The New Media Gallery

Convergence - Thu, 2015-02-26 12:14

As you may have already heard, Media@UCSF is fully integrated with the CLE, and provides instructors and students with tools to create and share videos in a course. We have been using this feature in the CLE since the Fall, and it’s been working great. And now we are excited to announce that one of its additional features, the Media Gallery, is fully deployed and ready for use!

What is the Media Gallery, who can add video to it, and how can it be used in a course? Here are a few highlights:

  • The Media Gallery is a collection of videos specific to one, and only one course.
  • It is accessible from the link in the Navigation block.
  • Faculty and students can add videos to the Media Gallery!
  • Student videos require (by default) moderation from a course editor.
  • Comments can be enabled.
  • This is a quick and easy way to post a video as a conversation starter before class.
  • The Gallery is a great way for students to share video project with their classmates.

A few gotchas to note about the Media Gallery:

  • We turned on the ability for students to submit videos to the Media Gallery on February 11th, 2015. If your course was created before then, and you have previously accessed the Media Gallery, you’ll need to enable the “moderate content” setting manually.
  • Media Gallery videos cannot be “imported” from course to course, so they do not “roll over” into the new semester’s course. It is very easy, however, to add videos back into the Media Gallery, because they are stored in the owner’s My Media repository, and it only takes a few clicks.

We have a full write up, including a downloadable PDF with step-by-step instructions, available in our Support Center: Media@UCSF documentation

Check it out, and let us know how you use the Media Gallery. If you have any questions, please contact us!

Categories: Convergence

You Spoke, We Listened. CLE Updated

Convergence - Wed, 2015-02-18 07:18

Today, we made some changes to the CLE interface based on feedback we received from users since the new interface was released last summer. This short post provides some details on these changes.

Login-Logout/Help Links / Menu icon

The login-logout and help links that appear at the top right of CLE pages will now remain visible at all times. Previously, as the screen size decreased (e.g., on tablets and smartphones), these links would disappear and move into the menu icon (also known as the hamburger icon). One needs to tap on the menu icon to view these links. Some users found this confusing and didn’t realize that they had to tap the menu icon to see the logout link. Now, these links remain on the page at all times. Also, since these links no longer move into the menu icon, we have moved the menu icon down to the menu bar. The menu icon will only appear when the page shrinks to the point where the menu can no longer fit on the page. As before, tapping the menu icon will open the menu.

Improved content view for iPads in portrait orientation

Prior to the interface update, course content on an iPad in portrait orientation could sometimes be confined to a small part of the screen. Course blocks (e.g., navigation) would still be present and force the main content area into a small space.

Now, after the update, the main course content area will now fill the entire page on iPads in portrait orientation, and any course blocks will move down below the main content area. This will permit important content, such as the Ilios course calendar, to occupy the entire width of the screen, making it much more useable.

We hope you like these changes. We will continue to improve the CLE interface based on feedback we receive. Please continue to let us know if you any ideas on how the CLE can be improved, either by completing the short CLE Refresh Survey, or contacting the Learning Technologies Group.

Categories: Convergence

2015 Tech Clinics at UCSF Library

Convergence - Wed, 2015-01-21 14:46

The Learning Technologies Group had a great time with the 2014 Tech Clinics and we were able to help with CLE and multimedia projects along the way! Here are a few examples of UCSF projects that faculty and staff brought to the Tech Clinics: CLE gradebook questions, Articulate module development, Media@UCSF integration in CLE courses, online exam review for finals and midterms, and we even helped support a UCSF podcast!

2015 is going to be even better and you can register for an upcoming Tech Clinic today! Tech Clinics are held at the UCSF Library, every second and forth Friday of the month, from 9am-4pm. We encourage people to register in advance, but drop-ins are welcome. Each Clinic offers short presentations and demos on popular topics throughout the day, as well as one-on-one support opportunities with Learning Technologies staff.

Here is what people are saying about the Tech Clinics:

The Tech Clinic is a valuable, convenient, and wonderful resource. All my tech questions were answered and I received a follow-up email with additional resources to help me with my project. I appreciate the knowledge of the staff and how quick we were able to cover things. I look forward to using the service again in the future and will refer others to this great service.”

