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E-Learning Newsletter – September 2019

2 October 2019 Posted in: News Tagged: , , , , By: Manoj Singh

Recent QMplus outages

We are sorry to report that we are continuing to experience some issues with QMplus. Since last week we have experienced a small number of outages and periods of slow performance. We apologise for the inconvenience it has caused you and your students.This has become a persistent problem that we are finding difficult to diagnose. IT-Services are putting all the resources we have into fixing these problems as a matter of urgency. This includes both stabilising the system now and working with our supplier to ensure that we don’t experience these problems again.

Please continue to use QMplus in the meantime. We will keep you posted with any updates on this issue. IT-Services have also emailed all students with an equivalent message. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Jason Bunning, Assistant Director IT Applications (j.c.bunning@qmul.ac.uk).

Getting ready for the new academic year

Please have a look at all the new exciting features and changes that came with the QMplus summer upgrade – Hopefully, you’ll find something useful.

 

Licenses for the Mentimeter audience response system now available

Mentimeter is a web-based audience response system which allows students to use their smartphones, tablets or laptops to respond to your questions in class. You can use Mentimeter to ask multiple choice or free text questions, to get students to rank or sort items or to rate items on a scale and you can also run competitions and quizzes. Responses can be visualised in a variety of ways such as bar charts, pie charts or word clouds. It’s a great way to promote engagement, especially with large classes.

We ran a trial with Mentimeter last year and received positive feedback from staff and students. We have now secured funding for a number of licenses for Mentimeter for this academic year. If you’d like a license please visit our sign up page on QMplus and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

You can find out more on the Mentimeter page on the E-Learning Unit website.

 

Learning Materials and Digital Accessibility

In line with our strategic vision of creating a truly inclusive environment for all of our staff and students QMUL is fully committed to ensuring that all of our digital content is accessible. University is also mindful of the new Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations that came into effect on 23 September 2018 and is in the process of ensuring that our websites and teaching materials comply with this legislation. This legislation applies to our websites, as well as our virtual learning environment, QMplus.

To assist our colleagues in making their content accessible we have created a QMplus area which outlines what Digital Accessibility means and explains the wider benefits of considering accessibility when creating digital materials. It also provides a suite of resources along with a checklist that will assist you in making your teaching materials more accessible.

 

LinkedIn Online Learning – Calls for pilots

The E-Learning Unit has acquired 200 licenses for LinkedIn Learning and are looking for pilots across Queen Mary, who can evaluate the different aspects of the future wider use of the resource. You can find out more about LinkedIn Learning and current pilots on this page.

Please contact Rumi Begum (rumibegum@qmul.ac.uk) if you have an idea for a pilot and would like to get involved. The priority of the pilot will be on providing resources to improve the employability skills of our future graduates. We also welcome pilots exploring potential benefits for staff.

 

Q-Review Groups (New Feature!)

Echo360, the software behind Q-Review lecture capture, has released a new ‘Group’ feature which allows content to be shared amongst specific users. Groups can be configured by instructors to allow multiple users access to manage recordings, add content or simply view them. Please visit our article here to find out more on how this could benefit you, your colleagues and students.

 

Staff development opportunities in October

Workshops

Our Getting Started with QMplus courses are a hands-on session aimed at staff who are new to our online learning environment, or those who would like a refresher. We have one session running in October:

  • Tuesday 15th October 2019, 10.30-12.30

Our sessions take place in the E-Learning Studio, room 0.09 in the Scape Building on the Mile End Campus. Please see our online booking system for more information and to book yourself a place.

We normally run one Getting Started session a month however they have been particularly popular recently so we have been scheduling extra sessions. If the session is full, please book on to the waiting list and we will contact you.

Drop-in Sessions and Book a Learning Technologist

Drop-in sessions run every Tuesday and Thursday from 1-2 pm in the E-Learning Studio on the Mile End campus for any member of staff who needs help with the 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.

If you’d like to discuss something in more detail, appointments are available through our Book a Learning Technologist service. Book a one hour appointment with a member of the team to discuss your use of technology in more detail.

What are people asking the Helpdesk?

The top queries in September were related to access to QMplus course areas and Q-Review lecture recordings. Read more in our common support questions article.

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