FAQ for Students
- How can I get help with WebLearn?
A: Your first port of call is your tutor, lecturer, or departmental administrator (i.e. the person who is likely to manage and run the WebLearn area you are looking for), or the person who has suggested you should use WebLearn. You can find the contact details of the 'site owner' by going to a WebLearn site and clicking on Site Info on the left hand menu. If these people are not able to help you, then contact your local IT Support Staff in your college or department.
If you have difficulties with any technical aspects of WebLearn, such as error messages, or apparent bugs in the system, then please contact the WebLearn Helpdesk.
- What guidance material is available?
A: This Student FAQ is an excellent source of information!
There is pop-up help on every page although some of this information is not specific to Oxford University.
Students should always refer to the 'step-by-step', 'least-you-need-to-know' guides, and video tutorials first.If you are still having problems, contact your tutor, supervisor or administrator (or whoever is the owner of the site - click on Site Info to find their name and email address).
- How can I find out who is the owner or manager of a WebLearn site?
A: If you have logged in and can access the site, click on Site Info in the left hand tools menu – this provides the name and email address of the site owner. Otherwise contact your local IT Support Staff in your college or department.
- How do I find my course materials in WebLearn?
A: Log in to WebLearn, then click on the Sites tab. This lists all the WebLearn sites to which you have been added as a member. The list of sites may include college or department sites, as well as your course sites. Click on the relevant site title to access the site.
If you aren't a site member, you can use Find Sites (by name) from the Welcome page to find a site if you know part of its title.
If you don't know the title of a site, you can browse the hierarchy of sites by starting with your Division, and then your Department in the left hand hierarchy of sub-sites.
- I need to access a site but I can't see it under the Sites tab. What should I do?
A: The site may be publicly available – if so, either find out the URL of the site, or browse to find it in the left hand hierarchy of sites and sub-sites.
If you know part of the title of the site, you can try finding it using the Find Sites (by name) option in the left hand tools menu.
The site owner can make you a member of a site, after which it will appear in your Sites list. Speak to your tutor, lecturer or departmental administrator and ask to be added to the relevant WebLearn site/s. Some sites are 'joinable' and will give you instructions as to how to register yourself as a site member.
- How do I search for material on a WebLearn site?
A: To search for material in a WebLearn site, the site owner must have added the Search tool. If so, you will see it on the left hand tools menu. Click on the Search tool. You have the option to search the current site, or all sites in which you are a member. Enter the words that you want to search for within the Search box and click the Search button.
Search will find documents within your WebLearn site (including the text within Word documents, PDF files, Excel files, etc., and any associated metadata), as well as wiki pages, chat messages, forum postings, announcements and emails in the Email Archive.
Search will not search the syllabus, calendar, or assignment submissions. Some tools (such as the Wiki and the Email Archive) allow you to search what's in that tool in a particular site. You'll see a search box when you navigate to that tool, which works the same as the main WebLearn search - the only difference is that results are returned only for what's in that particular tool in that particular site.
- Do I need special software to use WebLearn?
- What web browsers can I use with WebLearn?
A: WebLearn should work in the standard web browsers – Internet Explorer 7 (and higher), Firefox, Safari and Chrome. (Internet Explorer 6 is NOT recommended.)
- How does WebLearn handle cookies?
A: In the light of the new European cookie law, users are entitled to know what cookies are being saved on their computers. WebLearn uses very few cookies. None of them persist after your session has ended and none are third party cookies. So you need have no concern over cookies when using WebLearn.
- Are there any times when WebLearn won't be available for use?
A: We sometimes carry out routine maintenance and upgrades on specified Tuesdays between 7:30am and 9:00am. Occasionally there is downtime outside these hours. In all situations, we announce outages via the WebLearn front page.
- How do I access WebLearn?
- If you have not been provided with a link, use any web browser, and go to https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk.
- Without logging in, you can browse the sites and sub-sites on the left hand lower menu and see a limited amount of information.
