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An Introduction to Moodle

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					      OCS
     Issues

       Ben Steeples
Learning Technology Team
    Web Support Unit
   Learning Technology Team
 Based within Web Support Unit (ISS)
   Est. April 2007
   Three Learning Technologists
   Working closely with to Web Support Officers
   Working closely with Learning and Teaching Unit

 Looking after the technical aspects of e-learning
   CMR, OCS, WebCT, Moodle, Perception, PRS, …

 Promoting good practice
   As today!
   LTT@essex.ac.uk
                  Overview
 Issues

 OCS Problems

 OCS Outages

 Best Practice




 Please could you keep any questions until the end
         Issue: Office 2007
 Unable to watermark Word 2007 .docx documents
   Fixed
   OCS now watermarks these

 Staff unable to open Word 2007 .docx documents
   Fixed
   Older versions of Office now have Compatibility Pack
   If you don’t have this yet, contact your Computer Officer
    or the Help Desk
       Issue: Watermarking
 Watermarking taking a long time
    Up to ~45 minutes at peak times (often much less)

 Students occasionally unable to watermark at all
    Caused by other students submitting incorrect files
    Password protected, corrupted, non-standard, ….

 Watermarking not accurately representing document
    Caused by non-standard formatting
       Fonts, margins, tables, …
    The content of the document is unaffected
    Uploaded Word file should have original format


 We are investigating ways to resolve these
Issue: Miscellaneous Issues
 OCS has been available nearly all of the time
    When it is out of action, it is almost always beyond our control
       Off-campus connectivity, power-cuts, …


 Staff who are studying are unable to administer OCS
    Designed to prevent staff from seeing classmates coursework

 Students treating upload/watermark as acceptance
    Students upload corrupted file, think department can open it
    Wording on OCS is set to change
OCS Problems: What we will do
 Assist students with problems
    Computing Services Help Desk can help with most enquiries
    LTT (and WSU) can help with more difficult problems

 Inform department about students problems
    We will email DA and Lecturer (if known)
    We will give our opinion on what happened, and whether
     further action needs to be taken

 Check OCS in detail if a student has a dispute
    We can pull more information out of OCS
    We can give a fairly good idea if the dispute is genuine
    We’re not a substitute to plagiarism detection
OCS Problems: What you can do
 Act as a buffer to student enquiries
    You already do a great job!
    DA > Help Desk > LTT (WSU)

 Check OCS
    Upload a dummy file to OCS111 and see if it works
       https://courses.essex.ac.uk/ocs/upload.aspx


 Check ISS status messages
    ISS publishes expected (and unexpected) service adjustments:
       http://www2.essex.ac.uk/cs/status_announce/announcements/
       http://www2.essex.ac.uk/cs/status_announce/status/
    There are also mailing lists available (cs-announce, cs-status)
                    OCS Outages
 If OCS has a major problem
    Unusable for more than 30mins, or
    Unusable within 10mins of a deadline

 We will
    Email you (DA’s) informing you of the service outage
    Keep you informed of progress
    Assist you as much as we can with alternate methods of submission


 We recommend you
    Consider accepting late submissions (or extending the deadline)
    Consider falling-back to traditional submission methods
        Ask students to submit printed work to office
        Very unlikely that you’d ever need to go this far
  Best Practice: for students
 Uploading takes time, Watermarking takes time
    Don’t leave it until 5 minutes before the submission deadline

 Read the assignment instructions, read OCS instructions
    They are there for a reason

 Check your document before submitting
    Don’t accidentally submit a password protected file, temporary
     file, or other unsuitable file, to OCS

 OCS111 is not a real course
    Your department will not receive the work. Seriously!
      Best Practice: for staff
 Assignments for wrong academic year
    Assignment year is the academic year, not calendar year

 Check email address when creating assignment
    Should be ‘ben’, not ‘ben@essex.ac.uk’

 Set deadlines within office hours
    LTT can only provide support 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri

 Be aware of what other departments are doing
    Some students take modules from two (or more) departments
    Consistency would be nice (but not essential)

 Share good practice with your peers
                    Summary
 OCS has had some very minor problems
    These are being addressed

 Hopefully you now all know what to expect
    Who’ll do what, if OCS has a problem
    What you might have to do if it all goes wrong

 We’re promoting best practice
    To make things more standardised for students
    To streamline our support for OCS

 LTT running a Learning and Teaching Series workshop
    4th March
    See http://www.essex.ac.uk/ltu/events/ for details

				
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