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OCS Issues Ben Steeples Learning Technology Team Web Support Unit.

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1 OCS Issues Ben Steeples Learning Technology Team Web Support Unit

2 Learning Technology Team  Based within Web Support Unit (ISS)  Est. April 2007  Three Learning Technologists  Working closely with to Web Support Officers  Working closely with Learning and Teaching Unit  Looking after the technical aspects of e-learning  CMR, OCS, WebCT, Moodle, Perception, PRS, …  Promoting good practice  As today! 

3 Overview  Issues  OCS Problems  OCS Outages  Best Practice  Please could you keep any questions until the end

4 Issue: Office 2007  Unable to watermark Word 2007.docx documents  Fixed  OCS now watermarks these  Staff unable to open Word 2007.docx documents  Fixed  Older versions of Office now have Compatibility Pack  If you don’t have this yet, contact your Computer Officer or the Help Desk

5 Issue: Watermarking  Watermarking taking a long time  Up to ~45 minutes at peak times (often much less)  Students occasionally unable to watermark at all  Caused by other students submitting incorrect files  Password protected, corrupted, non-standard, ….  Watermarking not accurately representing document  Caused by non-standard formatting  Fonts, margins, tables, …  The content of the document is unaffected  Uploaded Word file should have original format  We are investigating ways to resolve these

6 Issue: Miscellaneous Issues  OCS has been available nearly all of the time  When it is out of action, it is almost always beyond our control  Off-campus connectivity, power-cuts, …  Staff who are studying are unable to administer OCS  Designed to prevent staff from seeing classmates coursework  Students treating upload/watermark as acceptance  Students upload corrupted file, think department can open it  Wording on OCS is set to change

7 OCS Problems: What we will do  Assist students with problems  Computing Services Help Desk can help with most enquiries  LTT (and WSU) can help with more difficult problems  Inform department about students problems  We will email DA and Lecturer (if known)  We will give our opinion on what happened, and whether further action needs to be taken  Check OCS in detail if a student has a dispute  We can pull more information out of OCS  We can give a fairly good idea if the dispute is genuine  We’re not a substitute to plagiarism detection

8 OCS Problems: What you can do  Act as a buffer to student enquiries  You already do a great job!  DA > Help Desk > LTT (WSU)  Check OCS  Upload a dummy file to OCS111 and see if it works   Check ISS status messages  ISS publishes expected (and unexpected) service adjustments:    There are also mailing lists available (cs-announce, cs-status)

9 OCS Outages  If OCS has a major problem  Unusable for more than 30mins, or  Unusable within 10mins of a deadline  We will  Email you (DA’s) informing you of the service outage  Keep you informed of progress  Assist you as much as we can with alternate methods of submission  We recommend you  Consider accepting late submissions (or extending the deadline)  Consider falling-back to traditional submission methods  Ask students to submit printed work to office  Very unlikely that you’d ever need to go this far

10 Best Practice: for students  Uploading takes time, Watermarking takes time  Don’t leave it until 5 minutes before the submission deadline  Read the assignment instructions, read OCS instructions  They are there for a reason  Check your document before submitting  Don’t accidentally submit a password protected file, temporary file, or other unsuitable file, to OCS  OCS111 is not a real course  Your department will not receive the work. Seriously!

11 Best Practice: for staff  Assignments for wrong academic year  Assignment year is the academic year, not calendar year  Check email address when creating assignment  Should be ‘ben’, not ‘’  Set deadlines within office hours  LTT can only provide support 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri  Be aware of what other departments are doing  Some students take modules from two (or more) departments  Consistency would be nice (but not essential)  Share good practice with your peers

12 Summary  OCS has had some very minor problems  These are being addressed  Hopefully you now all know what to expect  Who’ll do what, if OCS has a problem  What you might have to do if it all goes wrong  We’re promoting best practice  To make things more standardised for students  To streamline our support for OCS  LTT running a Learning and Teaching Series workshop  4 th March  See for details

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