Task-based Guidelines

I need to create an online space for students and tutors to discuss various issues of relevance to our course.

Description

A discussion area in WebLearn allows site participants to read and reply to postings asynchronously – i.e. in their own time. The postings remain there until deleted, forming a useful record of 'threaded discussions' over a specific time period, for later review.

Examples

  • Students can discuss a group project with each other, or interact with a 'guest expert' for a fixed period of time.
  • Administrators can compile and edit a list of Frequently Asked Questions which can be stored in a Forum area, without any need for interaction or response.

Solution

Set up forums and topics in the Forums (Discussions) tool. Group-specific topics are possible.

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I need to allow my students to submit and peer review each other's essays in a structured area (e.g. according to tutorial groups).

Description

Peer review, either before a tutorial session, or thereafter, is a powerful way for students to share ideas and learn together.

Examples

Student submit their essays for the tutor to mark. The tutor marks the essay and submits an overall comment about it. Students then can read each others' essays and the tutor's comments.

Solution

Use the Resources tool. You can create tutorial group-specific folders and set the permissions to allow students to upload their essays.

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I need to have a dynamic 'chat' with students wherever they may be.

Description

A synchronous chat takes place in real time – i.e. participants are usually signed on at the same time for an instant, text-based chat session.

Examples

Useful for real-time interaction on topical issues, e.g. election results, weather disruptions, last-minute questions to a tutor before an examination etc.

Solution

The Chat tool enables real-time interaction with site participants anywhere in the world. It records the 'conversation' in an archive for later reference.

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I need to allow my students or colleagues to edit web pages collaboratively.

Description

Wikis (such as Wikipedia) are web pages that allow collaborative editing using standard wiki editing conventions.

Examples

  • Students can compile a growing glossary of terms or annotated summaries of their readings.
  • Researchers can collaborate with international colleagues on web pages hosted free of charge in one central place.

Solution

The Wiki tool enables site participants to create and edit web pages in WebLearn.

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Our team needs to collaboratively author a document and then make the final version available to students in WebLearn.

Description

Documents can be authored and edited by several different people using a workflow in SharePoint. The final approved version of the document can then be made available to students in a WebLearn site.

Examples

  • Lecturers or course leaders need to edit a Course Handbook in turn, building upon each version until the final version is produced.
  • The approved final version of the Course Handbook can then be made available to students in one central location, such as a WebLearn site.
  • The process described here will facilitate the collaborative authoring and ensure that there is one approved master version, which can then be updated for the following year.

Solution

This How-to guide explains how to collaboratively author a Course Handbook in SharePoint and upload the final version into WebLearn.

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I need to provide learning materials for my students to access at any time.

Description

Learning materials may be in the form of slideshows, video clips, reading materials, handouts etc.

Examples

  • A Physics tutor provides model answers for students to access after they have submitted their own solutions to problems or exercises during the tutorial session.
  • A Lecturer links to podcasts available on the Oxford podcasts site, or other sources of open educational content.
  • Medical students need to access the websites of professional organisations or related NHS guidelines on the internet.

Solution

Resources: Upload any documents, files, images to the Resources tool and select Actions > Make Web Content link to provide an 'access' view on the left hand menu (then hide the Resources tool (Site Info > Page Order) if users are not required to upload any materials). Or use the Oxford Podcasts tool to browse for and link to existing podcasts in your subject discipline. Or Use the Web Content tool to link to relevant websites.

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I need to provide reading lists to my students.

Description

These can be compiled in WebLearn, either manually, or by searching SOLO and dynamically linking to the library catalogue.

Examples

Tutors and lecturers compile reading lists for students, which appear in WebLearn along with their other learning materials.

Solution

Use the Reading List tool which is part of Resources.

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I need to provide links to relevant websites.

Description

A very common need is to provide links for students to relevant website, articles, or html pages located on the internet (or within WebLearn).

