We are pleased to announce the release of Blackboard Collaborate™ 12.5 web conferencing at UCSF. Collaborate 12.5 sessions are available starting Wednesday, May 15, 2013. The update will be seamless for Collaborate users, just join the Collaborate session as you usually would via the UCSF CLE to take advantage of the update.
Below is a list of new feature in Collaborate 12.5:
- Support for Android devices to expand opportunities for mobile learning. Download the Android app here and the iOS app here.
- Built-in phone conferencing with auto-provisioned call-in numbers, eliminating the need for a third-party teleconferencing provider. Learn more here.
- Single-click individual permissions and ability to toggle chat emoticons on/off for increased moderator control. Read more here.
- Cloud-based MP3/MP4 conversion service, enabling instructors to make any recorded session easily accessible on desktop, laptop, and any mobile device. To request MP4/MP4 version of your recorded Collaborate sessions, please contact LTG staff.
LTG staff will be working to develop support documentation for the new features listed above. Please contact LTG staff in the meantime if you have questions about using Collaborate 12.5 at UCSF.
For current Collaborate support documentation, please visit the Collaborate@UCSF User Guide.
As part of our ongoing transition from Moodle 1.9 to Moodle 2, the Learning Technologies Group has recently debuted two new support resources: the Moodle 2 Support Center and the self-paced, online workshop “Creating Your First Moodle 2 Course.” These new resources, modelled after similar resources available for the previous Moodle version, provide on-demand training and documentation for the UCSF Moodle 2 community.Online Workshop
The “Creating Your First Moodle 2 Course” workshop will help faculty, staff, and other participants learn to perform the basic tasks associated with setting up a course or collaboration space in Moodle 2. Topics introduced to participants include site navigation, Moodle 1.9 to Moodle 2 migration details, uploading files, creating activities, and choosing a student enrollment method. Although this workshop covers some of the same material as the in-person “Building Online Courses in the CLE with Moodle 2″ workshop, participants may find value in completing both workshops, in whatever order they choose. This online workshop is only available to UCSF users with a MyAccess username and password.Support Center
The Moodle 2 Support Center provides training videos, documents, a user discussion forum, and updates about Moodle 2 from system administrators. At the moment, the Support Center is comprised mainly of documentation geared towards faculty and staff. Learning Technologies staff will continue to populate this area with additional resources for faculty and staff, and also with new documents geared towards students who need help using the system, as time allows. The Moodle 2 Support Center is available to anyone, with or without a UCSF MyAccess username and password.Getting Started
To take advantage of these resources, visit the Moodle 2 Support Center (available without a MyAccess login) and the Creating Your First Moodle 2 Course online workshop (requires a MyAccess login). If you have questions, suggestions, or feedback, please post to the forums in each space, or send us an email.
With the Moodle 2 pilot up and running, LTG staff has been busy updating documentation to help support UCSF CLE users. Collaborate moderators will notice some subtle changes in the way Collaborate sessions are created and managed in Moodle 2. But rest assure, the changes are not too significant and we have put together step-by-step instructions and a handy FAQ to help with the transition.
Updated Collaborate documentation is now available on the Collaborate@UCSF User Guide. We have also developed a Moodle 2 and Collaborate FAQ that is located on the User Guide as well. Moodle 1.9 support documentation is still available under the Moodle 1.9 Moderator Guide.
The LTG ‘Web Conferencing with Collaborate’ workshop has also been updated to incorporate support for Moodle 2. Register for an upcoming Collaborate workshop!
Please contact LTG staff with any questions about using Moodle 2 and Collaborate.
Image Credit: Erin Hayes, Moodle Trust
A new feature in Moodle 2 is the ability to easily embed Vimeo videos in CLE courses using only the video URL. With ETS running a UCSF Vimeo pilot program, this is good news for many CLE users. The plug-in for embedding YouTube videos using just the video URL has been possible since Moodle 1.9, and Vimeo videos can now be added to Moodle 2 courses the same way.