- To log in:
- If you have an Oxford single sign-on account and have activated it – Click on the 'Oxford Account' login link at the top right hand side
- If you have activated your external WebLearn account – Click on the 'Other Users' login link at the top right hand side.
- How can I de-register myself from a WebLearn site that is not relevant to me?
A: Log in and access the site. Click on Site Info on the left hand tools menu. If the site is 'joinable' (meaning that people can join or leave the site at will), then you can leave the site by clicking on Leave this site. If you do not see the button Leave this site, then it means that only the site owner can remove you from the site. You can find their name and email address on the Site Info page. Contact them and ask to be removed from the site.
Getting more out of WebLearn
- I'm not clear on what some of the tools are for
A: It all depends on the purpose of the WebLearn site. Your tutor or lecturer may be using the site as a collection of resources, in which case you can access the materials via the relevant links provided, either on the left hand tools menu, or on the home page.
If your tutor or lecturers uses the WebLearn site more actively, they should provide guidance on which tools they expect you to engage with, e.g. "discuss the tutorial questions using the Forums tool after the tutorial session", or "access the latest lecture recording via the Podcasts tool".
There is a summary of some WebLearn tasks and tools in the Getting Started step-by-step guide for students.
- Is WebLearn designed with accessibility needs in mind?
A: There is a link to Accessibility Information at the foot of every WebLearn page: https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/portal/help/TOCDisplay/content.hlp?docId=arkn
- The browser 'back' button won't work properly. Why not?
A: WebLearn remembers every step you take when using a tool – the 'Back' button will simply take you back a step, and not necessarily to the place you expected. To return to the initial page of a tool click the 'double blue arrows' icon (Reset the current tool to its default state) at the top of the screen.
This button will display the first page of the tool and will also initialise any other settings that may have been changed during tool use.
- How can I copy text from a Word document?
A: Many tools in WebLearn allow you to enter text with a WYSIWYG (HTML) text editor, e.g. the Forums (Discussion tool). If you wish to copy formatted text from a Microsoft Word document without introducing unwanted HTML formatting, you should do this using the 'Paste from Word' button. In the top row of buttons on the text editor there is an icon with a clipboard and a blue 'W', which is the 'Paste from Word' button Click this button to bring up a small window with a text box. Paste the text from your Word document into this text box and click OK. Your text will be 'cleaned up' and should now appear in the text editor with (most of) the original formatting.
- What is My Home?
A: My Home is your own personal area in WebLearn that will remain there for you as long as you continue to have an Oxford single sign-on account.
- What are some of the benefits of using My Home?
A: My Home summarises the Calendar (Schedule) and Announcements from all the WebLearn sites in which you are a member, for you to see at a glance. You can also subscribe to your My Home Calendar from other calendaring applications like MS Outlook and Google. My Home offers a Profile tool for you to upload your photo and contact details, and connect with other WebLearn users. There is a personal Resources area for you to store your own files, and decide if you want to make any of them publicly available. You can modify your Preferences, such as opting out of low priority email messages, and hiding sites that you do not regularly use.
- How can I subscribe to My Home calendar?
A: Since your calendar in My Home merges all your calendars from other WebLearn sites, it makes sense to subscribe to your My Home calendar. In My Home, click on Schedule on the left hand tools menu. Amongst the blue links at the top, click on 'Subscribe (generate private URL)'. This produces a private URL for the calendar, with instructions on how to use it.
There is a full step-by-step guide called 'Schedule (Calendar) – subscribe to WebLearn calendars from other calendar applications'.
- How can I control the receipt of email messages sent from WebLearn sites?
A: In My Home, click on Preferences on the left hand tools menu. You cannot opt out of high priority email notifications from WebLearn sites, but you can opt out of low priority items, and you can opt to receive the notifications as a daily digest. These options are available for you to set in specific tools that send email notifications, e.g. Announcements, Resources and Drop Box, and Email Archive.
- What is the size limit for storage of files that I can store in My Home?
