About Brian Warling

Brian is the CLE Product Manager.

You Spoke, We Listened. CLE Updated

Today, we made some changes to the CLE interface based on feedback we received from users since the new interface was released last summer. This short post provides some details on these changes.

Login-Logout/Help Links / Menu icon

The login-logout and help links that appear at the top right of CLE pages will now remain visible at all times. Previously, as the screen size decreased (e.g., on tablets and smartphones), these links would disappear and move into the menu icon (also known as the hamburger icon). One needs to tap on the menu icon to view these links. Some users found this confusing and didn’t realize that they had to tap the menu icon to see the logout link. Now, these links remain on the page at all times. Also, since these links no longer move into the menu icon, we have moved the menu icon down to the menu bar. The menu icon will only appear when the page shrinks to the point where the menu can no longer fit on the page. As before, tapping the menu icon will open the menu.

CLE  interface - login links


Improved content view for iPads in portrait orientation

Prior to the interface update, course content on an iPad in portrait orientation could sometimes be confined to a small part of the screen. Course blocks (e.g., navigation) would still be present and force the main content area into a small space.

theme_rev_before-iPad
Now, after the update, the main course content area will now fill the entire page on iPads in portrait orientation, and any course blocks will move down below the main content area. This will permit important content, such as the Ilios course calendar, to occupy the entire width of the screen, making it much more useable.

theme_rev_after-iPad

We hope you like these changes. We will continue to improve the CLE interface based on feedback we receive. Please continue to let us know if you any ideas on how the CLE can be improved, either by completing the short CLE Refresh Survey, or contacting the Learning Technologies Group.

Reporting on the CLE Refresh Survey

On August 2, 2014, the CLE underwent a major refresh with the installation of a completely new user interface. While this update also included a number of important performance and course-building enhancements, the crucial new feature — one that impacts all CLE users — was the new interface. Finally, we were able to fulfill easily the most requested CLE feature for the past few years — make it so that the CLE works better on smartphones and tablets. The new interface is now mobile-friendly, and incorporates responsive web design principles, which means it seamlessly conforms to the screen size of the device viewing it, be it a 27-inch desktop monitor, iPad Mini, iPhone or Android smartphone. Along with the refresh, we also released a short survey on August 2 to start gathering some feedback about the changes. We received seventy-three submissions through August. In this blog post, we report on some of the survey results and some directions for the future.

Continue reading

Upcoming Moodle 2 Workshops

In previous posts, I provided details about the Moodle 2 Transition Project and previewed a number of the new features in Moodle 2. Providing training opportunities is a major part of the project, so I am pleased to announce a new workshop devoted to learning how to use Moodle 2 to build and manage CLE courses — Building Online Courses on the CLE with Moodle 2. In this hands-on workshop, you will learn how to use many of the new Moodle 2 features and enhancements, including: new course navigation tools; drag-and-drop file and resource management; conditional release; much improved quiz building and navigation; private files; new page layout options; and mobile interfaces. The workshop will also include a discussion of transition plan details.

The workshop will be offered biweekly, beginning on Wednesday, January 23, 2013, so there are lots of opportunities to learn about Moodle 2. Follow this link — Workshop dates and registration — for more information.

Moodle 2: A Quick Preview

In a previous blog post, we discussed the plans for the coming transition to Moodle 2 as the CLE’s linchpin learning management system. The Moodle 2 pilot will be getting underway in December 2012. So we are getting close. In this post, we will highlight some of the exciting new features and enhancements in Moodle 2.

Conditional Release — So nice to have you back!

Conditional releaseLet’s start with what just might be the most welcome Moodle 2 feature — Conditional Release. Many of you may remember that we used to have a similar feature in WebCT, where it was called Selective Release. We lost the capability to selectively release course content and activities — by date or other conditions — when we migrated to Moodle in 2008. With the new Conditional Release feature in Moodle 2, instructors will be able to release individual resources, entire course sections, and activities based on date or grade conditions. As an instructor, you will be able to add content ahead of the time you want your students to access it and schedule the release for a later date. Content can also be added that will only be available to students who meet certain grade conditions. For example, perhaps an instructor wants to make remedial content available only to students who score below a certain threshold on a quiz. With Conditional Release, this is possible. Continue reading

Moodle 2: The Next Stage in the Evolution of the CLE

For fifteen years, learning management systems have been important components of online learning at UCSF. Some of you may remember CHOMP (Course HOMe Page), the nascent learning system developed by the UCSF Library in 1997. CHOMP, a name the School of Dentistry appreciated, allowed instructors to post files and create rudimentary UCSF students studying togetherdiscussion forums. CHOMP represented a great start, but by 2000, the Library and the schools realized that a more powerful system was needed. After reviewing the available systems of the time, we licensed and implemented WebCT. WebCT was the hub of what was called the Online Learning Environment, and it served the campus well for over eight years. During this time, most of the schools used WebCT extensively to deliver online course content. WebCT usage grew every year. By 2008, the need for a more capable system, along with developments and upheavals in the learning system landscape, required that we implement a new learning management system. Continue reading