To try to help you in using the tools we have available I am setting up some short courses on using the applications. This will take time so please do bear with me.
Owing to the corona virus, you will know the face-to-face lessons have been suspended until the end of the semester.
There are a number of tools that you should be made aware of that will likely help you in planning the way ahead.
Webex: the Webex app can be used for holding video conferences. It is fairly intuitive and has a number of help videos with the application.
Adobe Connect: AC is an excellent tool. However, please be aware that Switch has a limited license for the application and you may run into problems with the tool. If this happens, Switch have set up an alternative tool called Meetings. See below.
Switch Meeting: Switch Meetings is based on an open source package which Switch claim is scalable, and which also uses their SwitchEngines technology. The application can be accessed via the following link: Switch Meetings. More can be found out here: Further Information.
Together with the above Conferencing tools, you have Switch Tube for hosting and sharing video material. Switch Drive for sharing files and also for Collaborative working via the “Google Docs” like tool called Only Office. Help can be found in the link. There is also a file transfer tool for sending and sharing larger files via e-mail, but if you use Switch Drive to share files, you should be covered.
We also have our Moodle platforms for organizing courses, and this includes a new E-Assessment Moodle application which is separate from the main Corporate IT Moodle. This Platform can be used for running any form of E-assessment you may wish to set up. I have been assured by CIT that the platform should be used only for Exams and that the exams will not be deleted over time, so we should be covered for any recourse issues and/or archiving requirements. You will need to contact me to set up either a course or exam.
I am available to help you in any of your e-learning needs. You may contact me via: Email: Paul.Raper@fhnw.ch. Tel Direct: +41 56 202 81 71
We are in the ELK busily putting together a package which we believe will offer you the support you need to be able to deliver your classes via the internet. This should appear online here, and will be sent out centrally.
This package offers support for all the main products that we use at the FHNW, including, video streaming, web-conferencing, file sharing and Student Management via Moodle etc.
If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail or telephone.
Today we had a meeting of the ELK and discussed at great length the topic of the corona virus.
It is our recommendation that if you wish to undertake any form of on-line teaching that involves video conferencing, you should use Adobe Connect.
We in the support team have experience with Adobe Connect and can support you pretty well. Further, the product is supported by Switch.
I have put together a Moodle course that should help you to get the most from Adobe Connect, but should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me and I shall do my best to help you out.
Webex is a relatively new product to the FHNW and to-date we do not have a lot of experience with it. CIT will likely not be able to support you either since it is a wholly web-based system and is run by Cisco.
If you have any questions at all about this subject, please contact me and I shall do my best to assist you.
The FHNW has set-up a dedicated Moodle instance for us to run e-assessment over.
You will need to contact me to ask for a “course” to be setup where you will then be able to create your exams, tests, assessments etc.
Unfortunately, until we can have more quiz, and also quiz content export plugins installed, it will not be possible to set up anything particularly imaginative.
We have just completed our latest update to Moodle 3.8.1+. Whilst we were at it, we also streamlined the whole update process and switched a GIT methodology. This means that we can keep up with the latest patches and updates to new versions far more easily.
For your information, we have also added some new course format options. These allow you greater flexibility when designing your courses.
To ensure that these plugins work with the next version of Moodle, Moodle 3.9, we also have a development startegy for testing our plugins on that. If a plug in does not work with the newest Moodle version, we can either advise you to switch to an alternative, or wait for the plugin developer to update the plugin.
One such plugin that I feel is really exciting is called the flexible format. See video.
I would also like to invite thoughts on archiving courses.
With more and more of us running exams, tests, or just simply grading work through Moodle, I feel that we are sure to run into some issue concerning how we store and retrieve past results in the case of recourse.
My initial thoughts would be that at the end of every semester, and after the grades have gone out and been accepted, past courses are backed up and then downloaded to a local PC.
From here, the backup files should, in my view, be stored on a secure server in the FHNW under the School or faculty they apply to, the subject they cover, and the course name they applied to along with the semester/year.
Corporate IT have now completed work on the course ordering process on the Corporate Platform.
There are some inportant things to remember, and rather than go into a lengthy explaination of the process here, I have created a dedicated page for the topic.
From the start of the new semester, the tools that we have been developing will have been moved to a new home.
The so called HT Moodle application is already now running on a new server at the FHNW. We have Moodle 3.7.1+ which is the very latest version of the application. The move comes in connection with the on-going development work and IBRE Project where we are developing a new Python based tool for the School of Mechanical Engineering, thermodynamics.
Making good use of the server, we plan to Migrate Digitally-Learning.ch and Learning-Digitally.ch to the same server and at the same time we shall have a very small OwnCloud installation for our own research purposes.
All-in-all, we are becoming more and more innovative and this means finding new and exciting ways to deliver our courses to students.
None of this means that you have to use our tools, but if you fancy trying out something new and different, feel free to give it a go.