Project Update: 1 May – 14 May

Have You Booked Your Place?

Later this week we will begin granting staff access to the new Learning Space! To use the new Learning Space you must first attend one of our introductory sessions running throughout May/June. All courses now have their own time slot booked with the ET team so please speak to your course coordinator if you are unsure when yours is due to take place.

Action Required

Don’t forget, from September 3rd access to the current Learning Space will be disabled and you must move all of your module content to the new site before then! Our Learning Space sessions are designed to make this transition as smooth as possible and it is therefore vital that you attend.

Drop-in Sessions

As outlined in our last post, we will also be running support sessions throughout June for anyone who requires extra support. At the end of each session we will be providing everyone with Learning Space cheat sheets to help get you started.

Improving User Experience

We have worked hard recently on improving the user experience for staff and students within the new Learning Space. This has involved ensuring its design is in-line with University branding as well as carrying out user testing.

The new Learning Space removes some of the technical limitations of the old system as well as offering a range of new features. For example we are exploring the new ability to help students navigate the site through the use of user tours – a method of efficiently drawing students attention to key information on first sign in.

If you have any questions regarding this project then please contact ETSupport@falmouth.ac.uk

 

Project Update: 17 Apr – 30 Apr

Over the last few weeks we’ve been making final alterations in order to have the new environment ready for staff to use in mid May. This has included adding all 18/19 modules and undertaking a series of tests to establish if all features are working correctly.

Training

Off the back of the video and information sessions we’ve received several requests for group training which we’ve scheduled in. Over the next few weeks we’ll be making contact with awards we’ve yet to hear from to get sessions booked in. The new environment will be available mid May for building modules ready for the 18/19 academic year. To book a session for training and access please email etsupport@falmouth.ac.uk

We’ll also be holding the following drop in sessions from 9:00-17:00, please note a representative of the library will be present for the 7th June at Falmouth and 11th June at Penryn for any assistance required for Talis resource lists.

Falmouth

  • Thu 07 June* – Seminar F
  • Tue 12 June – Seminar F
  • Thu 21 June – Seminar F

Penryn

  • Tue 05 June – Exchange Green
  • Wed 06 June – Exchange Green
  • Mon 11 June* – Exchange Blue
  • Mon 18 June – Exchange Blue
  • Tue 19 June – Exchange Blue

*Library present for help with Talis resource lists

Launch of new environment and MA Courses

We’ll be launching the new environment on the 3rd September – we realise some MA Courses will be making use of online handin at the end of August/beginning of September and we’ll be making contact with these teams to ensure the transition between environments will be as smooth as possible for staff and students.

Student digital experience survey: results and actions

Thanks to the 680 students who recently provided valuable feedback and suggestions on their digital experience while at university: we have listened!

This was the second year the survey has been run and findings include:

  • students make good use of digital tools and have a positive attitude to the use of technology in learning and teaching;
  • the use of tablets has reduced while the use of laptops and printers has increased;
  • 90% rated the University’s overall digital provision positively;
  • access to WIFI is better but there is still room for improvement;
  • where it is used, students appreciate online collaborative learning tasks such as peer review of each other’s work.

Student suggestions focused on:

  • facilities (access to equipment, WIFI coverage, the cost of printing, access to course-specific software and digital resources such as e-books);
  • support (inductions, help with study skills and equipment; improved awareness of resources such as those on inclusivity or study skills);
  • the need for information to be all in one place instead of having separate systems such as study hub, Learning Space, my Falmouth;
  • the usability of Learning Space and its integration with other systems;
  • the need for consistent, timely and comprehensive use of Learning Space by teaching staff;
  • the availability of digital skills workshops (e.g. in Adobe software).

Senior staff and the Falmouth FXU president reviewed the results and identified actions with aims that include:

  • improving navigation and consistency of information within Learning Space;
  • ensuring the availability of up-to-date industry-standard software;
  • reviewing the cost of printing;
  • improving access to campus IT suites;
  • improving WIFI in residences and away from buildings;
  • improving communication with students on IT matters such as data privacy;
  • promoting study skills tools;
  • fostering curriculum recognition that the employability of all graduates requires extensive digital skills.

Going forward, we will keep listening and align actions to the university strategy.

