4. WebLearn

Cover of Weblearn leaflet

4.1. How do Administration Sites work in New WebLearn?

An Administrative Unit (Department, Faculty, School or College) that requires a presence within new WebLearn, needs formally to request a WebLearn Administration Site and nominate at least one member of staff (a WebLearn Coordinator) to oversee the Unit’s WebLearn presence. An Administration Site is said to manage one or more (regular) new WebLearn sites and its participants are the only WebLearn users able to create new sites.

Administration Sites have 2 roles: admin and member.

participants with the member role:

  • can create sub-sites of any site where they have the maintain role
  • cannot visit the Administration Site

participants with the admin role:

  • can create sub-sites of any site where they have the maintain role
  • can visit and ‘maintain’ the Administration Site and therefore can
    • add tools
    • make changes to the participant list
    • assign roles to participants
    • have automatic maintain rights in a site that is managed by the Administration Site without actually being a member of the site in question

>Further information is available via these two step-by-step guides:

To request an Administration site, please visit weblearn.ox.ac.uk/info.

4.2. Major WebLearn upgrade

Back of Weblearn leaflet

WebLearn was upgraded on 3rd November 2009 to version 2.6-ox1. This was a major release and incorporates the new version of Sakai 2.6 (the software upon which WebLearn is based).

New Facilities – The Highlights

  • Upgrade to Sakai 2.6
  • Addition of ‘Make Web Content Link’ to every item in Resources via the ‘Actions’ menu – this is an easy way to add a ‘Web Content’ link to a file or folder in Resources to the left-hand side tools menu
  • Addition of interactive participant group browser – this makes finding groups much easier
  • Office 2007 documents are now searched
  • Oxford term dates subscription now works; easier method of term dates display
  • New much improved ‘Site Stats’ tool (version 2)
  • Switch role’ facility for ‘contribute’ and ‘access’ roles in published sites, (’view site as a student’ facility)
  • Addition of ‘Podcasts’ tool – store podcasts in WebLearn
  • WYSIWYG HTML Editor upgraded and now works in Safari and Opera

See weblearn.ox.ac.uk/access/content/public/System%20notices/release-notes-upgrade-to-v2p6-ox1p0.html for more details.

4.3. WebLearn User Group

On 20 November the WebLearn User Group held its first meeting since new WebLearn was launched. New features were demonstrated, including browsing for pre-existing groups of Oxford users, automated Web Content Links, and the Podcast tool. Users started identifying where they and their colleagues currently are on the Technology Adoption Curve (Moore, 1991). It was interesting to see that the current WebLearn users who were at the meeting are, as to be expected, early adopters. They see their colleagues as being distributed between the 'early majority' and the 'late majority'. We discussed how to reach more potential users in those areas of the curve. Participants were keen for future meetings to include Show and Tell sessions presented by users, since one of the objectives of the user group is to share ideas and learn from how others use WebLearn. Needless to say, the cream tea after the meeting was a hit!

The WebLearn User Group meeting will be held once per term and booking is essential via the ITLP Courses database (booking opens 30 days in advance of the scheduled meeting). There are various ways of communicating with each other electronically.

There are two mailing lists for announcements to WebLearn users:

  • Mail list for users of Old WebLearn: wl-manage-announce
  • Mail list for Local WebLearn coordinators (new WebLearn): wl-coordinators-announce

The former Early Adopters site in new WebLearn has been renamed WebLearn Community (weblearn.ox.ac.uk/portal/hierarchy/info/eas). Notes from User Group meetings are available here, as well as a discussion forum for ongoing interaction and communication between all WebLearn users. (From January, there will be an email notification feature for the Forums tool, to alert participants to new postings.)

4.4. WebLearn Pilot of the Evaluations Tool

The Evaluations tool in WebLearn can be used to design, administer, deliver and manage electronic questionnaires for the purpose of course, lecturer or tutor evaluation, feedback and review. Although responses remain anonymous, the course administrator can track who has or has not completed the evaluation, and can elect to send reminders to those who have not. The tool can also be used to gather responses for other forms of research and analysis.

Questionnaire templates can be created from scratch and, if desired, added to the public list for others to see and share. A wide range of question types allows for flexible design and structure, while detailed settings control which lecturers and tutors are being evaluated, how participants access the survey, and who may view the results. Several reporting options are also available to help you collate and analyse participants’ responses.

The tool is currently being piloted at Oxford University until the end of Trinity Term. The aim of the pilot project is to build up expertise in the use of the tool and to expand its use and support. If you would like to participate in Phase 2 of the pilot project from mid-Hilary term, please email Weblearn@ox.ac.uk.

What’s in it for me?

  • Be an early adopter in terms of using the tool to replace paper-based evaluations
  • Your suggestions will be considered for improving the tool and the user interface
  • The WebLearn team will assist in creating and building your questionnaires in the Evaluations tool (subject to reasonable limits in terms of numbers of questions/questionnaires)

What will it involve?

  • Building your questionnaire/s using the WebLearn Evaluations tool
  • Testing and checking your questionnaire/s in WebLearn
  • Administering your WebLearn questionnaire to groups of users
  • Completing the WebLearn feedback questionnaire to evaluate the pilot project

Up: Contents Previous: 3. Nexus Next: 5. WW1 Poetry Archive News