Adding YouTube and Vimeo videos to a CLE course page is as easy as inserting a hyperlink into a Word document. Simply insert and highlight text, select insert web link, add the video URL and Moodle does the rest. There are advantages and disadvantages to using this method as opposed to using embed codes to add videos. For clarification, an embed code is the short HTML code typically used to embed an online video on a webpage. The main advantage for using this new method is the ease of use. You are also not limited to the 75MB upload limit when embedding a video like you are when uploading directly to the CLE.
A disadvantage to using this simpler method is the inability to customize the size of the video player. By default YouTube and Vimeo videos are sized to 400 x 300 pixels when viewed in the CLE.
To insert a YouTube or Vimeo video in a Moodle 2 CLE course:
- Copy the URL of the Vimeo or YouTube video
- Turn editing on in the CLE course
- Select “Add an activity or resource” link
- Select “Page” to add the video to a webpage in the CLE, or select “Label” to add the video directly to the CLE course page
- Paste the video URL into the page content field
- Highlight the URL, press the “Insert Web Link” button in the Moodle 2 editor
- Insert the video URL in the “Link URL” field
- Select “Save and display”
It is that easy! Click for more detailed instructions on Basic Video Embedding.
There may be times that you want to customize the video player to make the player size larger. This can be done by embedding the video using the respective YouTube or Vimeo embed codes. Click for detailed instructions on Custom Video Embedding.
Have fun and please contact LTG staff with any questions!
Just a reminder that registration is now open for LTG Spring 2013 workshops. There are five workshops being offered and below is additional information on each. Library workshops can also be found on the UCSF Library Class Calendar and are open to UCSF faculty, staff and students.
Building Online Courses on the CLE with Moodle 2
Presented by Brian Warling
Moodle is the linchpin learning management system that provides many of the CLE’s core functions. In 2013, we will transition to Moodle 2, the latest version. In this hands-on workshop, you will learn how to use many of the new Moodle 2 features and enhancements, including: new course navigation tools; drag-and-drop file and resource management; conditional release; much improved quiz building and navigation; private files; new page layout options; and mobile interfaces. We will also discuss transition plan details. Open to UCSF faculty, staff and students. Read more and register here.
- Wednesday, April 17, 9 – 11am
- Wednesday, May 1, 2 – 4pm
- Thursday, May 16, 9 – 11am
- Tuesday, June 4, 9 – 11am
- Wednesday, June 19, 2 – 4pm
The Better Presenter
Presented by Sean Gabriel McClelland
We have all fallen victim to presentations that leave us bored and confused. In this workshop, you will learn to become a better presenter and create slideshows that enhance your presentations, not detract from them. You will develop an understanding of why templates are bad, and stories are good. Read more and register here.
- Wednesday, April 10, 1:30 – 4pm
- Tuesday, May 14, 9:30am – 12pm
- Thursday, June 13, 9:30am – 12pm
DV Workshop: Shoot Like a Pro
Presented by Sean Gabriel McClelland & Dylan Romero
Shooting a video is something that anyone can do, but it takes practice to produce a quality product. In this workshop, we will introduce you to LTG’s video equipment, discuss best practices for planning and shooting effective video, and then practice those techniques with a hands-on exercise. Read more and register here.
- Tuesday, April 23, 1:30 – 4pm
- Wednesday, May 15, 1:30 – 4pm
- Wednesday, June 12, 9:30am – 12pm
DV Workshop: Edit Like a Pro
Presented by Dylan Romero & Sean Gabriel McClelland
Editing digital video is becoming more and more commonplace, but it does not mean that everyone does it correctly. In this hands-on workshop, we will cover editing software, terminology, conventions and distribution options pertaining to digital video. Our Digital Video: Shoot Like a Pro workshop is a recommended but not required prerequisite. Read more and register here.
- Tuesday, April 30, 1:30 – 4pm
- Wednesday, May 22, 1:30 – 4pm
- Wednesday, June 19, 9:30am – 12pm
Web Conferencing with Collaborate
Presented by Dylan Romero
Learn the fundamentals of using the web conferencing tool Blackboard Collaborate, previously known as Elluminate. Attendance is highly encouraged for anyone moderating or administering Collaborate sessions. Come check out the new interface with support for mobile devices and learn how to better collaborate with students, faculty and staff! Read more and register here.