Examples

  • We have a set of pre-session and post-session readings on our website, which students need to access.
  • Students need to be able to link to a departmental website, or a website of a professional association.
  • A site maintainer is building an HTML page called "Useful Links" (see method 3 --->), which consolidates a collection of useful links onto one page, thus avoiding a long list of Web Content links on the left hand tools menu.

Solution

There are three ways of doing this in WebLearn:
  • Within a Resources folder, use the Add function to Add Weblinks (URLs), which will remain within the Resources tool.
  • Add the Web Content tool with the desired target link, which will appear on the left hand tools menu.
  • Build an HTML page with embedded link/s within it

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I need to provide an easily navigable view of all my resources. This is called an 'Access view' ('smart' view).

Description

Site maintainers build a collection of resources in the folders and files area in the Resources tool. The 'maintainer view' of Resources is not desirable or user friendly for users to browse.

Examples

The site maintainer of the Digital Media User Group has collected many useful links and resources of interest to the group. He uploads them (or creates links) in an organised hierarchy of folders and files in Resources. He then creates an 'Access view' which provides an easily navigable ('smart') view for the users.

Solution

At the desired level in your Resources tree structure, use the Actions menu to Make Web Content link. This will create an Access viewof Resources on the left-hand tools menu.We recommend that you then hide the main Resources tool from access users: use Site InfoPage Order and switch the 'light bulb' to grey.

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I need to subscribe to a particular series in the Oxford podcasts collection.

Description

Oxford University provides an extensive collection of audio and video podcasts via the site http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk. The Oxford Podcasts tool allows you to browse the collection and add the relevant podcast series to your site, which will be automatically updated as new items are added to the series.

Examples

A tutor knows that there are relevant podcasts in the Oxford collection in his subject discipline. He wants to make these easily and automatically available to his students via his WebLearn site, for purposes of enrichment.

Solution

Use the Oxford Podcasts tools.

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I need to give my students a short, formative test to see if they are understanding a certain topic.

Description

Ongoing formative assessment is a good way to provide students with practice questions for them to evaluate their own progress. You can allocate points for correct answers and provide constructive diagnostic feedback.

Examples

Set up a series of short tests (quizzes) to assess student learning or identify any common misconceptions.

Solution

Use the Tests tool to create a series of short tests for students to take on a regular basis.

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I need to have my students submit their essays electronically.

Description

Students submit their essays electronically in a WebLearn site, which keeps records of all the submissions and marks allocated. The tutor marks the essays and gives feedback to each student. Students cannot see the work or marks of any other students.

Examples

Students submit weekly essays to their tutor. The tutor downloads and marks each essay, then uploads the annotated essay, assigns an overall comment, and a mark in a format of their choice.

Solution

Set up instructions to students in the Assignments tool where they then submit their essays.

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I need to share documents via an electronic 'pigeon hole'.

Description

Instead of sending documents via email, you can use a folders and files area in WebLearn for private sharing of documents between the site maintainer and individual site members.

Examples

  • Students can upload drafts of essays and papers for initial review.
  • Researchers and administrators can upload files for the attention of individual colleagues.

Solution

he Dropbox tool creates a private folders area for file sharing.

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Our team needs to collaboratively author a document and then make the final version available to students in WebLearn.

Description

Documents can be authored and edited by several different people using a workflow in SharePoint. The final approved version of the document can then be made available to students in a WebLearn site.

Examples

  • Lecturers or course leaders need to edit a Course Handbook in turn, building upon each version until the final version is produced.
  • The approved final version of the Course Handbook can then be made available to students in one central location, such as a WebLearn site.
  • The process described here will facilitate the collaborative authoring and ensure that there is one approved master version, which can then be updated for the following year.

Solution

This How-to guide explains how to collaboratively author a Course Handbook in SharePoint and upload the final version into WebLearn.

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I need to make important announcements to a particular group of people.

Description

You can set up announcements of important information, to show either immediately, or at a pre-determined date in the future. A copy of the announcement can also be sent to the email addresses of site participants.

Examples

Tutors can advise all their students by means of one announcement, of important dates such as meetings or due dates for essays.

Solution

The Announcements tool allows one-way communication to all site participants.