– Robert Kirkbride | Event Production | Campus Life Services, Arts & Events

2015 Tech Clinic Topics include:
  • CLE Basics: This 90 minute training is offered on-demand at the start of every Tech Clinic. Have new staff or faculty using the CLE? This is the perfect opportunity to get them started on the right foot!
  • Integrate video in a CLE Course: Learn about new ways to incorporate video in your CLE course, including adding media assignments, creating Media Galleries, and using the screen recorder. Click to Register Now!
  • Get to know the Storyline Suite: We are thrilled to have Articulate Storyline available in the Tech Commons. Come see a demo of this powerful software and start your next UCSF project! Click to Register Now!
  • Online Exam and Gradebook: Have questions about CLE exams before, during, or after the semester? Need to fix a grading issue? The Tech Clinic is the place to get your questions answered! Click to Register Now!
  • CLE Course Design Tips: The CLE has changed (for the better)! Learn how to get the most out of these improvements and design courses for students using mobile devices. Click to Register Now!
  • Screencasting with Camtasia: Need to demonstrate how to use an application or website? Camtasia is a screencasting software used and supported in the Tech Commons’ eLearning Studio (CL-245). Camtasia is system agnostic (available on both the Mac and PC platforms).

2015 UCSF Library’s Tech Clinic Schedule (click the link for more information and to register):

Just a few reminders from last year’s Clinics:
  • Too busy to make it the UCSF Parnassus Library for a Clinic? Attend remotely using WebEx
  • Attend a CLE Roundtable to collaborate with other faculty and staff using the CLE (held from 12-1pm during every Clinic)
  • Film a faculty interview in the eLearning Studio during a Tech Clinic
  • Learn a new application using in the Tech Commons
  • Repeat! Return for another Clinic for follow-up questions and best practices for next semester

Have questions about the UCSF Library’s Tech Clinics? Contact the Learning Technologies Group today!

Image Credit:

Kemi Amin from the UCSF Library

Categories: Convergence

LTG’s Successes of the Year: 2014 Edition

Convergence - Tue, 2014-12-23 10:30

The winter solstice just passed marking the onset of winter and it’s the perfect time to reflect on the year. Looking back on 2014, we in the Learning Technologies Group have many successes to be proud of. We’ve gathered some of our top accomplishments from the past year. Take a look at the below list and leave a comment to let us know what you think!

We transformed our workshops!

This year, LTG launched our new, more user-friendly approach to workshops called Tech Clinics. Clinics give our customers the opportunity to get help with whatever you need at any time during the Clinic. Liz Taylor introduced a new CLE Basics workshop and all together, we had more than 110 attendees to our Clinics in 2014. Don’t forget, if you need more assistance when we’re not available, check out our new kiosk now available in Tech Commons complete with Moodle and other ed tech tutorials.

The CLE got a makeover!

The LTG partnered with the Library’s systems admin team to roll out a new version of Moodle to power the CLE. The update included new features and a responsive, mobile friendly theme. Along with the refresh, we rallied for installing the Attendance plug-in on the CLE.

We participated in a Moodle Moot!

LTG staff member Dylan Romero ventured to Montana to attend the 2014 Moodle Mountain Moot. This was an incredible opportunity to collaborate with other “Moodlers” on topics ranging from user documentation to quiz security. Dylan also had the opportunity to chat with Moodle Man himself about the opportunities and challenges of online learning!

We were out and about throughout UCSF campuses!

LTG extended our presence and gained exposure throughout UCSF through the following venues:

  • This past year, LTG delivered over two dozen presentations to various groups and stakeholders across campus educating over 400 users on different learning technology topics and our services in general. (Let us know if you want us to visit your department next!)
  • Sean McClelland was invited to deliver his Better Presenter training sessions four times to faculty, staff, and students.
  • Sean and Dylan presented at TLC Day delivering two workshops on exciting new ideas and technologies in education, Flipping the Classroom and Web Conferencing.
  • Dylan presented at the July Apple Play Date event on asynchronous tools in education. This experience was a catalyst to develop and support a School of Nursing assignment where students developed a PechaKucha learning activity.

We launched a new CLE Course Redesign Service!

