Tag Archives: ePortfolio updates

Meeting slots are now available for use with any group of students

We are pleased to announce the release of new functionality that will allow you to create meeting slots with any group in the University. Meeting slots are a popular part of the tutoring functionality in ePortfolio that allows tutors to specify particular timeslots they are free, and tutees can then sign up to a slot.
In the version released today, you can use meeting slots with supervision groups, tutees, whole modules, and any other bespoke group of students or staff.
To access the new functionality, navigate to the Meetings section using the drop down menu at the top of the screen (9 dots icon). You will see a new section labelled “Slots”. By selecting this you will be taken through to the page where you set up the slots, but you will notice in the top right hand corner of the page the option to “Add people to Slot Group”.
Meeting slots button

Selecting this will bring up the a search tool that shows your tutees/supervisees on the right hand side, but also allows you to search for anyone in the University.

Search people in ePortfolio

You can search by programme or module code, username, and by first or surname. If you search by module or programme code, there is an “Add All” button at the bottom of your search. This will add all students from the module / programme to your set of slots, allowing you to offer contact to a cohort of students in an organised manner.
If you are a user of supervision groups, you will see a new button on the Supervision Group page. This will allow you to create meeting slots for your supervision group.
Meeting slots for supervision groups
Having selected the students that the slots are to be offered to, you will then pick the length of slot and times you’re available and the students selected will be sent a booking email.
If you would like some extra support with the use of meeting slots, please email ltds@newcastle.ac.uk.

Bootstrap and other developments in ePortfolio

 As ePortoflio is built in-house, it is regularly updated to meet the requirements of the staff and students in the University. The main developments to take part during the rest of the academic year are as follows:

Upgrading Django to version 1.8

EPortfolio is coded using Django programming language. We have been running on version 1.4 but this needs upgraded to ensure we are working with a supported codebase. You could compare this to the upgrading of windows from windows XP to Windows 7 to make sure the software receives security updates.

Continue reading Bootstrap and other developments in ePortfolio

ePortfolio updates to support the “offer” of a meeting

There have been some further developments in ePortfolio to support the next stage of the rollout for Personal Tutoring. From the start of the academic year, tutor / tutees interactions with Stage 1 & 2, and PGT students should be recorded. The minimum frequency of meetings should be in line with the personal tutoring framework which states, ‘Tutors will meet with their students at least twice during their first semester in the University and offer students at least one tutor meeting per semester after Semester 1. ‘
ePortfolio has been developed to allow for this ‘offer of tutorial contact’ to occur from the system. These changes are outlined below.
Record Meeting / Offer Meeting
On the tutee information pages, you now have the option to Record Meeting / Offer Meeting. This will take you through to a very similar form to the one previously existing in the system. The change will depend on the date you choose.
Retrospective recordings
If our have already had the meeting and are recording this, you can now set the status of the meeting from the initial setup form (took place in person, at a distance, or did not take place at all).
Offer of a meeting
By choosing a date in the future, you are making an offer of a meeting to the student. They will receive an email outlining the date, time, venue, etc, that will also include the option to decline the meeting. If they do not decline, they are automatically assumed to have accepted.
Meeting slots
One of the best ways to ensure you are meeting your requirement of the ‘offering of meeting’ is to use meeting slots. Meeting slots are the online equivalent of the sign-up sheet  tutors use that specify when the tutor is free. Find out more about meeting slots here.
There is a series of webinars and workshops to support you with your use of ePortfolio. Find out more about these here.

ePortfolio April release

We have released the latest update to Newcastle University ePortfolio containing some fantastic new features. The development team at LTMS have worked tirelessly to produce a set of updates that will make ePortfolio an even more powerful tool. If you would like to see a demonstration of the ePortfolio, and the new updates, please contact Graeme Boxwell at graeme.boxwell@newcastle.ac.uk, or 0191 208 3903.

 

Below is a summary of these features.

1) Meetings

Meeting slots across a number of days

The last update to ePortfolio introduced meeting slots. These are the online equivalent of the sheet of paper on the tutor’s door where students sign up to a meeting. The online meeting slots allow a tutor to book out a time period and send an email link to some or all of the tutees. The tutee would follow the link and select a meeting. This would automatically create a meeting record in ePortfolio with the tutor and tutee as the only attendees, and the only people who can see this confidential record. Notes can then be added before and after the meeting.

With this latest update of ePortfolio, you can now set meeting slots across a number of days. These are drawn onto a calendar view as seen in the screenshot below. The slots function also provides a useful overview of the meetings before the final confirmation sends the email out to the tutees.

Meeting Slots

Summary of the meetings

We have changed the way the information about the meetings is displayed in the table when you select’My Meetings’. We have added the attendees to the meetings in this summary table.

meetingstable

 

Locking of meeting notes and notification email

Meeting notes will now be locked 24 hours after the creation, meaning that no edits can be made to a meeting note after this time period. Additional meeting notes can be added to the meeting record. This will help to ensure the integrity of the meeting record.