- Thursday, April 18, 2 – 3:30pm
- Tuesday, June 18, 2 – 3:30pm
For workshop related questions, contact the Learning Technologies Group.
UCSF faculty and staff often contact LTG with questions about how they can leverage the messaging system in Moodle to better communicate with students. The current messaging system in Moodle 1.9 is not intuitive and is used infrequently at UCSF. Messaging in Moodle 2 has been overhauled and some of the improvements are substantial enough to potentially win over some new users.
Both faculty and students receive notifications via the messaging system based on events in the CLE. Messaging is now ‘event-driven’ in Moodle 2, meaning users can select from a list of events in Moodle that trigger a message. The message can be delivered via a pop-up window in the CLE, through an email notification or both.
An important thing to remember is that messaging preferences are set at the user level in Moodle 2. By default students receive pop-up notifications for personal messages and email messages for event notifications. These can be set for when a student is online or not online. Both email and pop-up notifications can be configured by users to be triggered by various events in the CLE. Students configure these options, or turn off notifications completely in ‘Message Preferences.’ Because of this capability, faculty who use the messaging system in the CLE should remind students that important course related messages can be missed if notifications are turned off. Messaging preferences are applied system-wide to all courses that a student is enrolled in through the CLE
Some examples of how messaging can be used at UCSF are:
- Notify students of upcoming assignments
- Notify students of feedback for assignments
- Remind students to provide feedback
- Notify when a post has been submitted to a discussion forum
- Send a personal message to faculty or students
- Send multimedia content to students/instructors in a personal message
There are two main components of the messaging system for both faculty and students. The first is viewing any messages sent or received through the system to other users. To view all messages, navigate to the ‘Navigation’ block and select ‘Messages.’ This will include all pop-up and email messages sent through the CLE, even if the user has notifications turned off.
To configure which messages you receive and how, navigate to the ‘Settings’ block and select ‘Messaging.’ By selecting the check marks next to each event, users can determine how they receive both event-driven and personal messages.
If you are a faculty member interested in messaging students, navigate to the course in the CLE where you would like to send the message. From the ‘Navigation’ block, select ‘Participants’ and all enrolled users in the course will be displayed. Select either all or individual students using the check marks listed next to the names and select ‘Send a Message’ from the drop-down menu at the bottom of the page.
Depending how users have their message preferences configured, they will receive your message in a pop-up window, email or neither if they have message notifications turned off. Recipients are not able to see the students included on the message; protecting the privacy of the students.
Messaging in Moodle 2 can often be confused with the ability to send notes in the CLE and the email digest, which notifies students of forum posts daily or with each forum post. Stay tuned to the Convergence blog for an upcoming blog post on these Moodle 2 features and as always feel free to contact LTG staff with any questions about the CLE or the transition to Moodle 2.
Messaging 2.0 Resources:
Many educators and students are familiar with the Khan Academy and have seen the video tutorials created by Salman Khan. Since 2009, the Khan Academy has become a rockstar in the field of educational technologies and has gathered both supporters and critics along the way. Regardless of your opinion on this type of asynchronous learning activity, we can all agree that it is definitely a creative way to teach short chunks of content to many learners.
LTG recently acquired a Wacom DTU-2231 interactive display that is available to UCSF faculty, students and staff. The 21.5” tablet monitor easily connects to the PC or Mac in CL-247. You can draw directly on the touch-screen surface of the tablet to create videos similar to those seen at the Khan Academy. Some of the more popular software used with the tablet are SketchBook Express, PowerPoint, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Learning how to use the Wacom tablet monitor only takes a few minutes and is designed to simply ‘plug and play.’
There are many potential uses for the tablet monitor at UCSF. Below are just a few examples:
- Sketch a workflow or process
- Explain a concept or idea
- Provide a break in PowerPoint with a demonstration
- Annotate over a document, x-ray or image
- Annotate using Snipping Tool
To begin using the Wacom DTU-2231 tablet to create your own instructional content, follow the steps below:
- Reserve CL-247 at tiny.ucsf.edu/reserve_mm.