A: The Resources area in My Home (for Oxford users only) has a total maximum storage limit of 100 Mb for uploaded files.
The file size limit for single file uploads is 60Mb per file.
- How can I share a private file that I have uploaded or created in My Home?
A: The files you upload into Resources are by default private to you. To make a folder or file public, do the following: alongside the folder or file, move your mouse over the 'Actions' dropdown menu. Select the option Edits Details (Properties). Select the 'publicly viewable' option – for a folder, this applies to the folder and all its contents. [Note that there are only two settings: Private or Public. It is not possible to share files with particular individuals or groups of individuals.]
Any subsequent sub-folders will inherit this setting and will also be public. The URL of the folder is to be found at the bottom of this page; the URL shown in the browser's address bar is not the one that you should communicate to others.
- How can I share certain files with particular individuals or groups of people?
A: Unfortunately this is not possible – files and folders in My Home are private by default, or you can make them publicly viewable. A tutor or lecturer would have to provide a sharable folder in Resources in a regular WebLearn site, and grant students or groups of students the permission to upload files there. Alternatively, the tutor or lecturer may make the Forums tool available in a regular WebLearn site, and students can then make postings with attachments.
Speak to your tutor or lecturer and ask them to consider these options for student file sharing.
- How can I hide sites from Sites list if I do not use them regularly?
A: In My Home, click on Preferences on the left hand tools menu. Click on the link 'Order Active Sites' along the top. You can change the order of your Active Sites list. You can also select sites that you want to hide, then click the right arrow to move those sites into the list called My Hidden Sites.
You will still receive notifications sent from all sites of which you are a member. You can only opt out of low priority messages (see How can control the receipt of email messages sent from WebLearn sites?)
Since you will not be able to see hidden sites in Sites, if you need to access a hidden site, you can do so via Worksite Setup (on the left hand tools menu in My Home).
- How can I control the receipt of Forums notifications sent from WebLearn sites?
A: The Forums tool has a 'Watch' option, which allows you to decide how you want to 'keep an eye' on activity in the forums and topics in the tool. From the main Forums page, click on 'Watch' (a blue link at the top of the page) – this gives you various options to select.
The default is 'Notify me by email whenever a new message is posted'. You can choose to receive ALL notifications, or NO notifications from Forums.
- Who can see my profile in My Home?
A: The information you build into your Profile (your photograph, contact details, connections with other people, and other social networking information) can be made available to other WebLearn users via the Site Members tool, if that is added in other WebLearn sites. Your Profile is also searchable by all WebLearn users; you can change your privacy settings under Profile > Privacy.
Other useful services via WebLearn
- How do I find out about and book on graduate training courses?
A: From the WebLearn Welcome page (https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk), click on Graduate Training on the lower left hand menu.
You can also click on Graduate Training at the top of the page:
You will be able to search across departments, skill categories, research methods etc., to find current courses on offer for graduate students.
Some courses are free of charge, some might require cross-departmental payment. You can request to sign up for a course. Your request will need to be approved by the module administrator (and your supervisor, if applicable). You can return to the tool later to check the progress of your sign-up requests – click on My Modules to do so.
- How can I access old examination papers?
A: On the WebLearn Welcome page, click the OXAM link at the top. This will take you to a collection of previous examination papers, where you can do a free text search, or search by course.
- How can I access Professional Development courses via WebLearn?
A:On the WebLearn Welcome page, click the Skills Hub link on the left hand menu. Then click Professional Developmt Courses on the left hand menu. This will take you to a collection of free online courses on a variety of professional topics, including tutorials on the avoidance of plagiarism.
- How can I access Research Integrity courses via WebLearn?
A:On the WebLearn Welcome page, click the Skills Hub link on the left hand menu. Then click Research Integrity Courses on the left hand menu. This will take you to a collection of free online courses on research ethics. You can choose the field of your choice. The courses have been customised with further links relevant to the Oxford University research environment.