Meeting notes will be transferred to a notification email. This will help summarise all the meeting notes for tutors who are supporting many tutees. For example, a tutor meets with 40 tutees in a week. The tutees are asked to write up each meeting record in ePortfolio. For the tutor to check the accuracy of the meeting notes, they only have to check a weekly email that will summarise all the notes that have been added.

 

2) iCal integration

Meetings created in ePortfolio can by synched with your Outlook calendar using an iCal feed. This is a one-way push of information into an outlook calendar. Once the feed is set up, a new shared calendar will appear named portfolio.ncl.ac.uk. This will show any meetings created in ePortfolio, but you will not be able to add or amend any meetings in Outlook. If you do, these amendments will be overwritten on the next synch.

For more information on how to set up iCal integration, please click here.

 3) ePortfolio terminology and layout

The terminology and layout of ePortfolio has been reviewed and changes have been made to make the use of ePortfolio a more intuitive and consistent experience. Some of the icons on the front page have been moved into the main set of icons. The section titled, “Further Information” has been removed.

  • Outcome set / skill set

You will no longer see any reference to outcome set. These have all been changed to skill sets.

  • Communities

Some slight amendments. The general discussion element has been removed. The ability to look at how many members and posts are in each community will help ePortfolio users to evaluate the popularity of each community

  • CV

CV has changed to CV builder. This is not a CV, but a tool that will help you to collate all the information to help build your CV.

  • Action Plan

The Action Plan has been changed to a to-do list.

4) Change to the text editor – embedding video and audio

The text editor used throughout the ePortfolio has been updated. This will enable you to embed video or audio files from external sources such as soundcloud or youtube. You will also be able to embed video from the University streaming service NU Vision.

tinymceupdate

 

5) Maximum file size upload, and overall file quota

As an operational necessity due to the growing demands on ePortfolio, we have to put a maximum file upload and overall quota in place. These have been set at an individual upload maximum of 15MB, and an overall file quota of 150MB. When you are using 90% of your quota you will receive a warning to advise you of this. Go to the file store to remove items from your ePortfolio.

ePortfolio January Feature Release

The latest update of ePortfolio was released on the 8th of January. The release launched some really exciting and useful tools for staff and students to use within their portfolio. The new features launched were as follows:

DOWNLOAD THE EPORTFOLIO

Users of the ePortfolio system can now download various parts of their ePortfolio as a pdf, or as an editable document. You can download a tag filtered blog. For example, if I have 100 blog posts, and 30 of them are tagged with “Assignment”, I can choose that option from my tag cloud, and this will filter my blog to show only the posts that I have tagged with “Assignment”. Clicking the download link at this point will download those particular posts as either a .pdf or an editable rich text format document.

Contextual Help

We are always trying to improve the help and support available to users of the ePortfolio. Contextual help is the help pages that are available while completing a task in ePortfolio. For example, when you are adding a blog post, as well as the normal help pages, there is a link labelled “Help on Blog”. This will pop up a help box describing the blog, without leaving the page you were working on.

Student Timetable

Tutors are now able to view the students timetable within ePortfolio system. This will help tutors to arrange tutorial meetings at a convenient time to their tutees.

Senior Tutor View

As part of the Newcastle offer, Undergraduate students should have access to a personal tutor. The senior tutor view will allow Schools to ensure that personal tutoring is taking place in a consistent manner with all students.

PGR Admin View

This will provide School administrators with a tool to gain an overview of the Supervisory meetings taking place.

There will be another new feature release in April. More news about that to follow on this blog.

Postgrads: using your portfolio as evidence for annual progression

We have made enhancements to the ePortfolio and PGR eProgression sites to make it easier to use content from your portfolio as part of your Annual Progression.

These changes were introduced in response to recent feedback suggesting postgraduate students were finding it harder to link evidence from their portfolio (self-assessments & PDP, CV, previously uploaded files etc) since the major update of ePortfolio for 2012/13.

There was a short period this morning when the evidence section of eProgression was not available to students. See announcement and also the updated instructions. Thanks to the IT Service Desk team and Graduate Schools for their cooperation.

Students include a range of evidence submitted to their Progression Panels each year. The type of evidence varies according to school, stage and other factors. Typically it may include draft chapters, project plans and portfolio records of workshops attended. The portfolio includes a self assessment built around the Research Development Framework, which can be included as evidence of engagement with self development.

David Teasdale and James Outterside, developers in LTMS, have made the changes to better integrate portfolio and eProgression. Behind the scenes it is complicated and required migration of files and data. However, it is hopefully now much easier and includes fewer steps to include existing portfolio content as part of your evidence:
Attaching Portfolio content as Progression Evidence