Effective and engaging use of the CLE is just as important as making sure it runs well. This year, LTG launched a course redesign service to help faculty do what they do best and leave the course design to the professionals. Dylan and Liz helped faculty with a full-service redesign of their courses and countless staff and teaching assistants with thinking through the best way to design specific activities.

We stepped up our Articulate Studio support!

If you were looking to build an eLearning module, add some interaction to your course, or even just narrate some PowerPoint, it became easier than ever in 2014. Liz built an Articulate Studio support center and developed comprehensive documentation for using the tool. She helped dozens of customers build modules, narrate their presentations, and upload them to the CLE, including some with SCORM output for reporting to the CLE Gradebook.

We boosted our Quiz tool support!

LTG continued to revamp both online and in-person support for CLE Quizzes. (Don’t let the term “Quiz” fool you; these can be high-stakes exams taken by more than 150 students at a time). We listened to requests for more secure online exams and piloted Respondus Lockdown Browser during Summer 2014. The pilot was a success and we are eager to implement Respondus Lockdown Browser as a permanent part of the CLE in early 2015!

Convergence had an amazing year!

It was a banner year for our blog – yes, the one you are reading right now! Convergence had phenomenal success this year with a rise in readership. We posted a whopping 37 blog posts to give customers access to the latest and greatest information in learning technologies at UCSF. Liz’s August post on Personalizing CLE Courses was retweeted on Moodle News to over 8,000 followers.

We launched the Media@UCSF plug-in!

2014 brought the much-anticipated video sharing integration to the CLE! Now, anyone with a MyAccess account can upload, store, and share videos on the CLE to other UCSF affiliates.

We built a new Support Center!

This year, we built a new Support Center to house our documentation, tutorials, and resources to help you better use learning technologies at UCSF. With the roll out of this new site, Sean worked to clearly define our service offerings and create policies to help us deliver the best service possible. We also launched newly developed templates and style guides for new documentation. More details on this exciting new site coming in 2015!

Pfew, what a year it’s been! And we’re already working away on making 2015 another successful year! Some of the other services you can look forward to from the LTG are:

  • Revamp of the CLE Online Workshop
  • Launch of Articulate Storyline in the Tech Commons
  • New user-directed equipment reservation system
  • And more!

Happy holidays to UCSF and all ed tech communities! See you in 2015!

Image Credits: LTG picture taken by Megan Laurence, Number 1, Number 2, Number 3, Number 4, Number 5, Number 6, Number 7, Number 8, Number 9, Number 10

Categories: Convergence

Course Design Tips

Convergence - Fri, 2014-11-21 10:05

Managing an online course can range from straightforward to complicated, and can become overwhelming at times. It is also uncommon to receive a manual when you are tasked with developing an online course. Not to worry – help is here! As learning technologies staff, we live and breathe the CLE!

With a little planning and development, we can build the foundation of a great CLE course. Below are just a few CLE course design tips and resources we identify as valuable. We hope these generate conversation and new ideas within your course, school, and department.


Design for mobile

The number one tip for this blog post is… design CLE courses for students using both laptops and mobile devices! Data shows students are accessing CLE courses using mobile devices more and more. This means we need to rethink the way we design courses in the CLE, specifically how we format images and text.

The CLE 2014 Refresh brought responsive design to the CLE. The CLE now responds and displays according to the device being used by the student. This means no more small, unreadable text when accessing the CLE from a mobile device such as an iPhone or Galaxy.

Here is a practical tip for improving the learning experience for students accessing the CLE from either a mobile device or a desktop computer – remove tables from CLE courses that are being used to format text and images. Replace these tables with images and text wraps that are designed to properly respond to students’ devices. Sound complicated? Maybe a little, but not to worry, we are simply replacing tables with images and text to create better designed, more user-friendly CLE courses!

For the purposes of this example, we will add a Label to a course to display an image and a summary of the week’s learning as seen below.

In the past we would have used a table to keep the image and text aligned in the label. This works well when viewed on a laptop or desktop computer, but once the content is accessed from a mobile device, the text does not display correctly on the smaller screen (in other words, the text does not “respond”). When tables are used for formatting text and images, students using mobile devices may experience cumbersome horizontal scroll bars (see images below), text that runs off the screen, and images that do not display correctly.

