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


(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, 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, 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 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 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 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 It keeps all the information about that ticket together in one place prevents multiple tickets being generated about the same issue.


MyBlogs infrastructure improvements

Over the coming months we are carrying out a complete refresh of the MyBlog infrastructure (i.e. the servers and associated hardware that the platform sits on). This is the first major refresh since the blogging service was introduced over 5 years ago. In that time blogging at UAL has increased rapidly and is now widely used to support student learning across the University.

Why is this work needed?

This refresh is not only needed to maintain the performance and reliability of the MyBlog platform but to meet the needs of new and innovative approaches to teaching large student cohorts. As a result of this refresh we can expect to see a faster, more stable platform with fewer outages and down time, and improved capacity to manage demand during peak usage periods. MyBlog is now fully incorporated into IT’s Systems Refresh and Patching Programme so that the platform’s infrastructure will be maintained as part of a planned and managed life-cycle.

What changes can I expect to see?

Improved Security

As part of the refresh we will be improving the security of the platform to ensure that user log-ins and other data sent between your browser and the MyBlog platform are encrypted and secure. You will notice that the url changes from http to https – indicating a secure connection. Users should be aware that any media embedded from a non-https third-party website will no longer display on a blog page. Many sites, such as YouTube and Vimeo, have already moved to supporting https and will not present any issues.

We have also included real-time Antivirus scanning of file uploads to help protect against malicious viruses and other malware.

A new look and feel

We have refreshed the look and feel for the MyBlog platform to unify and simplify the look and feel of our DL platforms and improve the student experience in this area. We will not be adding or changing the functionality of the platform.

Removing obsolete accounts

Myblog contains some content which has  not been updated for a long time  and which belongs to students who are no longer at UAL. To free up much needed storage capacity and to comply with GDPR requirements we are going to remove student blogs and accounts which meet *all* the following criteria:

    • The student left UAL in any year prior to and including 17/18
    • The blog has not been updated since the academic year 15/16

Staff accounts and content will not be affected.

When is this work being carried out?

We have already started the work as there are many stages to this project. During the final phase we will need to take MyBlog out of service for a short period of time. The dates to be aware of are:

  • 05th February 2019 – final sync of user accounts and blog content from the old to the new infrastructure. We will need to take MyBlogs out of service, but will aim to keep this to an absolute minimum. 
  • 06th February 2019 – DNS updated – MyBlog will be available, but may take up to 24 hours before it is fully accessible globally. MyBlog will be available almost immediately to those accessing it from the UAL network however, the service should be considered ‘at risk’.  Users may lose their work if they make changes during this period and we have to roll-back
  • 07th February 2019 – final testing and sign off / roll back decision

I have questions, who can I contact?

If you want to know more about this work, or have any concerns about how it will impact your students please either contact Ruth Powell or



OAT – Minor changes

As part of the work to integrate OAT with SITS we have made some minor improvements to functionality:

     1 – Submission / hand in date fields on the Settings Page are now auto-populated from data held in SITS. You can no longer manually enter these dates through OAT. Any missing dates will need to be entered via SITS (not all dates have yet been captured in SITS).

     2 – Feedback forms for Referred / Deferred students. These are now auto-created for those students with R or D status. You no longer need to manually create a bespoke feedback form for these students.

     3 – Bespoke feedback forms can still be created for formative assessment purposes. The drop down grade choice will now include Pass and Fail as grade options.


The grade that teaching staff need to complete on the OAT form is the indicative grade. The Exam board are responsible for confirming a student’s actual grade and will make the grade adjustments needed for late submissions, non-submissions etc.


Moodle Upgrade 2018-19

The DL Team would like to thank all colleagues for their patience and co-operation over the past couple of months as the integration of SITS with Moodle was completed. It was an extremely challenging project for all teams involved.

The next step for Moodle is an upgrade. Normally, we would have upgraded this Summer, but due to the other projects it wasn’t pragmatic to add in a further complexity. It’s important that we stay up to date with our release of Moodle, so ideally we need to upgrade this Autumn term if at all possible (we will resume our normal upgrade process Summer 2019).

Upgrade – Expected down time
IT Services have advised that the upgrade and testing will take two days during which time Moodle will not be available for use. Please can colleagues advise of:

a) preferred dates for us to carry out the upgrade
b) dates that we must avoid (i.e. assignment submission dates)

Agreeing dates
Because finding dates that are appropriate for all colleges is extremely difficult, we have set up a shared Google doc where dates can be entered, so that we can come to some agreement about the upgrade window. There never seems to be dates that suit all courses and any flexibility that can be offered by course teams to help us find a suitable date would be greatly appreciated. If you are aware of any dates when the upgrade can not take place (e.g. assessment submission dates) please do let your college TEL Coordinator know. Their contact details are at the bottom of this post.

Limitations on dates from DL Support
Unfortunately the Christmas vacation is not an option we can offer. An upgrade involves teams from multiple departments and not only is Christmas a time when we are very short staffed, IT Services also implements a code-freeze over this period. In addition, we do not carry out upgrades on a Friday due to the risk of Moodle being unsupported over the weekend.
Early in the New Year, i.e. Jan 2019 is a possibility, but we do not want to leave the upgrade later than this.

Upgrade version
We are currently assessing which version we will upgrade to and it will either be the latest release but one (3.4) or 3.5 if that contains critical bug fixes. Once the version has been decided the DLSupport team will provide details of any important changes or new features to be aware of.

College Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Co-ordinators

Bing Choong ( – Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon
Vija Skangale ( – Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon
Jennifer Williams-Baffoe ( – Central Saint Martins
Caroline Rogers ( – London College of Fashion – London College of Communication

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

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


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.