Category Archives: General

myblog upgrade complete

The upgrade to myblog is now complete. As well as maintaining the reliability and security of the platform, the upgrade includes a new approach to writing blog posts that makes it easier to construct and edit content. This short video provides an overview of this new feature.

We will be using Canvas and the Big Picture to help inform staff about this change and seeking advice from Internal Communications about how to best inform students.

We will continue to closely monitor the myblog platform for the next 24 hours. Should users encounter any problems as a result of the upgrade they should email dlsupport@arts.ac.uk and we will endeavour to fix the issue as quickly as possible. If a critical problem arises that we can’t resolve we may be forced to roll back the platform to the previous version. In this scenario all changes made to myblog sites will be lost.

Moodle upgrade

Over the past weeks the DL team has been conducting conversations with colleagues across all colleges regarding the annual Moodle upgrade. This summer we will be upgrading to Version 3.6.2. This upgrade is necessary to stay up to date with our release of Moodle, to ensure available support and to provide maximum efficiency for both staff and students.

After consultation with the colleges, it has been decided that the best time to carry out the upgrade is the week beginning 15 July. Unfortunately it is extremely difficult to find a time window with no Moodle activity and whilst this date is not the preferred option for some, it does seem to be the option that will have least impact on users.

The date for course roll over will be one week after this – Tuesday 23rd July (no further downtime needed).

To carry out the upgrade we will need to take Moodle out of service. We understand the inconvenience this causes and will aim to keep the disruption to a miniumum. Please take note of the following key dates:

  • Monday 15th July – approx 5.00 pm: Moodle taken out of service.
  • Tuesday 16th July – Upgrade work commences. Moodle out of service
  • Wednesday 17th July  approx mid-day – Testing by DL team. Moodle will be available but *at risk*. We advise that Moodle is only used as Read Only.
  • Thursday 18th July –  Monitoring and Testing – Moodle will be available but *at risk. We e advise that Moodle is only used as Read Only.
  • Friday 19th July – Moodle fully available and back in service

*At risk – The DL Team carry out testing and monitor the success of the upgrade on the live environment. If critical issues arise during this time that we are unable to resolve, we reserve the right to revert the upgrade to the current version of Moodle. any changes made to Moodle sites during the *at risk period* will be lost. For this reason, we strongly advise that users do not make any significant changes to their course sites during this time.

 

 

Myblog DOWNTIME

IT Services are reporting some instability to the MyBlog platform and need to carry out an urgent upgrade. Following consultation with colleagues across the colleges this has been scheduled for 23rd May.

We apologize for the inconvenience, but MyBlog will be out of service from 08.00 am on 23rd May. We hope to have the platform back available for use by the end of the working day on 23rd May.

We will keep you updated on the progress of the upgrade.

Please share this information with your team members and for any questions please contact us at dlsupport@arts.ac.uk.

Share your thoughts on the new design for OAT Feedback Forms

The Digital Learning team have been adapting the Online Assessment Tool (OAT) for the new Assessment Criteria. As part of this work they are taking the opportunity to update the user interface and provide a new look and feel that will make it pleasanter and more intuitive to use and have begun redesigning the two main forms:

    • The form used by Tutors for inputting student feedback. There are two versions of the Tutor form. They are exactly the same except that one has icons against each of the criteria, the other doesn’t;
    • The Assessment Feedback form students receive

They would greatly appreciate your feedback on the layout / organization of these forms and your thoughts as to their usability. Please could you spend a few minutes completing the two short questionnaires (one for each form)?

Please note:

    1. These forms are only mock-ups, they are not the final version and so all the elements are not fully functional (for example the breadcrumb trail is only indicative)
    2. They are not yet fully responsive and are best viewed on full-sized screen rather than a tablet or mobile
    3. Some elements, such as icons are only indicative and not the final design
    4. You can not enter and save any text
    5. Hyperlinks to external sites (e.g. assessment regulations) are not active
    6. ‘Help’ text indicated by ? icon is indicative and still being worked on

Instructions

(You may find this easier to do with two screens – one to view the OAT prototype and one to respond to the questionnaire. The questionnaire can be completed on a mobile / tablet.)

    1. Please access the Mockup forms and select an option from the Prototype drop down menu to preview each form.
    2. Complete the questionnaire. Each form will take you about 10 minutes to complete:

Tutor form questionnaire

Student form questionnaire

Please note, the questionnaires will be open until Friday 10th May.

 

 

Myblog theme update

We have recently completed a refresh of the Myblog theme to declutter and simplify the home page, and to provide a more unified look with our other platforms such as Moodle and Workflow. The screen shots below show you what MyBlogs will look like.

What has Changed?

The tabs to browse blogs by Members, blog, or groups have been moved out of the top navigation bar and placed as buttons on the home screen.

Previously, on logging in users were directed to the ‘MyBlog’ dashboard which was only relevant for users with Super Administrative rights. Now users are directed to their profile page.

All other features and functionality remain the same.

When will the new theme be applied?

We are currently upgrading the MyBlog infrastructure to upgrade the servers and capacity of the platform. This new theme will be released as part of that work which is due for completion in early February. We will put a banner up in Myblog to alert users that the theme will be changing a few days prior to it going live.

