Starting with your learning platform

What is it?

This is a world class learning management system (LMS, also called VLE). In many ways, this platform is very flexible it can be configured to help you learn by adding and removing modules that are required or are getting in the way.

How do I start using the platform?

If you just want to try it out for yourself to practise, you can use one of the accounts on the we have set up for demonstration purposes, ask your administrator for information about these accounts.

If you want to use the platform in a real situation with students, you need either to login to the platform and have a look around. The system has been designed to be user friendly and easy to navigate. Administrators and teachers do most of the work but students will benefit .

conditions attached; for instance, your site might have adverts on it.

Do I have to be really good with technology to use the platform?

To use this platform, you only need the basic web browsing skills.

What age of learners and educational settings is the platform most appropriate for?

The platform can be and is successfully used from early years of Primary schools through to the Secondary sector. The content can be adapted to suit learners of all ages in any learning environment, including commercial training.

Is this platform just for online learning?

It can be. However, in most cases it is used to support and combine face-to-face interaction with e-learning, m-learning and other forms of learning. It works best as a part of a blended learning solution.

Where can I get some tutorials or presentations about the platform?

You can see a series of videos introducing you to basic features within the system itself.

Navigation and Administration

How do I login to the system?

Go to the right URL (address) of the your site, login with your username and password, or enter as a Guest (if allowed). If you have forgotten your username or password your site will have a link to request forgotten details.

How do I move around the platform?

Use the Navigation block on the side of your page. From there you can go directly to any part of the system you have access to.

How do I edit things?

You can only edit things you have permission to edit. A regular user such as a student can only edit their My home page and possibly their profile page. A user with editing rights such as a teacher can use the 'Turn editing on' button or the link in the Administration block to edit items. A guest can't edit anything and an Admin you can whatever they like.

Who can create and edit activities and other things in courses?

Whoever has the editing capability. Usually, it is the Teacher who creates and edits courses and activities within courses, but this role can be changed, re-named (eg. Facilitator) and given to other people too.

Learning with the system - pedagogy

What is the best way to use the platform?

There is no one best way to use this system. Its use depends a lot on one's own educational philosophy, the context where the system is used and willingness to experiment and create a little (or a lot!). The system can be used by a strict controller using trusted material of 30 years or a free-loving e-hippie exploring new ways of teaching and learning alike

Can the platform be used in different subject (say maths, languages, art, media, science...)?

Yes. The platform is used in a variety of fields. The system can be altered to include different modules, depending on your requirements

How can I use the platform to stimulate students to think harder and ask good questions?

By asking and encouraging good questions students can wrestle with and explore through and with the help of activities, resources in a course. For example, open a forum discussion with a provocative question, start a blog where groups collaboratively build a solution ... and more! You can give links to great additional materials and even upload relevant material to stimulate discussion.

How can I communicate with students by using the platform?

Many ways are available. Some examples include: Forums are great for extended conversations over time, Messages for private channels, Chat for synchronous conversations, and Comments for quick notices and remarks. You can also exchange online feedback with Assignment, comments to Blog posts ... and more!

How can we share resources with the platform?

There are a number of ways to share content: making files and folders available to course participants, collecting resources of any kind with a Database, attaching files to Forum posts, importing and linking resources to and from external repositories/portfolios ... and more!

How the system help people collaborate?

Use different activities like blogs to create content together, Forums and Comments to exchange ideas, Database to collectively gather resources, Glossary to create shared understanding of concepts ... and more! You can group students in any of these activities to promote collaboration.

How do I grade in the platform?

Grades can be created for each activity in a course which are then added to the Gradebook. For example, grades in Assignment (all types), Quiz and Workshop activities are automatically added to Gradebook. In some activities you will have to turn grading on, such as ratings 'on' in Forum, Glossary and Database to send them to the Gradebook. You can also use the gradebook to adjust, assign or automatically scale an activity grade in your course. For some activities which don't automatically link to the gradebook, such as Chat or Feedback, you have to create a new grade item manually. There are many ways you can give feedback to students on their progress in activities without giving them a grade. In Assignments for example, you can give written feedback.

