Tel Tales

Adventures in Technology Enhanced Learning @ UoP

Author: Mandy Harcup

Chromebooks

Mandy Harcup

Have you ever wanted to incorporate some online activity into your session, but don’t have the facility to do so?  Here, in the TEL department we have 30 Chromebooks which are available for morning and afternoon sessions or can be booked for the entire day.

So how do Chromebooks work?
The Chromebooks have two preset profiles that can be assigned through the admin panel. The first is defined as “Classroom mode”, the second is “Exam Mode”.

In Classroom mode the Chromebooks loads a Google login box where the users university details are added. Chrome OS then loads and allows the user to access their work Chrome profile, this will include access to email, drive and any other documents within their Google profile.

Exam mode is much more stringent, and automatically logs into the device and displays the exam landing page. The student would then choose the exam they are expected to take, at which point they are then asked to sign into Moodle with their credentials. They are taken to the title screen of that exam which will display start time, end time (if set) and duration of the exam.

Should there be another requirement for a different Chromebook profile then through discussion with IS it may be possible to create one that would suit the potential need. As an example: Science made a request for exam mode to be enabled with access to a shared Google Drive document that still limited any other web access. This took over a month of testing and development between Science and IS to get the framework working and in place to use. Some requests that have been made however, were not possible and subsequently implementation was not possible.

Unlike standard Chromebooks or laptops, the TEL Chromebooks require a University of Portsmouth Google account as they’re subject to authentication  by Google.  So if you’re thinking of borrowing the Chromebooks to use with external participants, IS will need at least 72 hours notice to give them time to create dedicated accounts. If you required a large number of external accounts you would need to contact IS directly: servicedesk@port.ac.uk

Booking the Chromebooks
If you would like to borrow the Chromebooks we would require you to complete the TEL Chromebook Booking, Enquiry Form

This form asks:

  • How many Chromebooks do you require?
  • Which mode do you require?
  • Session Date
  • Session Start Time
  • Session End Time
  • Session Name
  • Session Location

You’ll need to complete an individual form for each session that you require the Chromebooks for. To make sure that the Chromebooks are in the correct mode we require a minimum of 72 hours from your initial booking to when you require the devices. Chromebooks are transported in wheel-able flight cases (15 Chromebooks per case), therefore it would be your responsibility to get them transferred to where you need them.  We’ll make sure that they’re ready at least 30 minutes before your session starts, for you come to collect them.

If you’re interested in borrowing the Chromebooks, but not sure in what capacity and would like further explanation or demonstration then please contact elearn by either telephoning extension 3355 or email us at elearn@port.ac.uk and we can provide some advice on how they have been used before around the University.

 

Top Five Moodle Questions asked by Staff

Mandy Harcup

At the beginning of each new academic year TEL receives many Moodle queries from staff – here are the top five that we’re asked:

Q1) I cannot see my unit(s) on my Moodle Homepage, why not?

A1) Are you a new member of staff or have you recently taken over the unit? Has the unit changed name/code and has it had a Moodle presence previously? These are some of the reasons you may not be able to see a unit on your homepage, to help us resolve the issue for you we will require some details about the unit(s) – the unit title and/or the unit code, the level of the access that you require for the unit(s), and your username. With this information we can add you to the unit or create a blank unit (or clone an existing one) for you to build.

Q2) My students are not attached to my unit, why not?

A2) Students are added to units in Moodle by mapping course codes and registration instances, or unit codes and attendance groups against Student Records. We do not manually add students as such access will not update should they change their units of study.  Let us know if you are missing students and we will try to see if we can resolve this problem for you or bring it to the attention of your course administrators if a change needs to be made in Student Records.

Q3) I can see my students are attached to my unit, but they are saying that they cannot see the unit, why not?

A3) It could be that your unit is still hidden from student view.  

To unhide your unit, go to the unit, click on the Administration tab, click on Edit settings, click on the drop down arrow in the Visible box, click on ‘Show’ scroll down and click on ‘Save and display’.  Once your students have refreshed their Moodle page, students should be able to see the unit.  If students still cannot see the unit, please supply the unit’s details and we will investigate to see if we can resolve this issue.  

It’s also important to remember that units ending in JAN stay hidden from student view until January, so you’ll see the students on the unit, but the students won’t see the unit on their homepage.

Q4) My colleague needs access to my unit, can I add them myself?

