Menu

E-Learning Unit

Articles menu

Spring clean your QMplus area with this handy checklist!

15 March 2016 Posted in: Articles, Tips Tagged: By: Brett Lucas

Yes it is that time again when the sun begins to rise in the sky, the washing can go outside again, the bulbs and buds start arriving…and your QMplus module area starts to look…well…perhaps slows down or looks a bit tired…

Here are some ideas to get you thinking about how to tidy up your module area so that it loads faster and at the same time get it ready for the exam period or for your  teaching over the summer.

Spring clean…make your module run faster…

  1. Look at your Module list in My QMplus.. unenrol yourself from the modules you no longer teach on…if you can’t do it yourself then contact your local e-learning support or raise a helpdesk ticket (its-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk).
  2. Delete all the modules that no longer exist. If you need to keep a copy check on the archive first where they should be accessible. Tidying up QMplus like this will make it run much faster for everyone! Send the module address to its-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk if you can’t delete.
  3. Convert large PDF files in your QMplus module to QMplus books this will reduce the size and make it much easier to view for students on mobile devices. Come along to one of our drop-in sessions on the Mile End Campus (1-2 Tues/Thurs) to find out how to do this.
  4. Remove all the additional files from the top of your module (we call it Topic Zero). Keep the ‘admin’ space at the top of your module as short as possible so teaching content shows on smaller screens. If you don’t know where to put things then add a new topic at the top and put everything in there.

    There are way too many files in Topic Zero in this example module

  5. Check for broken external weblinks – and while you are checking links do you have any descriptive text explaining to students why the link is important?

    An external link with a useful description.

  6. Check your course logs to see what students are looking at and downloading, if they aren’t using resources it might be time to delete or modify them?

    Check your logs in the settings block

  7. Check your Assessment information..is the content up-to-date. E.g. Is the teaching and learning profile still correct?

    Is the information in your assessment overview still correct?

  8. Move ALL audio and video files uploaded to QMplus into QMplus Media and delete the content in QMplus – this will definitely make your module load faster.
  9. Large image files need to be resized before being uploaded to QMplus. Use the freely available web tool PIXLR to downsize your images.
  10. Delete any hidden files lingering in this year’s module e.g. last year’s lectures and other resources. These files are in the 2014-15 QMplus archive so please delete them NOW!

 Exam period ideas

  1. Have you provided a link/s to the relevant exam papers?
  2. Highlight specific exam resources in a custom HTML block (e.g. with links to relevant exam info).

    Create an exam revision block and place it prominently on your module homepage.

  3. Add a special exam revision discussion forum where students can discuss areas they may have concerns with. Style the forum or rename it to something different..e.g. Revision clinic…

    A discussion forum as a graphical link in an SBCS Chemistry Module - 2014-15

  4. Release your Q-Review lectures to your students via the Q-Review Block if you haven’t already done so.
  5. Why not record yourself doing some exam revision exercises and post them into QMplus. You can download Personal Capture or use The Google Chrome extension for QMplus Media. Alternatively you could book our e-learning studio to make revision videos.

Organise your content better…

  1. Use labels and indents to structure your content:

    A lot of files dumped into a topic section.

    How easy is it to find what you’re looking for in this list?

    Try using labels and indendation to make lists of resources easier to scan.

    Get more ideas in our handy guide

  2. Have a look at your module homepage on a tablet or smartphone….does it look like you expected? If it doesn’t then consider how modifying the layout might improve things? If you are not sure what to do or how to modify things then you could arrange to talk to a member of the e-learning team….just make a booking on the Book a Learning Technologist page.
  3. How are you structuring your topic sections? Weekly? By topic? By content type? Should you really be putting all your lectures into one section? Is the method you use still appropriate? If you are not sure then now is the time to ask your students what they think.
  4. Convert your static reading list to a dynamic one using TALIS Aspire. You can add all kinds of content beyond just books and journals and it can also generate a CLA licence coversheet for scanned chapters of books.

Enhance your online teaching

  1. Would you like to start encouraging your students to reflect on aspects of their learning, produce a multimedia webpage or work in groups? QMplus Hub could be the tool for you. If you are interested in these things then get in touch with us about running a bespoke session with your course/programme team..or make an appointment with us directly to discuss your options.
  2. Would you like to provide opportunities for students to interact and collaborate online?  We’d be more than happy to talk how this might work in your context. You can drop-in and discuss this or sign-up for one-to-one session.
  3. Have you seen something on TV lately that you’d like to share with your students? This is now easy to do with the ‘Box of Broadcasts’ service ..find out how to add TV and Radio clips and whole programmes to QMplus by reading our guide.
Return to top