- Email email@example.com to reserve the tablet and set up a brief consultation. The tablet is available during normal LTG hours, M-F, 8:30 am – 5pm.
- Plan or outline the instruction.
- Practice using the tablet and stylus in the software you plan to use.
- When ready, use the screen-recorder Camtasia to capture the annotations and drawings on your screen. If you are drawing or annotating on the Mac, use Sketchbook Express or the ink tool in PowerPoint. If you are using a PC, use PowerPoint.
- Edit screen-captures and other assets in Camtasia, iMovie ‘11 or Final Cut Pro X.
- Share your videos using Vimeo, YouTube or the UCSF CLE.
As always, please contact us with questions about potential ways to use the Wacom tablet monitor or any of the technology supported by LTG staff!
This is part three of a three part series of Convergence blog posts on Moodle 2 Activities.
UCSF faculty have long taken advantage of online quizzing in the CLE, not just for graded exams like midterms and finals, but also for ungraded activities like self-assessments or practice quizzes. Moodle 2 includes several improvements that make the quizzing activity easier to use for instructors and students alike. This post covers the most compelling improvements: quiz navigation and flagging, overriding quiz settings for a subset of students, and reviewing and grading student responses.
Navigation and Flagging
Some of the biggest improvements to quizzes in Moodle 2 are geared towards students. A new quiz navigation block sits in the corner of the screen and provides several pieces of information to a student during their quiz attempt. Using this new feature, a student can:
- see how many questions are in the quiz (in the above example, 7 questions)
- determine which questions they have answered (gray background) or not answered (white background)
- determine which questions they previously flagged for later review (small red triangle at the top of box 2), and click to jump to that question.
- monitor how much time is left in the quiz in an unobtrusive way (under certain circumstances, the Moodle 1.9 time clock could block a student’s view of quiz content).
- click the “Finish attempt” link to review their progress and submit the quiz.
These improvements should help prevent confusion during what is already a stressful time for many students.
Faculty members who needed to provide accommodations to students on quizzes in Moodle 1.9 knew that the process for doing so was cumbersome at best. In Moodle 2, an instructor can make exceptions to a number of quiz settings for an individual or group or students. For example, if the time limit for a quiz is 30 minutes, a student who needs time-and-a-half can be given a 45 minute time limit (as shown in the image above). This can be done quickly, easily, and securely, without having to create duplicate copies of a quiz. Other overrides an instructor can make in this way include the start or end date of a quiz, the number of attempts an individual student can make, or the password that student can use to access the quiz.
Reviewing and Grading Student Responses
Moodle’s quiz activity provides a number of different question types, including multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions. Many of these question types can be automatically graded by the system because there are distinctly correct and incorrect answers to each question. Essay responses, though, must be graded manually by a person.
Moodle 1.9 provided instructors with the ability to download grade information for individual students in a quiz (i.e. how many points they earned on each question), but not the actual text of the responses. The only way to see these responses was to be logged into the system, and to click into each student’s attempt one at a time. Moodle 2 now allows instructors to view a table containing the text of the questions as well as the actual responses entered by a student or selected students — but also to download this table to an Excel spreadsheet for offline access or storage. This should make it much easier and more convenient for instructors to grade essay questions, sort student quiz results based on their response to a particular question, and also keep a backup copy of results offline for future review.
Ready to get started in Moodle 2?
Faculty who are interested in taking advantage of the new quizzing improvements can begin teaching their courses in Moodle 2 as early as the Spring term. For information about joining the Moodle 2 Pilot, contact the Learning Technologies Group. We’ll be happy to meet with you, review the contents of your existing courses, and discuss the migration services the LTG can provide.
This is part two of a three part series of Convergence blog posts on Moodle 2 Activities.
The Lesson activity may not be new to the Moodle learning management system, but it is new for most faculty and students at UCSF. The Lesson activity is used infrequently in the UCSF CLE, so why not showcase this valuable activity during the transition to Moodle 2? Like the Workshop activity, the Lesson is not for the Moodle neophyte.