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I need to schedule events with a particular group of people.

Description

You can post deadlines, events, and other important dates in a particular site. You can also merge other calendars into your site calendar and subscribe to Oxford University term dates.

Examples

  • Tutors can specify dates of tutorial meetings, or these can be automatically inserted by the tutorial Sign-up tool.
  • Administrators can specify dates of committee meetings.

Solution

The Schedule (Calendar) tool allows you to schedule site-specific meetings.

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I need to have students sign up electronically for pre-determined tutorial slots.

Description

You can create electronic meeting slots, for single or recurring meetings, and have site participants sign-up for the time slot of their choice. A waiting list can be created for time slots that are full.

Examples

  • Tutors can create tutorial slots for students to select and sign up to.
  • Administrators can create time slots for departmental meetings or other events.

Solution

The tutorial Sign-up tool allows you to set up and publish open meetings, tutorial slots and other events.

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I need to manage access to the site and permissions for the use of various tools.

Description

You need to decide who will access your site and how they will do so. It might be a closed site, for site members only, it may be available to all logged in users, or to the general public.Once you have set up the overall access, you can control certain tools and how they are used.

Examples

We recommend that the main site for a college or department should be public (outward facing), to give an indication of how WebLearn is being used.

Solution

The Site Info tool is the basic site management tool in WebLearn, in which you can carry out a variety of site management functions. Use the Manage Access option.

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I need to add or remove certain tools from the tools menu.

Description

As the site manager (maintainer) you have full control of all the WebLearn tools that you may wish to add (or remove) from your particular site.

Examples

A tutor has certain needs to communicate with his or her students. There are various communication tools that the tutor can add to their site, e.g. Forums, Messages, Email Archive.

Solution

The Site Info tool is the basic site management tool in WebLearn, in which you can carry out a variety of site management functions. Use the Edit Tools option.

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I need to add or remove site participants.

Description

As the site manager (maintainer) you can add individuals by entering either Oxford or external email addresses. Site members enjoy certain benefits over site visitors.

Examples

  • A tutor has 8 tutees, and adds them individually by name to the relevant WebLearn site.
  • A lecturer in Education has education students on teaching practice in various schools. Individual teachers in the schools can be added as external users, to serve as mentors.

Solution

Use Site Info > Add Participants. Note that the list of site participants added in this way needs to be maintained by the site maintainer (when people need to leave or join the site).

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I need to add a pre-defined (bulk) group of participants.

Description

WebLearn has integration with the central OAK Access Management Service which includes a database of pre-defined sets of Oxford users. The site maintainer can browse the tree of 'Unit' or 'Course' groups to find relevant sets of named Oxford users and add them in bulk to the WebLearn site.

Examples

  • Your department is using WebLearn as a type of intranet. All staff and students in the department require membership of the site. Add the 'Unit' as a participant group.
  • You have 80 postgraduate students who need to have access to your WebLearn site so that they will receive all Announcements. Browse for the relevant academic programme ('Course') and add the named students in bulk.

Solution

Use Site Info > Add Participant Group. Note that the benefit of adding such sets of Oxford users is that the groups are updated every day, meaning that your list of site participants is also automatically updated.

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I need to create subgroups (e.g. tutorial groups) of students within my site.

Description

Certain tools in WebLearn are 'group-aware', which means that they can display different information to different subgroups.

Examples

  • A tutor may wish to set different assignments for different groups of students.
  • An administrator will wish to display protected folders to committee members only. This can be done by creating a subgroup of members of each committee and then protecting the relevant folder in Resources to that specific subgroup.

Solution

Use Site Info > Manage Subgroups.

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I need to change the order of tools on the left-hand tools menu.

Description

When you add a new tool to your site, it usually appears at the bottom of the left-hand tools menu. You can drag and drop the tools to appear into the order that you require.

Examples

  • You prefer to order the tools on the left hand menu, either alphabetically, or in order of importance.
  • You prefer to group like tools with like, such as all the podcasts together, followed by all the news feeds together.

Solution

Use Site Info > Page Order.

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