A4) Yes you can – click on the Administration tab, click on Users, then click on Enrolled users.  On this page click on the Enrol users box, a small box will appear, first assign the role you wish your colleague to have from the drop-down menu, then type their name in the search box and click on search. Find the person and click on the Enrol button next to their names, then click ‘Finish enrolling users’.  When your colleague refreshes their page or logs into Moodle the unit will appear on their homepage.  With Lecturer access you can give a colleague a ‘Lecturer’, ‘non-editing Teacher’ or ‘Guest’ role, you cannot assign the ‘Student’ role.

Alternatively, complete the Moodle Request form on the Self Service portal (https://servicedesk.port.ac.uk/sw/selfservice/portal.php#home) and we’ll add new users for you. See our Self Service Forms blog for more forms.

Q5) Some students can see my unit but other students cannot. I have more than one unit code attached to it, is this the reason?

A5) Yes, Moodle only attaches the first unit code automatically, other unit codes within the title will need to be cohort synced once each year. For this to happen, please email the unit details to elearn@port.ac.uk and we’ll cohort sync the code(s) to the unit.

 

MOOC Experience

Mandy Harcup

Encouraged to enrol on a MOOC, and then write about my experience, I decided I had better first find out some information on what MOOC stands for and what a MOOC is. For those of you unfamiliar with this turn of phase, MOOC stands for a ‘massive open online course’ – originally designed to make distance learning available to the masses, where courses were intended to be free of charge.

So after doing an initial internet search on MOOCs and finding searches advertising ‘Free Online Courses’ – great I thought, free courses, I want to know more. So I searched Wikipedia where I read about background information and discovered how MOOCs have increased with popularity since 2012. MOOCs main appeal was that its online courses could have unlimited participations with open access via the web.

Although each MOOC has its own unique structure and style, I discovered that students on a MOOC were to learn from each other, by sharing knowledge through discussion and experiences.

Interestingly, there are two types of MOOCs: ‘xMOOC – Focuses on scalability’ and ‘cMOOC – Focuses on community and connections’ (illustrated in the image).

George Siemens (2013), co-creator of the first cMOOC, reported that they were‘based on the idea that learning happens within a network, where learners use digital platforms such as blogs, wikis, social media platforms to make connections with content, learning communities and other learners to create and construct knowledge.’ Whilst xMOOC are based on a more traditional classroom structure with a lecturer in control of the learning process, along with quizzes and assignments to monitor student learning.

So after researching MOOCs I decided to register with FutureLearn – a provider of free online courses. I found creating an account and choosing a course was nice and easy. I decided I would start off with a short course and chose one that said it was two hours a week for two weeks – short and sweet, I thought.

Disappointingly, a few days into my free online course, I received an email from FutureLearn stating that I would need to upgrade, at a cost, to experience the full range of benefits the course offers. The upgrade would costs between £24 and £69 – the actual price would not appear until I had almost completed the course.

During the first week of the course I felt like I spent longer than the recommended 2hrs per week working through course content and exercises – perhaps this was just because this method of study was a new experience to me. I enjoyed participating in online discussions, however, I would of liked to see more discussion from other participants, this could of been an idea time for the ‘lecturer’ to encourage train of thought and direct should the discussion stray off course.

Due to illness I was unable to participate in the second consecutive week of my course. Although I hadn’t upgraded I knew I still had access to course materials for another 14 days after the course had finished – if, however, I had upgraded I would have had unlimited access to course content for as long as the course exists in FutureLearn.

I successfully worked my way through the second week content until I reached the assessment section which was titled ‘Assess your Understanding – Test’.  If I wanted to take this test and receive a Certificate of Achievement I would have to pay £39, this I didn’t want to do. The last step of my course introduced the next course in the series, asked me to complete a questionnaire and showed a promotional video on the University of Leeds.

Did I enjoy the course, did I learn anything from it and would I do another?

The course covered managing identity online, the objective was to consider our online presence and how what people say online can have major implications on people’s real lives. We looked at defining and applying a personal code of practice for online communication, history of glossaries and enhancing our online identities using social media tools.

Would I do another course? Yes, I’d probably do another one in this series. I did enjoy the course and have put some of the practical skills into use, I’ve tried to tidy up what can be found if you searched my name and in doing so found it’s not so easy to remove everything.  On social media I’ve changed quite a few settings so I don’t receive so much unwanted advertisement and I’ve put security steps into place so that other people cannot see information on my Facebook page, should they type my name in the search box. One of the setting I’ve put in place is, if other people want to upload photos onto my page instead of happening automatically, I now receive notification and have to give permission, however, this doesn’t stop the photos appearing on their page.