So how do we fix this? Just remove the tables that are used to format images and text in CLE courses and replace these with image wraps. Below is a side-by-side comparison of the two design workflows, as well as screenshots of how the two will display on a mobile device:

And here is a comparison of how both will display on a mobile device:

Here is how to apply an image wrap in a Label. Add a Label to a CLE course and insert text and an image into the text editor. While adding the image, navigate to the Appearance tab in the Insert/edit image pop-up (shown in the image to the right). From the Alignment drop down menu, choose Left to align the image to the left of the text (there are other alignment options available). From the Horizontal space field (how much space is added between the image and text), I entered 10 (pixels) for this example, which worked well. Click Update to continue.

That is it! You can now replicate this design workflow in other labels in your CLE course – creating a consistent learning experience for students. Questions? Comments? Post a comment below and let us know if students in your course are using mobile devices to access the CLE and if you have design tips of your own!

Block Management

The second course design tip is better Block Management. Blocks are items that can be added to the left or right column of any CLE course. There are a number of different types of Blocks in the CLE and some may already be used in your course.

The first step to good Block management is understanding the different types of Blocks. Take a look at the Standard Blocks via Moodle Docs and explore the different types of Blocks available in the CLE (with editing turned on!).

The next step is to add only the Blocks that add value to the online experience. If a Block is not used, or has little value, consider removing it from the CLE course to conserve space for learning. Spend 10-15 minutes before each semester reviewing your Blocks, as well as considering how different types of Blocks can be used to improve the online learning experience for both students AND faculty.

CLE courses are divided into three columns and Blocks are typically located in the left and/or right columns. The middle column is where the course content is displayed and where students spend the majority of their time learning while in the course. To maximize the amount of real estate in this middle column, consider moving all of your Blocks to the left column. Once all of the Blocks have been moved from the right column to the left, the middle column becomes wider, extending to the end of the right column and providing more space for learning. See the images below for a visual comparison of the impact of better Block management:

Have questions about managing Blocks? Visit the CLE Knowledge Base for more information!


So you are probably thinking, “this is useful information, but I need CLE course design support now!” Not to worry, below is a list of resources that we find helpful when creating CLE courses:

find examples of well-designed online courses

The best to way to be motivated and inspired to improve your CLE course is took look at examples of other well-designed online courses. These courses do not need to be in the CLE, or even Moodle courses necessarily. By getting a better understanding of the successes that other educators have had with online course design, we can create better online learning environments for students. Below are resources with good examples of online course design:

Attend a Tech Clinic

Need one-on-one support? Attend a Tech Clinic held on the second and forth Friday of every month. We also offer a CLE Basics training at the start of each Clinic that we highly recommend new faculty and staff attend. Register today!

Create a CLE Test Course

Not quite ready to test the course design tips in an active CLE course, but want to get a head start on next semester? Request a CLE test course where you can test design workflows and tryout new CLE activities.

LTG consultation using WebEx

Whether you are a rookie or a veteran of the CLE, questions come up! The Learning Technologies Group can setup a WebEx session to help troubleshoot CLE related issues and assist in course design suggestions – all from the comfort of you own office. Contact the Learning Technologies Group to schedule a CLE WebEx consultation.

Have fun designing your CLE course and please share you successes and challenges in the comment section below!

Image Credits:

Blocks” designed by Lukasz M. Pogoda from the Noun Project.
Responsive-Design” designed by Pham Thi Dieu Linh from the Noun Project.
Graphic-Design” designed by Anna Weiss from the Noun Project.

Categories: Convergence

Reporting on the CLE Refresh Survey

Convergence - Tue, 2014-11-18 08:46

On August 2, 2014, the CLE underwent a major refresh with the installation of a completely new user interface. While this update also included a number of important performance and course-building enhancements, the crucial new feature — one that impacts all CLE users — was the new interface. Finally, we were able to fulfill easily the most requested CLE feature for the past few years — make it so that the CLE works better on smartphones and tablets. The new interface is now mobile-friendly, and incorporates responsive web design principles, which means it seamlessly conforms to the screen size of the device viewing it, be it a 27-inch desktop monitor, iPad Mini, iPhone or Android smartphone. Along with the refresh, we also released a short survey on August 2 to start gathering some feedback about the changes. We received seventy-three submissions through August. In this blog post, we report on some of the survey results and some directions for the future.

