From Thursday 21 June at 5pm there will be temporary disruption to the normal Weblearn service as we begin the move to managed hosting from our current self-hosted provision.
Managed hosting will give Weblearn the higher performance and reliability that is associated with powerful cloud computing. In addition, we will benefit from round-the-clock technical monitoring and support from Blackboard, and upgrades to Weblearn will subsequently occur immediately, resulting in minimal downtime for London Met users. The migration will coincide with an upgrade to the latest software version of Blackboard Learn.
All content and data will be transferred to the managed hosting version of Weblearn which will take a few days. During this time period Weblearn will become read only. This means that you will be able to view and access Weblearn content but if you make any changes during the ‘read only’ period all changes will be lost and will not be recoverable.
What can I do during ‘Read Only’ access?
Do: access existing content and feedback
Do not: make any changes to content or assessments and feedback because these changes will be lost
Arrangements for online submission
All assessments scheduled during the migration period have been moved or paper submission has been agreed.
Key dates to remember:
Thursday 21 June at 5pm: Weblearn will be completely unavailable as data is transferred.
Friday 22 June: Unavailable then read only access to Weblearn from approx 5pm
Monday 25 or 26 June: Weblearn will become unavailable for 3-4 hours for further configuration
If the migration goes smoothly, Weblearn will be fully available after 5pm on 26 June. If the downtime period needs to be extended further announcements will be posted.
This summer, Weblearn will migrate to a managed hosting arrangement with Blackboard, the company who provide the VLE software.This means that Weblearn will no longer run from our local servers, but instead will run directly from Blackboard’s servers.
When will the migration take place?
The migration will take place from 22nd – 29th of June, 2018.
What are the benefits of managed hosting?
Managed hosting will give us the higher performance and reliability that is associated with powerful cloud computing. In addition, we will benefit from round-the-clock technical monitoring and support from Blackboard, and upgrades to Weblearn will subsequently occur immediately, resulting in minimal downtime for London Met users. The migration will coincide with an upgrade to the latest software version of Blackboard Learn.
How will the migration affect me?
The switch from a self-hosted VLE to a managed-hosted VLE will inevitably mean a temporary suspension of normal Weblearn service. From Friday 22nd June 2018, Weblearn will be completely unavailable for a day-or-two as data is transferred. Weblearn will return in a read-only state for the remainder of the week; during this time, no new content can be uploaded, and user data is not recorded, but users can view and download existing Weblearn content as normal. Weblearn will return to full access from Friday 29th June 2018.
There may be occasional down-time prior to the migration to test the transfer will run smoothly. Keep an eye on the Weblearn homepage for news about the migration project.
The digital discovery tool is an online resource developed by Jisc, the body responsible for the Joint Academic Network. The tool enables you to explore the different elements we call ‘digital capabilities’ and find out more about your own digital practice.
The digital capabilities framework
Through a series of reflective questions, the digital discovery tool gives you an opportunity to reflect on your own confidence and ability in each element of the Jisc Digital Capability Framework (see diagram). There are three kinds of question relating to each element:
Confidencequestions – you rate your confidence with a digital practice or skill
Depthquestions – you select the one statement that best describes your approach to a digital task.
Breadthquestions – you select all the digital activities that you engage in.
Once you’ve signed up, you will find the discovery tool on your dashboard. If you’ve created an academic profile, you will also have an additional reflective survey about specialisms relevant to your role.
Your personal report
A rose diagram summarizing your digital capabilities. Each wedge is a percentage score for that element.
When you have answered all questions, you will receive a personal report. For each element of the framework, you will see:
A visual summary of your overall capabilities (see diagram)
A capability level. corresponding to one of three available levels: developing, capable or proficient.
Advice about ‘next steps’ to consider if you want to develop further
Links to relevant resources to help improve, consolidate, or gain recognition for your skills in this area.
You can download a copy of your report to review in your own time – we hope it will encourage and inspire you! You might want to share your report with others, for example during appraisals and as part of your professional development process. This is your choice.
Your individual test data is private, and will not be made available to anyone else. Jisc provides London Met with anonymised information about the number of people who have used the discovery tool, and their aggregate capability levels.
Behind the scenes of the instructional video shoot.
As well as providing insights in the student experience of Weblearn (as detailed in this post), London Met placement students on work-related learning modules have also been engaged in creating instructional videos for their peers in liaison with ITS staff.
London Metropolitan University offers a wide range of work related learning opportunities, some of which are project oriented and based with professional service departments within the University. In October 2017 three placement students from the School of Business and Law undertook a product review and data analysis project with the Weblearn team in order to improve the Weblearn experience for students.
As a starting point the students produced a preliminary report based on their own experiences of using Weblearn by reviewing their current teaching modules and the Weblearn resources available to them. They then produced a questionnaire to elicit responses from a wider group of students.
After reviewing their initial findings and analysing the data gather from the questionnaire, the students produced a final report which made the following conclusions:
Video-Based Quizzes can really make a difference when it comes to developing content for blended learning. Even in student facing environments cross-linking “flipped classroom” with “in-class” and “extended classroom” activities can really add value in enhancing learning and teaching in H.E settings.
Vizia allows users to import a video from YouTube or Wistia and then integrate questions directly on the timeline of the video.
Users can add a quiz that comes in the form of a multiple choice question, a Poll, a short answer/open ended question that contains an element of self-assessment as well as a “call to action” point that re-directs viewers in another webpage that could contain more content.
Last month Padlet introduced two new features that along with the ones that were introduced during the summer and the all-new and improved smartphone app, will bring this simple but versatile tool one step closer to being the ‘go-to’ solution when it comes to formative assessment and collaborative activities in Higher Education settings.
If you are completely new to this and want to get up to speed with what Padlet’s about, watch this short 90-second intro video.
Ally is a new tool on Weblearn that allows students to access module files in accessible file formats without the need to replace the current files or make any changes to your modules – Ally does all the work!
Ally will scan the files on Weblearn and produce an accessibility score. This score is symbolized by a little gauge next to the document/image which will now appear in your modules. Continue reading →