What is a Lesson in Moodle and why would you create one in a CLE course? Lessons allow faculty to deliver content in a new and engaging way. Think of Lessons as a series of web pages that can be used to create a ‘choose your own adventure’ type of learning activity. Students may be prompted with a question and are then directed to another series of questions or content pages depending on their response. This is done through branching and has obvious potential for many types of simulation and other instructional exercises.
Here is the Cliff Notes version of how it works:
- Outline the Lesson using pen and paper, including flow and any branching
- Create Lesson and set parameters in the CLE (grading, flow control and availability)
- Combine Content Pages, Questions, Branches and Clusters to create pages that will make up the Lesson
- Make the Lesson available to students
And below is a list of the pros and cons of using Lessons in the UCSF CLE:
- Self-directed learning opportunities for students
- Scenario or simulation/decision-making exercises
- Allows faculty to teach to different learning styles (Example: Give students the choice to read an article, watch video or listen to podcast all covering the same instructional content)
- Use images, videos and other multimedia in Lessons via HTML or rich-text editor
- Requires advanced planning and storyboarding
- Not immediately intuitive to create
Let’s take a closer look at the steps involved in creating a Lesson activity. For this example, I will create a mock Lesson for a UCSF course.
Step 1 Plan and Storyboard: Due to the non-linear nature of most Lessons, it is highly recommended that you plan out your Lesson well in advance of creating in the CLE. Sketch out the content pages, questions and general learning path for your Lesson using pen and paper. This will drastically reduce the time spent building Lessons and will also minimize confusion and frustration for users participating in the Lesson activity.
Step 2 Create Lesson Parameters: Lessons are created just like any other Moodle activity; with editing turned on in the CLE course. A list of the more important Lesson settings is included below:
Practice Lesson: Set to ‘No’ if you want to report quiz question scores to the gradebook. A practice Lesson does not appear in the gradebook.
Re-Takes Allowed: If enabled, students can attempt the Lesson more than once. This is a good option if you have created a long Lesson that students may complete in a number of attempts.
Progress Bar: If enabled, a bar is displayed at the bottom of Lesson pages showing approximate percentage of completion. By default the Progress Bar is turned off.
Display Ongoing Score: If enabled, each page will display students’ current points earned out of the total possible thus far. By default the ‘Display ongoing score’ is turned off for Lessons.
Dependent On: Allows access to the Lesson to be dependent upon students’ performance in another Lesson in the same CLE course. Any combination of time spent, completed status or ‘grade better than’ may be used as requirements for moving on to the next Lesson.
Step 3 Create Content Pages, Questions: Once a Lesson has been set up in the CLE, you are ready to begin populating with content pages and questions. LTG discourages the use of Microsoft Word when writing the copy for content and question pages. Instead, use a simple text editor and copy and paste into Moodle. Included below are descriptions of the main components for a Lesson activity:
Content Pages: Contains text, multimedia and ‘jump’ buttons that students can use to navigate. Most commonly used page in Lessons.
Questions: Multiple Choice, T/F, matching, and essay-style questions that can assess student learning and are recorded in the gradebook.
The workflow for populating both content and question pages are similar. When designing content pages, use any combination of text, images, links or embedded videos. The use of tables helps with formatting pages and maintaining a clean look and feel. When creating question pages, you will go through the process of assigning correct and incorrect answers, redirecting students and relative scoring. LTG recommends creating all content and question page shells first and then go back and populate the pages with content. This will help set up the navigation for the Lesson and is a more effective workflow for faculty.
Step 4 Set Up Branching and Clusters: Branches consist of a series of content pages. Students will typically “branch” off a Lesson path from a missed question and visit a series of pages for review before they are returned to the main Lesson path.
Clusters: A group of questions that can be offered in a randomized order to students as they work through the Lesson.
Faculty create branches and clusters under the ‘Edit’ tab after all content and question pages have been created. This is also where previously created content and question pages can be edited or deleted.