Can students do self and peer assessment type tasks with the system?

Yes. Probably the best activity to do that is Workshop module. Informally, students can evaluate (and even rate) each others' Forum posts, Glossary entries, and Database entries.

Students

How long does it take students to learn to use the platform?

It really does not take a great deal of skill or computer knowledge to use this platform. With basic web browsing and editing skills, students (and teachers) can use it - instantly!.

What do my students need to know before using this system?

They need to know how login into the site and course, and have some basic web browsing and computer skills. For example, they need to how a mouse and keyboard works, what a link is, maybe how to attach, upload or download a file.

Do students have to be online all the time to use this platform?

It is an online learning management system and at some point you and your students will have to spend some time in front of a computer. How much time depends on what you use the system for. Your site is used to mix offline and online learning activities.

Basic jargon

The system uses jargon words that you may be familiar with from other contexts. Within the system, These words have specific (and potentially different) meanings, explained below.

What is a Course?

A course is the basic learning area on the system where a teacher displays materials for their students. See Courses

What is a Category?

A category is a group of things and has several meanings in the system. It can be a grouping of courses by a certain criteria (Such as: Science; Junior School; Staff Area). It can be a group of questions, or a group of entries in a glossary.

What is an Activity?

Usually an activity is something that a student will do that interacts with other students and or the teacher. Your platform has over a dozen activity types of tools for a teacher to use in a course.

What is a Resource?

Resources are items that a teacher can use to support learning, such as a file or a link.

What is a Filter?

Filters can be used to add links, insert multimedia players, convert Mathematical expressions or emoticons into displayed images.

What is a Section?

A section is an area within a course's homepage that hold activities and resources. Standard course section formats are topics, weeks, social and SCORM.

What is a Role?

A role in the system refers to what a user is allowed (or not) to do on the site. Typical roles might include those of a student and teacher. A role is a collection of permissions that can be assigned to specific users in specific contexts. For example, when a user is enrolled in a course as a student.

Security

How secure is the platform?

We have designed the platform to be very secure.

Can the platform get hacked into and student data stolen?

Highly unlikely your site has up-to-date security and the site administrator has not given away the keys. Anything is possible on any website, but this platform makes it difficult for nasty people to cause havoc.

What if I did something wrong and accidentally broke it - could it be easily fixed?

The platform can be backed-up at any point. If a backup was made 5 minutes before you broke it, chances are it can be fixed easily.

Can I track and search what people do and post in the platform?

Assuming you are a teacher and it is your course, yes. Administrators can do that for the entire site.

Can I backup the platform so I don't lose things?

Yes, you can backup the site or as a teacher you can back up your course and download it (if your role permits it). With appropriate permissions, you can restore your course and/or import parts of courses elsewhere on your site or beyond.

Technical

Do I need my own server to run the platform?

No the platform is hosted in the Internet so you don’t need any additional hardware.

Does it matter what computer type or browser I use for the platform?

The platform works well in all standard, modern browsers and different operating systems. As with any web based application, you should be aware of your audience, their typical bandwidth and web browsers.

Can you use the platform from anywhere?

Yes, if it is on a web server attached to the internet and you have a computer, mobile device or tablet.

Can access to the platform be restricted to just our school?

Yes, several ways to do this. For example, limit the IPs to those assigned by your school, or only manually enroll your students are just a few ways.

Can I access the platform from a mobile device?

Yes. you use the browser on most mobile devices and you will find the display very user friendly.

I spotted a bug in the system. What do I do?

Report the bug to the system administrator using the contact details provided.

I have an idea for a feature and/or improvement in the platform. What do I do?

We encourage this! If you want something to be added please contact the system administrator and we will assess the viability of the suggestion..