• The Northern School of Art

    For more information about our name change and what it means for you, select the Green Lane or Hartlepool campus tile below.

    • Green Lane Campus

    • Hartlepool Campus

    • Moodle Upgrade

      Change

      What it means and why it is changing?

      What does this mean for me?

      Front page

      Perhaps the biggest change people will notice is the front page. (This is the first page you land on when you go to Moodle.)

      The layout has become very cluttered over the years and needed a bit of a spring clean. 

      All: The layout will be far clearer and will take less time to load.

      Tutors: It will be far easier to see all the courses you are attached to.

      Students: Students courses will be ‘front and centre’. As this is the most essential element for students to access, it needs to be obvious.

      Rebranding

      Due to our change over to the Northern School of Art, Moodle will have to change with it. The colours, logo and references to CCAD will be moved over to the new format.

      All: You’ll see a closer link to the website and other materials used by the Northern School of Art. You’ll be able to see a distinct theme regarding the colours.

      Refreshed layout (mobile)

      More people are using smart phones and tablets to access online elements.

      Currently, Moodle is not mobile responsive, which means it doesn’t look good, nor does it work well, on mobile devices.

      All: You will be able to navigate to Moodle on a mobile device far more easily.

      Tutors and editors: You’ll be able to make edits to your courses on a mobile. Students can access the content on a phone or tablet rather than having to use a computer/mac.

      Refreshed layout (desktop)

      The desktop version is also getting a facelift. Navigating sites needs to be quick and easy.

      All: Your courses will be front and centre. Students and staff with additional learning needs should find Moodle far more accessible, including those using a screen reader.

      GDPR compliance

      The General Data Protection Regulation aims to empower people to have better control of their data. As part of this regulation, Moodle needs to have some behind the scenes upgrades.

      All: You probably won’t notice a difference on this one except agreements on the usage policy for I.T. systems.

      Notifications

      A new feature is that we can send notifications out through Moodle about incidents that affect staff and students. For example, bad weather conditions closing buildings.

      All: You’ll see a discrete notification appear at the top of the Moodle page which you can dismiss once you’ve read it. This will help keep people informed about developments.

      Messaging system

      The messaging system has already been in Moodle for a while but is hardly ever used. With the refresh, the messaging system will have a ‘Facebook’ style feel.

      All: You can message colleagues or students directly through Moodle. You can turn notifications off should you wish.

      Tutors: You can send a mass-message out to your students about something happening on your course. They will get a notification on the Moodle system and on the app.

      User tours

      User tours allow users to get a step by step guide of how to use a page in Moodle. This helps people who are not as savvy with technology or the layout of Moodle to have a helping hand.

      All: On certain pages, a pop up will appear to help guide you through the page. You can just dismiss it or follow the guide. Once dismissed, it won’t appear on that page again until asked.

      Moodle training course

      I’m putting together a suite of different training materials on how to get the most out of Moodle. These include instructional videos for staff and students to use to get the most out of the system. Available August 2018.

      Tutors and editors: Staff will be added to a section of Moodle called ‘Moodle training course’ which they can jump onto to find out how to quickly do things in Moodle such as creating a new assignment. 1:1 support will also still be available from myself.

      Students: Will have access to ‘how to’ videos including how to hand in an assignment digitally.

      Quality of life improvements

      Here are a few quality of life improvements coming with the refresh. This list is not exhaustive.

      • Dashboard where you can view how your course is doing. Students can see marks received through Moodle.
      • Events which can be used to publicise events going on in and around Northern School of Art.
      • User interface improvements some buttons have been made bigger and more obvious. Dragging and dropping files into Moodle is far more seamless.
      • Announcements on the main page will help keep users up to date.
      • Editing button far easier to see and use. Tutors and other editors only.
      • ‘This course’ shows you a breakdown of what is happening on a course. Tutors and students can jump to Assignments, Resources, Grades etc quickly and effectively. This menu appears at the top once you are in a course.
      • Assignments now show you when the due date is (staff and students) and how many people have submitted (tutors) without having to click into the link.
      • Administration improvements maintaining Moodle and upgrading it in future should be much easier to do, meaning I’ll be able to make requested changes (such as links on the front page) much faster than before.