Project Update: 3 Apr – 16 Apr

Configuration work and system testing is coming to a close and user acceptance testing is about to start. As you can see by the timeline below, from mid May the system will be ready for staff to start building their module, course and resource areas.

Project timeline

Staff action required May-August

As mentioned in recent presentations (watch the video), staff need to recreate content in the new instance of Learning Space for 18/19 and we will be providing support in two ways: course-centred workshops (recommended), and drop-in sessions.

Course-centred workshops

We recommend this way of receiving support, and a number of subject and technical groups have made bookings for after the undergraduate marking deadline in May. The sessions last approximately 2 hours and participants will gain hands-on experience by starting to work on their own 18/19 areas.

If your own group of colleagues has not arranged a workshop, do contact your school admin or head of subject to discuss possible dates, then we can be contacted at etsupport@falmouth.ac.uk or on ext. 259187.

Drop-in sessions

If you’d like to work on your 18/19 area while someone is on hand to help, you can bring your laptop to a drop-in session. These run from 9am to 5pm as follows:

Falmouth

  • Thu 07 June – Seminar F
  • Tue 12 June – Seminar F
  • Thu 21 June – Seminar F

Penryn

  • Tue 05 June – Exchange Green
  • Wed 06 June – Exchange Green
  • Mon 11 June – Exchange Blue
  • Mon 18 June – Exchange Blue
  • Tue 19 June – Exchange Blue

Project update: 23 Mar – 2 Apr

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been continued to focus on setting up the environment for user testing. Despite some delays we still foresee it being up and running in the next few weeks.

Information Sessions

Thank you to everyone who took the time to attend the information sessions that took place a couple of weeks ago.

For those that couldn’t make it we have recorded a 15 minute video to give you an overview of what we discussed in those sessions.

Please take the time to watch the video to give you an idea of where our Learning Space update project fits in with the other strategic projects at Falmouth currently and over the next few years, and what’s involved in the project along with its timescales.

Click the video above to watch it or click here to watch the video in Sharepoint.

Support Sessions

As mentioned in the video, you will need to recreate your content in the new instance of Learning Space for 18/19, and we will be providing support in how to do this as follows:

ACTION:  There are two options for support in setting up your new module areas in the new instance of Learning Space:

  1. We recommend organising a course-focused workshop session for you and your course team with a member of the EdTech team. Please contact ETSupport@falmouthac.uk to arrange.
  2. There is also the option to attend a drop-in session (dates below) for adhoc support. The sessions will run from 9am – 5pm and you are welcome to drop in at any time during the day.
Falmouth Penryn
  • Thurs 7 June – Seminar F
  • Tues 12 June – Seminar F
  • Thurs 21 June – Seminar F
  • Tues 5 June – Exchange Green
  • Weds 6 June – Exchange Green
  • Mon 11 June – Exchange Blue
  • Mon 18 June – Exchange Blue
  • Tues 19 June – Exchange Blue

If you have any questions regarding this project then please contact ETSupport@falmouth.ac.uk

Project Update: 6-20 March

For the last couple of weeks we’ve been focusing on getting the final system configurations in place so we’re at a point to start user testing with staff and students. Some unforeseen delays have occurred which have put us back a little, but we’re still hoping to have our environment fully configured and running within the next few weeks.

Information Sessions – Final Reminder

As a reminder this week we are running information sessions at both campuses, academic staff have already been invited to these sessions but we’d also welcome attendance from any professional services staff who’d like to find out a bit more about the upgrade project. We will releasing a video version of the session for those unable to attend, this will be emailed out to staff next week.

  • 19 March, 3:00-4:30, PL Lecture 3 (Penryn)
  • 22 March, 10:30-12:00, Lecture theatre 1 (Falmouth)

Environment Configuration

To give you an idea of the level of development going into to creating an environment that works as a replica in terms of functionality we’ve included the table below. In total over 2,100 individual changes have been justified and implemented on the new version of Learning Space, these are documented in our Change Log so there’s a complete record of every alteration.

Module Template 

Finally inconsistency of information across modules is something we hear routinely from students, to help address this every module will have a suggested template to follow. This template has been developed based on best practice and in partnership with students and serves as a guide when creating a module within Learning Space.