Step 5 Review: Click the ‘Preview’ tab to review the Lesson before making it available to students.
Step 6 Deploy: Let the non-linear learning commence!
Overall, Lessons have the potential to engage learners more than a traditional, linear PowerPoint presentation. Quizzes and Books created in Moodle 1.9 can also be combined to create a single Lesson in Moodle 2. Expect to spend 8 hours working in the Lesson activity to learn how to incorporate all features. To learn more about Lessons, please visit the resources identified by LTG staff listed below:
This is part one of a three part series of Convergence blog posts on Moodle 2 Activities.
Moodle 2 has a slew of new features and enhancements that improve on the experience from version 1.9. Among these new features is the Workshop activity, which functions as an extension of the Assignment activity and adds peer assessment capabilities into the mix. The Workshop activity is very useful and engaging for both the instructor and students, but be warned, it’s definitely an advanced feature best implemented by seasoned Moodle instructors.
Here is the Cliff Notes version of how it works:
- The instructor builds the activity.
- Students complete and submit their assignment.
- Instructor assesses student submissions.
- Students assess their classmate’s submissions.
- Students receive two grades in the gradebook.
- One score for their submission.
- One score for their assessment of their classmates’ submissions.
The instructor can control which students assess which other student’s submissions, or allow the system to randomly select the pairings.
The tricky part to this whole equation, is understanding the grading process, and it’s not what you would expect. Let’s start with the score that each student gets on their own submission. This is calculated (with default settings in place) as the average of all assessments received, including the instructors. This final scores can be weighted or overridden by the instructor, however. The score that students get for assessing other student’s work is based on how close they are to the mean. Another words, if Tommy gives Suzy a 32/100, and everyone else gives Suzy an 80 or 90, then Tommy will get a poor grade for his assessment, because he deviated substantially from the mean.
This is an excellent explanation of the Workshop activity and its grading process:
Moodle Workshop 2.0 – a (simplified) explanation, by Mark Drechsler
Complexities aside, the Workshop activity is very interesting, because it provides students with another perspective on the assessment process, and also encourages interaction between students. Furthermore, the activity can be altered to allow self-assessment, and you can even restrict peer assessments to comments only (i.e. to lower the stakes and make it full-credit-for-participating).
If you want to spice things up in an otherwise passive CLE course, this is definitely a good way to do it!
Members of the Learning Technologies Group have been busy preparing for the transition to Moodle 2. We have been learning about what is new in the Moodle 2 learning management system and preparing to support the system through a combination of monthly workshops and consultations.
In preparation for the move to Moodle 2, we are dedicating the month of February to showcasing three exciting Moodle 2 activities. By now most people are aware of some of the great new features, including drag and drop file upload capabilities and conditional release. These are enough to get most Moodle 1.9 users excited about the transition, but there is much more included under the hood!
Throughout the month of February we are going to highlight the following three activities in Moodle 2:
Workshop Activity: The workshop activity allows for the collection, review and peer assessment of students’ work. Students obtain two grades in a workshop activity – a grade for their submission and a grade for their assessment of their peers’ submissions. This is an exciting new way to assess students’ learning in Moodle 2.
Lesson Activity: The lesson activity allows faculty to deliver content in interesting and flexible ways. Faculty can use the lesson to create a linear set of content pages or instructional activities that offer a variety of paths for the learner. Think of the lesson as a ‘choose your own adventure’ type activity.
Quiz Activity: Many UCSF faculty, staff and students are familiar with the quiz activity in the CLE. LTG staff are excited to highlight some of the new quizzing functionality included in Moodle 2. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Quiz navigation improvements for students
- Ability for students to flag questions during a quiz for later review
- Easy duplication of quizzes for redeployment
- Easily grant additional time for individuals needing time accommodations
We hope you come back and visit the Convergence blog during the month of February to learn more about these three Moodle 2 activities!
If you have any immediate questions about the Moodle 2 Pilot, please contact the Learning Technologies Group or register for the UCSF Library Workshop: Building Online Courses on the CLE with Moodle 2.
Image Credit: Erin Hayes, Moodle Trust