On a more critical note, I did feel that, perhaps due to the shortness of the course, there was a real lack of discussion from other participants and a lack of presence from the online course leader to encourage direction and dialogue. I never did know if my contribution to the course was correct or not.  My main disappointment was, if I wanted to complete the course and receive a certificate then I would have to pay for it… so the course wasn’t entirely free!

References

MOOC poster (March, 2013). What is the media & cultural studies of the MOOC?Retrieved from:
http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/MOOCbetterwordbubble.png (Assessed: 11th April 2017)

Massive open online course (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved March 30, 2017 from:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_course

Mathieu Plourde (2013). MOOC poster (by licensed CC-BY on Flickr). Retrieved from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mathplourde/8620174342/ (Accessed: 29th March 2017)

Touro College Online Education for Higher Ed (August 2013). What is the Difference Between xMOOCs and cMOOCs? Retrieved from: http://blogs.onlineeducation.touro.edu/distinguishing-between-cmoocs-and-xmoocs/ (Accessed: 30 March, 2017)

Siemens, G. (2012). MOOCs are really a platform. Retrieved from:  http://www.elearnspace.org/blog/2012/07/25/moocs-are-really-a-platform/

 

Bespoke TEL Training Sessions

Mandy Harcup

During August and September, TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning) will only be offering bespoke training sessions as the normal training room will be out of action due to building works. The usual timetabled TEL training sessions will resume in October.

Bespoke sessions can be either 1-2-1 or group sessions.

Informal 1-2-1 sessions can be held at your desk, or if there are several of you interested in a session and you have a room available, you can request  a more structured group session. Topics for bespoke sessions can be based around our traditional TEL programme, or we can tailor the session to answer any specific questions or needs that you require.

Please complete a Bespoke Training Request form (see below) and simply tick the box next to the session you would like training on. If you tick ‘Other’ please give a brief explanation of the topic you wished to be covered in the session. Complete with the date on which you would like your training session to take place, along with your preferred time and finish it by clicking ‘SUBMIT’.

Please click here for the Bespoke Training Request form:

Bespoke Training Request Form

Once we receive your form, a member of  the TEL team will contact you to confirm your training arrangements.

To view the full description of our training sessions, please see the

TEL Training Calendar.

NB Bespoke TEL training sessions can also be arranged throughout the year.

 

New Units for Moodle 2017/18

Mandy Harcup

If you have already had approval for a new 2017/18 unit then you can start creating it now! All you have to do is complete the New Moodle Unit Request form on the Self Service portal (https://servicedesk.port.ac.uk/sw/selfservice/portal.php#home)

Sign in using your university login details, click on ‘Log a Service Request’.

From the ‘Log a Service Request’ page scroll down to the ‘Your Services’ block, where you’ll see the ‘Moodle Request’ icon.

Clicking on this icon will take you to the ‘Service Details [Moodle Request]’ page where you can select ‘Request a new unit to be created on Moodle’. Once selected click ‘Next’.

From the next page, please ensure you complete all the mandatory fields in the request form to proceed, once you’re happy with the information you have supplied, click ‘Submit’.

If you are unsure of the information required please see our MyPort article ‘New Moodle Unit Request guide.

Once the form has been submitted you will see your reference number appear on the screen – you will also receive an email confirming your request. Your request should also be visible on your Self Service Portal home page under ‘Recent Requests’.

Elearn (TEL) will be assigned your query by Service Desk, and will email you back confirming when your request has been actioned. You’ll then be able to start creating your new unit, along with assistance from your faculty Online Course Developers should you need it.

Header image taken from Unsplash.com under a free to use license.

 

TEL Training Sessions

Mandy Harcup

Some of you may have noticed that the way TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning) training sessions are advertised has changed, you no longer receive a weekly email from Staff Essentials on a Friday afternoon. Our training sessions can now be found at the bottom of the Monday’s Staff News Update email. To see our sessions you’ll need to scroll down to ‘More news’ and look under the section ‘Staff Development’.

We’ve been amalgamated under the Learning and Teaching heading, but there’s nothing there to differentiate our sessions, we can only advertised three  sessions per week in this format.

