Ringing the changes: our VLE and blog environments

hi everyone! Hope you’re having a great summer. I wanted to post to let you know about two big changes to our programme environments this coming academic year. You’ll have access to these new environments by the start of orientation week (10 September). In the meantime you can check out all the details in the new Technologies Handbook.

First, the programme has moved from WebCT to Moodle as our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This is in response to the development of the University’s Distance Education Initiative – all distance programmes now have the option of using Moodle (the alternative would have been a move to Blackboard Learn 9, which replaces WebCT for the rest of the University this year). As before, different courses will use the VLE differently – some very substantively, some fairly minimally. You’ll get all the relevant guidance in your course handbooks in due course.

Second, we have upgraded our blogging environment to the latest version of Elgg, and moved the site. It will be accessed from http://elearningblogs.education.ed.ac.uk/ . The updated site will be available to everyone, but continuing students will also have the option to continue using their existing blogs (we are working on being able to move these into the new environment, but this may not be possible this academic year). The existing site (currently at holyroodpark.net) will be moving next week – stay tuned for more on this.

In both cases, the new environments have a lot going for them – they have up-to-date interfaces and functionality, and new features that we think you’ll appreciate. At the same time, they’ll retain many familiar aspects that we value (discussion boards and course content in Moodle; fine-grained access permissions in the blog). It will take some time for all of us to get used to the changes, but we hope that you’ll find them to be positive ones.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me (jen.ross@ed.ac.uk) or comment here.

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