Lukukausi alkaa, muutama vinkejä / A new semester, several tips

The course year 2017-2018 has gotten off to a start with teachers and students returning in numbers to the campuses of the universities and colleges served by the eLearning Services of Lapland University of Applied Sciences. We hope everyone had a great summer! Those returning to our on-line learning environments now, will inevitably notice a few changes. Notably, the Moodle front page looks different and, even more notably, iLinc has been replaced by Adobe Connect (AC). At the time of writing this article, AC-trainings are in full swing at all our campuses as well as on-line. User guidelines for AC can be found via the eOppimispalvelut page, under Frequently asked (Usein kysyttyä).

iLinc was adopted by Lapland UAS (then Kemi-Tornio Polytechnic) back in 2003 and it has served us well over the years as one of the pillars under our extensive on-line education effort. However, as development and support for the software were withdrawn, we were forced to look for a suitable replacement and management has decided to adopt Adobe Connect. AC will be used mainly via a Moodle integration, meaning that teachers and students will access AC classrooms via the corresponding Moodle courses, without the need for a separate login. Session recordings will be saved automatically in the AC-activity in the Moodle course. Hence, teachers teaching in joint semester environments, should agree on a joint approach to avoid scattering recordings over different classrooms. The eLearning services advise that in the case of team teaching, there should be only one AC-classroom in the course, which is used by all teachers, so that all recordings end up in the same activity. If team teaching cannot be arrived at, each teacher should have their own AC-classroom, clearly identified as such and preferably all these classrooms are listed together for easy overview.

Teachers are reminded that AC-classrooms must be named first after the student group, followed by the course name and then the name of the teacher (if applicable; team classrooms do not need this and neither do classrooms in indivdual Moodle courses where no other teachers are active). Example of the name of an AC classroom in a Moodle course with only one teacher:

K72D17S Introduction to Critical Thinking

For recordings another naming rule is in effect. Recordings must be named after the date (yymmdd without dots) and the teacher with as additional data perhaps the student group and course name. In the case of the above example course, an AC-recording made on 25 August 2017, as part of that Moodle course, would ne named:

170825 Paul Nijbakker K72D17S Introduction to Critical Thinking

It is important to follow these naming guidelines, because it enables us to organise the AC-classrooms and the recorded lectures.

As to Lapinkampus Moodle, the old site theme has been replaced with a more up-to-date one. HAKA login is now enabled via a link on the front page, but remember that this only works for users from universities outside of Lapland. Users from Lapland University and Lapland University of Applied Sciences use Moodle (and thus also Adobe Connect) with their normal LUC network accounts. The main functionality in the Moodle courses has not changed significantly, but some old themes have been removed and new themes and course formats have been added. You could check out what works best for you, now that courses are starting. Note, that the recommended browser for Moodle and AC is (the latest version of) Mozilla Firefox.

Getting ready for the new semester

You may want to do some Moodle house-cleaning at the start of the semester. On your dashboard page (Katsaus kursseistani) you may want to move you current courses up in the Course overview (Työtilan yhteenveto) and the old courses down, as demonstarted in the image below:

Editing dashboard page

Click on the pic for a bigger version.

Maybe you have old courses that you do not need anymore? If so, send the links to these courses to the eLearning Services, so they can be removed and eventually deleted permanently.

Inside you courses, you may want to shake up things as well, but remember it is safer to hide course materials than to delete them, because deleted activities and resources are gone permanently and cannot be brought back by us.

And, as always, remember that the eLearning Services are here to serve you, so do not hesitate to ask for help when you encounter a problem that you cannot solve yourself!

 

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