School of Medicine and Dentistry

ShafiqShafiq-Ali Rizwan Pradhan, an E-Learning Assistant on one of our E-Learning Production Scheme projects describes the work that he has done to develop a personal development portal for students in the School of Medicine and Dentistry. This portal brings together information from a variety of sources to provide students with easy access to the many internal and external opportunities available and also provides a location for student mentors to find information to support them in their roles. Read more about the project.

Top topics on our helpdesk this month

Question mark made of puzzle pieces

  • Turnitin – My Turnitin assignment says it’s in “read only” mode. What do I do?
  • My students need to upload files that are bigger than the file size limit. Can you increase the limit please?
  • I’d like to use the checklist activity in my QMplus course. How do I set one up?
  • My external examiners need access to QMplus. Can you create an account for them please?

These are some of the common topics that our support team have been dealing with this month. Read our post to find out more about the solutions to these issues.

Staff development opportunities


  • Getting Started with QMplus – workshop running on 8th June from 13.00-15.00 on the Whitechapel Campus.
  • Drop-in to the E-Learning Studio between 1 – 2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays to chat to a member of the E-Learning Unit about any issues you are having. Ideal for small problems that can be cleared up quickly face to face.
  • Schedule a one hour meeting with a member of the team for a more in-depth discussion about any aspect of using technology in teaching
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