Weblearn Upgrade 27-29 June 2020

Weblearn will be unavailable from 1am on Sat 27 June until Mon 29 June as we move to the most up-to-date version of Blackboard Learn.

Weblearn downtime – 27th to 29th June

The work will start at 1am on Sat 27th and should be completed by Mon 29th June. Weblearn will be unavailable to users during the upgrade. We will aim to make the system available again as soon as possible on Monday.

What is included in the yearly upgrade?

As part of the upgrade, Weblearn is moving to a cloud hosting platform called Blackboard SaaS (Software as a Service).

No more downtime for upgrades!

Applications need to be upgraded regularly to get access to improved or new functionality and to make sure they remain secure. Since updating a large application like Weblearn takes a fair amount of time, we currently need 2-3 days downtime to apply an upgrade.

Once we’re on SaaS hosting, upgrades can be applied throughout the year in small increments without the need for 2-3 days downtime over summer.

What else is changing?

The upgrade consists mainly of bug fixes and security updates, and Weblearn will look the same as before.

Grading Weblearn assignments – moving from Box View to Annotate

On June 22nd Blackboard will change the current Inline Grading tool for Weblearn Assignments (not Turnitin) from Box View to a new tool called Annotate. Annotate will provide improved functionality and all pre-existing annotations created through Box View will be migrated and visible in Bb Annotate.

View the full Bb Annotate infromation

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Bb Annotate for Weblearn Asignments

On 22 June Weblelarn Assignments (not Turnitin) will transfer to Bb Annotate, the new inline grading tool provided by Blackboard. The transfer will take a few days to complete and you can continue to access and work on assignments during this period.

An example submission in the annotate view

Annotate was created in partnership with institutions across the globe and it will replace the Box View grading tool. The new customisable feature set includes:

  • Selection of document view settings
  • Comments (similar to the Turnitin Bubble Comments)
  • Annotation tools such as free hand drawing, shapes, highlighter pen, customisable stamps/images and text
  • Content library of reusable comments
  • Search feature
  • Print or download annotated submissions
  • Various colour selections, and more.

More information

Frequently asked questions



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Collaborate Ultra Common Questions

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Troubleshooting

View the Blackboard Troubleshooting page

View the Collaborate Ultra Session Best Practices page





Collaborate sessions






Recordings




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Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is available to all students and staff as part of Office 365. Teams offers a secure platform for online collaboration where students can share files, chat, hold web conferences and collaborate on documents simultaneously, making Teams an ideal solution for projects and group work.

Instead of your students migrating to a social network such as Facebook or Whatsapp, they can use Teams for online collaboration which means they won’t have to share their personal details with their peers or a third party outside the universities jurisdiction. Microsoft Teams encompasses all the key features of a social platform in a secure location.

Microsoft teams logo

Get started with Teams by entering your full username in the ‘Get Started’ box at https://teams.microsoft.com/start

Staff: username@staff.londonmet.ac.uk
Students: username@my.londonmet.ac.uk

Training and how to guides are available on the Microsoft website, or you could use LinkedIn Learning to view the Teams Essentials Training course (Tip: use the Contents list to skip through each section).

Watch the Teams overview video

The below scenarios are examples of how Teams could be used at this university.



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Resources and support for students

Weblearn Staff Help (login required) contains a collection of centrally managed resources for students which provides guidance on online submission, using the university IT systems, creating assets for projects and submission and more. These resources have been put together so they can be shared with students across the university without the need for them to be redeveloped for each course.

Below we have listed some examples of the resources available through Weblearn. If you can’t find what you are looking for on the Weblearn pages, maybe LinkedIn Learning could help!

IT Induction information

The IT Inductions area contains information, not just for new starters, but on common tasks students will undertake during their degree. Examples include:

Weblearn specific information

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Student FAQs

Students frequently use Weblearn to complete tasks and access their learning materials and there are some common questions which come up time and time again. We have put together a list for staff and a list for students to answer some of these common questions.

Add to student FAQs

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Staff Common Questions

London Met students and lecturers use Weblearn for learning and teaching purposes and as such there are some common questions which come up time and time again. We have put together a list for staff and a list for students to answer some of these common questions.

For example, have you ever wondered what the black exclamation mark which sometimes appears next to a Turnitin submission means?

 

If you have any questions that you would like answered, please add them to the Staff Common Questions form and we include them in our list.

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LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning iconLinkedIn Learning is a platform where you can access thousands of online video tutorials and courses so you and your students can learn to use popular software packages like Microsoft and Adobe. It also features a whole host of professional development topics like leadership skills and time management.

Courses and tutorials can be embedded into Weblearn modules and organisations so students can access them alongside their learning materials. 

The list of videos below is a small sample of training that’s available on LinkedIn Learning and it’s completely free for all London Met students and staff. Simply with your university details. eg:

Staff:
username@staff.londonmet.ac.uk
Password

Student:
username@my.londonmet.ac.uk
Password

Linkedin Learning: http://lil.londonmet.ac.uk

Sample tutorials (login required)

Microsoft Word

Microsoft PowerPoint

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V-L-Easy! Day 10 – Weblearn Resources for Students

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We have come to the end of our fortnight of blog posts about simple tools or techniques for simplifying teaching and learning. Although we will not be continuing to blog each day about ways to make life easier for you and your students, there are still many other useful resources created by the Weblearn team and CPED that you can continue to use all through the year; these are the topic of our concluding post.
Today we look at a tool that can be used to record lectures, but also to generate rich media for sharing via Weblearn

 We appreciate that creating online resources can be time-consuming, and the outcome can be short-lived if the content goes out of date quickly.

That is why using a centrally managed resource can take the pressure off academics. It means you direct your students to it in the knowledge that you don’t need to verify, maintain or update the content. Weblearn plays host to a number of student resources which can be repurposed within your learning and teaching.

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Message from Turnitin CEO Chris Caren

Dear Customers,

Turnitin UK services experienced two recent outages on October 22, 2018 from 09:37 to 14:36 BST and on October 25, 2018 from 10:48 to 13:33 BST. The root cause of these issues was an exploited vulnerability on the login page used by our UK customers, and, during the time period, customers were not able to access their accounts. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience to your institution, as we recognize that Turnitin is a mission-critical service that you rely upon for day to day operations.

The stability and security of our services are a top priority. The outages that occurred were not situations that we had encountered before and were unrelated to previous outages. As a result, it took our incident response team longer than usual to identify and fix the vulnerability. We have already made changes to prevent this from happening again and will also be adding the following safeguards to ensure that a similar incident does not occur in the future:

  • Additional monitoring and alerting that proactively warns for this unique type of situation.
  • Code updates in order to prevent a similar issue in the rest of the code base.

In regards to Turnitin’s overall 2018 service health, we would like to address a couple of points:

  • In comparing 2018 to 2017 service levels, Turnitin has had 56.2% less downtime but has had an increase of 64.8% in slow or degraded service;
  • Improving those degraded service numbers while keeping uptime availability as high as possible continue to be our highest priority and we will work with you to make sure that we minimize issues that result from service degradations.

Once again, we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that this service outage has caused. If you have additional questions about these outages, please feel free to respond to this message or reach out to your UK-based Account Managers, who are carefully monitoring service for our Turnitin UK customers and will be happy to provide additional information.

We value our relationship and look forward to a continued partnership together. Thank you for your time and for listening.

Sincerely,

Chris Caren,
CEO, Turnitin

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