 

Learning Space Upgrade Project Update: 20 Feb-3 March

It’s been another couple of busy weeks with the ET department as we prepare the new environment for testing in the coming months.

To give you an idea of the bigger picture, and what the upgrade means to you we’ll be hosting information sessions at both campuses. This will be a chance to find out your role in the project and to ask any questions you may have relating to the upgrade. We’d ask that one representative from each course attend one of the following:

19 March, 3:00-4:30, PL Lecture 3 (Penryn)

22 March, 10:30-12:00, Lecture theatre 1 (Falmouth)

Here are a few things we’ve been working on this fortnight:

  • Students assigned to modules

Integration work has been continuing between student records and the new environment. While this won’t affect how students access their modules within Learning Space behind the scenes the approach is now a lot more streamlined.

  • Login

To simplify the login process we are utilising Office 365 as the method for signing in. This minimises the amount of clicks needed to access Learning Space, meaning staff and students can get to the content they need even quicker.

Learning Space Upgrade project update – 5-19 Feb

We have been busy over the last couple of weeks fine tuning permissions and settings on the new environment. We aim to ensure that when you login (and how you login) is as intuitive as it can be, and you see relevant information and links on the home page. 

Here are a few of the things we’ve been working on: 

  • Automatic module leader enrolment onto modules 

As part of the integration work between SITs and Learning Space, module leaders will be added to their modules automatically. This means that as a module leader you will see all relevant modules when you first login, and you will have the ability to add colleagues to those modules. 

  • Permissions 

To ensure that you are able to perform all the tasks that you are required to, and that you are not able to perform any tasks that will result in anything untoward, we have been setting up user roles. We have reduced the number of roles that exist compared to old Learning Space to tidy up procedures. This means that all staff will have the role of ‘Staff’ within course, resources and module areas regardless of job title, and all students will have the ‘Student’ role on their taught modules.  

  • Timescales for user testing 

We are working towards having the development environment to a point where we can start to implement user acceptance testing from March. This means that we will prepare the environment with some example content and liaise with a group of users to carry out a range of tasks to test real scenarios. 

  • Falmouth App 

We have set up the integration with the Falmouth App and authentication between the two is now up and running. Courses in Learning Space will be visible from within the app also. 

 

The story so far…

Welcome to the first of a series of posts to tell you about the Learning Space upgrade project. In these monthly newsletters we plan to keep you up to date on the project, how we’re doing, and any information that is relevant to you.  

We’ve been working hard on the new platform since November 2017. We have taken the decision to move away from an internally hosted system (through FXPlus) and into a cloud hosted solution provided by the University of London hosting service, Bloom. By moving to the cloud we will be able to provide you and your students with a more secure, faster environment, with an improved and more resilient infrastructure.  

We are holding information sessions at both campuses: 

  • 19th March, 3-4:30 in PL Lecture 3 (Penryn) 
  • 22nd March, 10:30-12 in Lecture theatre 1 (Falmouth) 

In these sessions we will give an overview of the new platform, timescales for testing and access for staff, and the support that will be available to you when it comes to adding your learning materials and activities. Keep an eye on your inboxes for calendar invitations to these sessions.  

So far, the new Learning Space is taking shape. We’ve spent a lot of time on it to get it to the point where we can release it to you, and we’ve still got a way to go. So far, we have spent quite a bit time on customising the terminology used across the system to be more relevant to Falmouth. We’re working with FX+ IT to set up authentication methods and integrate the student record system with Learning Space. This means that students and module leaders will automatically be added to their modules.  

We will be working more with FX+ IT in the future to make improvements to these integrations so more data can be automatically transferred between the two systems. 

We are currently working on getting plugins set up within new Learning Space. Activities like Turnitin and Talis Resource Lists are not part of the core product so are added and configured by us. 

All this means that we will be ready for User Acceptance Testing within the next month or two. 

Student Digital Experience Survey Prize Draw Winner

From mid-December to mid-January we surveyed Falmouth students on the quality of their digital experience while at University. 680 students took part and the prize draw winner was Ben Watkins, who is in the final year of his BA (Hons) in Marine and Natural History Photography. Congratulations Ben!

We will publish our analysis of the results in a future post.

Ben Watkins is the winner of the prize draw
Ben Watkins (pictured right) receives the prize.

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