The survey asked everyone to grade the CLE refresh. Over 71% gave the refresh a C or better, and half of all respondents gave a grade of B or better. Here is a sampling of some of the comments:

This look is much clearer, cleaner and user friendly!

The graphics/skin of the interface is clean. All functions appear to be intact. No major re-learning required for average user.


It is clean looking and more up to date.

I like the clean look. There are less extras that take your attention away from the content. The colors are softer and cleaner as well.

Looks less cluttered which helps with visual appearance.

Much more mobile friendly.

It looks more updated and seems to be less buggy. Also, it seems to work better with Chrome than the old version.

Given that this refresh brought some major changes, this was a good start. But while most gave the new CLE a passing grade or better, there were also some who felt that the new CLE look and feel didn’t quite past muster:

I do not like the mobile version nor do I like the new homepage, too sparse and it doesn’t highlight my interest like the login button.

There is too much blank space for each menu. That has made it a bit too bulky and can’t fit all the necessary information without scrolling.

I usually use CLE to get to UCSF’s library resources like Pubmed, and it has been difficult for me to figure out how to navigate to this page.

There needs to be a drop down menu for lecture capture. Having all the classes on the same screen with the calendar is too cluttered and overwhelming.

The calendar does not fit, I needed to drag every time I need to move to the next week for see Friday.

The CLE team has already incorporated some of this feedback into a recent update. Some felt that the blocks (e.g., Navigation, Administration) that appear in CLE courses on the left and/or right were taking up too much space. We were able to reduce the block footprint so that there is now more room in the center area where the main course content resides. Other survey comments will be reflected in upcoming updates, including:

  • Reduce the block footprint even more so that the main course content takes precedence.
  • Make sure that on smaller screen sizes, the blocks do not take up valuable space so that important course content, such as the Ilios calendar, doesn’t get squished.
  • Making the Log In link consistently visible at the top for all screen sizes. Currently, the Log In link is no longer visible on small screens — it gets hidden inside the menu icon when the screen size gets small, making it difficult to locate.
  • Add a Maximize this page button on all CLE pages that will allow the main content area to immediately fill the entire screen.

Future updates to the underlying Moodle learning management system that powers the CLE will also bring new features, such as much improved responsive behavior for all screen sizes and a user menu in the header that provides quick access to personal pages. Other survey comments suggested what would essentially be entirely new features, such as a way to provide quicker and less cluttered access to lecture capture recordings.

We invite you to continue providing feedback — the good, bad and ugly. The August 2014 refresh placed the CLE on a solid foundation from which to grow and improve. Your comments, feedback, and feature requests will be absolutely vital in this process. We plan to release new short surveys over the coming months. We also invite you to send any and all feedback to the Learning Technologies Group.

Categories: Convergence

Got Videos? Media Sharing Now Available on the CLE!

Convergence - Thu, 2014-11-13 08:54

For some time now, UCSF has been in need of a place to store and manage video files to be shared across the University and for the public. Although Vimeo has been a resource on campus, the uploading process has traditionally not been available to all UCSF users, such as students. The time is finally here! The UCSF Library is now pleased to present a fully-functional system available to all staff, students, and faculty, called Media@UCSF.

Media@UCSF is an online video-hosting platform powered by Kaltura and provides the UCSF community with a centralized system for managing and distributing digital video content. Media@UCSF is fully integrated into the CLE, providing instructors and students with the tools to create, edit, and share videos in a course.

Anyone at UCSF can start using Media@UCSF now by logging into This blog post, however, will focus on the CLE integration.

Check out this support document to learn more about the different components that integrate with the UCSF CLE:

The Learning Technologies Group has also created documentation on the following topics:

  • Uploading Media
  • Sharing Media in the CLE
  • Inserting and Grading a Media Assignment

Find these step by step instructions in our new Support Center.

To learn more, join us tomorrow at the Collaboration Roundtable hosted by the Library’s Learning Technologies Group. This month’s Roundtable will focus solely on Media@UCSF and takes place from 12 – 1pm in CL-215 in the Parnassus Library. Register to let us know your coming and feel free to bring your lunch while you learn about this new tool.

Image Credits: dsathiyarajErin Standley

Categories: Convergence
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