 

 

Contacting DL Support: One problem – One email – One person

When things go wrong the Digital Learning Support team understand how important it is to help resolve issues as quickly as possible so that students and staff can carry on with as little impact and disruption as possible.

Our mailbox, dlsupport@arts.ac.uk is our primary channel for you to raise a request for help, or alert us to any issues or problems you are experiencing with our digital platforms. Every email coming into dlsupport is then taken into our ticketing system to generate the receipt and to record and track the issue.

When a number of colleagues are copied into an email that contains dlsupport@arts.ac.uk, every time  one of those colleagues forwards the original email to someone else, or replies, it means that a new support ticket is generated every single time. At peak periods, the support mail box can quickly become ‘cluttered’ with duplicated emails from numerous responses and replies to group emails where dlsupport have been copied in. Multiple emails generates multiple tickets for multiple people about the same issue. This slows down the team’s ability to locate the key information needed, track issues and respond in a timely manner.

Ideally, the service should provide:

  • one email generating
  • one ticket for
  • any one particular problem with
  • one person as the main point of contact

There are a number of things we’d like to ask you to consider when contacting dlsupport that will help improve this service:

  1. Only use dlsupport@arts.ac.uk to raise a request for support – if you need help with one of the DL platforms, or if something is working as it should. If you don’t need to raise a support ticket, but want to speak to a member of the support team you can contact us directly -our contact details are at the bottom of this post.
  2. Try not to include any other colleagues in the email to dlsupport@arts.ac.uk. Try to use the support email as a way to raise a ticket, rather than to communicate with colleagues.
  3. If you need to consult with other colleagues, inform them that you have contacted dlsupport, or want their input please consider removing dlsupport@art.ac.uk from the distribution list.
  4. Once we have received your email, we will generate a support ticket that has a reference number. This will be sent to you by email. These emails are easily identifiable, being bright pink and have a ticket reference number in the subject line.
  5. You may circulate this support ticket reference email to other colleagues, who may reply to it and contribute further information as needed. Any replies to the ticket reference email come directly into our ticketing software and not to dlsupport@arts.ac.uk. It keeps all the information about that ticket together in one place prevents multiple tickets being generated about the same issue.

 

Moodle Course Roll over

Date(s): 13th July 2018
Platform: Moodle

The DL team have now made the course sites for the 18/19 Academic Year available in Moodle and have enrolled staff to their courses (based on their 17/18 enrollment status).

We are still working to get the 18/19 courses to display in the correct order on the MyCourses page in Moodle. Staff are advised to navigate to their 18/19 course sites using their staff profile located under the drop-down menu from the user’s name in the top right corner. Whilst this work is in progress we have disabled the 18/19 courses in the Admin Tool. If any urgent changes are required to staff enrollments please contact dlsupport@arts.ac.uk.

Staff are now able to edit their 18/19 course sites and roll-over any required content from this year’s sites.

In addition to working on the Course List display, we are starting to process the student enrolments on the 18/19 course sites and we expect this process to complete today.

Moodle Course Roll Over

Date(s): 11th July 2018
Platform: Moodle

Following the IT problem that arose on Monday 09th July causing course sites to not display in the Moodle Digital Learning Support team have made considerable progress in resolving the issue and preparing the course data and enrolments for the 18/19 course sites.

Yesterday the server problem was resolved and course structures were restored and correctly displaying in Moodle. Today the team have been working specifically on preparing 18/19 course sites, meticulously checking staff enrolments to ensure that course sites and enrolments for the next academic year are correct. This is an extremely complex process and involves detailed cross-checking between the old QL data and the new codes and information we are receiving from SITS. Late this afternoon we started the process of pushing all the 18/19 course data to the staging server and will have to leave this to run overnight.

I apologise for the delay in providing access to the 18/19 course sites for staff. The earlier IT problems and the fact that we are managing new processes with the SITS data mean that we are having to proceed with extra caution so that we catch minor and fix any glitches in the data before making everything available to users.

We are hopeful that we will be able to give users access to their 18/19 course sites by tomorrow at the latest.

Intermittent problems with Moodle Access

Date(s): 11 July 2018

Information:

IT Services are continuing to investigate why Moodle suddenly appears to go ‘offline’. The Moodle server is constantly being monitored and we know that this server is stable and not going down in any way. We are also confident that the problem is not related to any of the recent maintenance work we have been doing on Moodle.

In terms of resolving the problem, IT Services have managed to replicate the issue and can ‘see’ the problem, but are still trying to diagnose the underlying cause.

The problem is only affecting users who are accessing Moodle from within the UAL network. External users aren’t affected. Chrome also seems to be more problematic than other browsers.

Whilst IT Services continue to identify the problem users may find that rebooting their computer or using a different browser helps minimise the problem.

We will update you with progress as I receive further information from IT Services.

Thanks for your patience and apologies for any inconvenience caused.

The Turnitin has been restored

Date: 11th July 2018
Platform: Turnitin

We’re happy to note maintenance is now complete and all services have been restored. The following Turnitin services were unavailable on July 10, 2018:

  • Turnitin and TurnitinUK (including all integrations)
  • Feedback Studio for iOS
  • iThenticate
  • WriteCheck

Thanks for your patience!

Stay up to date with Digital Learning Support news by following @dlsupportUAL on Twitter.