To see more of our sessions you’ll need to scroll down and click on the banner which says More Staff Development, this takes you to the Staff Development page.  Published on this page are the sessions on the Staff News along with a few more training sessions from across the University, but again there is nothing to distinguish which ones are our training sessions.

Where to find our training sessions

We have added our training sessions to the calendar, here on our blog page.  Training sessions are indicated with a dot underneath the date, just click on the dot and the session information will appear. You can book yourself onto the session here, just click the button at the bottom. Feel free to switch through the months to see what training sessions are coming up.  During August 2017 we’ll be without our training room, but please contact us to arrange a 1-2-1 sessions or group training session tailored to your needs in your place of work.

Another place to find our training information is to go to the Department of Curriculum and Quality Enhancement (DCQE) website and click on the TEL Training Calendar here you’ll find our calendar with dates, times and full description on the sessions we run in this department.

Who are the training sessions for

Primarily, the workshops are for lecturers, but they can be adapted for professionally service members of staff. If you’re not available at the times of our training events, or if the programme does not cover a specific area you’re interested in, we can offer a 1-2-1 session tailored to your needs. In addition, if there’s a group of people in your department who would like a session to update their knowledge in a certain area, we can also arrange that too.  We have a meetings room here in Mercantile House, but we can always come to you.  To arrange these bespoke sessions, firstly contact elearn on either extension: 3355 or elearn@port.ac.uk, giving us a brief outline into which areas you’d like the training to cover and for how many people, someone will then contact you to discuss your requirements. So if you’ll looking to embark on a project involving technology, or if you would simply like some support or advice on how to use the various elearning tools available at the University, the TEL team are here to help.

We look forward to welcoming you at one of our training events in the near future.

 

Did you know? – Self Service Forms

Mandy Harcup

We often receive numerous emails containing the questions above in the TEL department. After a few emails back and forth, it is only when we are finally given all the information required, can we complete the request. To make this process easier for both parties, we have collaborated with IS to create some forms for you to complete.

The Moodle Request forms are now available for all staff to use on the Self Service portal  (https://servicedesk.port.ac.uk/sw/selfservice/portal.php#home). These forms are in the same format as other forms in the portal. Those of you who have used the forms before will know, they are easy to follow.

To use these forms, go to your Self Service Portal, click on ‘Sign In’, then click on the ‘Log a Service Request’. You can click either the large square box or the smaller tab under the Home tab, on the left-hand side.

self service portal dashboard

Once on the next page scroll down to the ‘Your Services’ block, where you will see the ‘Moodle Request’ icon.  When you click on the icon, it will take you to the ‘Service Details’ (Moodle Request) section. Here you’ll see three options to choose from:

  • Add staff to a unitmoodle request icon
  • Creating an account for an external person
  • Create a new unit

Here is the block you will see:

moodle request screen

Click on the option you require and complete the necessary information.

Here is an example of how to give a member of staff access to a unit in Moodle:

grant staff access screen

Click on the circle next to ‘Grant staff access to a Moodle unit’ then click on the ‘Next’ button, this will take you to the next part of the form.  Information required to complete these boxes are: (1) unit code or the URL, (2) the person’s full name (as you start to type, the box will offer you names – if you see the person you want, click on them) or username and (3) the level of access required. To help you, there is a drop down arrow on the right hand side so you can choose one of the five roles.

staff access to moodle unit

If you’re happy with the information you have supplied click the ‘Submit’ button. If not, you can always click the ‘Back’ button to go back to the previous page. Once the form has been submitted, the next screen to appear will give you a reference number, at the same time an email will appear in your email box confirming the details you have requested.

moodle request email

If you then click on the ‘Home’ button on Self Service Portal, you will see that your request is the first reference in the ‘Recent Request’ section.

What happens next

Service Desk will assign your query to the DCQE Group who will email you back confirming your request has been actioned.

The other two forms follow the same pattern, simple and easy to complete. Should you have problems understanding the questions there is a help section.
When you click on the here link, a new page will appear explaining the questions in more depth.

Another important feature of these forms are that the questions marked with asterisks  are mandatory and must be complete otherwise the form will not let you move on.  Should you miss one of these answers, a box will appear asking you to check your answers and try again, just click on the ‘OK’ button and you will be taken to the box that has not been completed. Add the information required then click ‘Next’ or ‘Submit’.