Moodle Environment Overview

The Moodle summer upgrade will take place on the 13th of July 2020. The Moodle 2019/20 Snapshot will be available no later than the 15th July 2020. The new 19/20 Snapshot will remain read/write until the 30th November 2020 for the reasons detailed below.

End of Year Moodle Processes

It is standard practice that end of year Moodle processes undertaken by course teams (e.g. course resets, new course creations, examination board reviews) begin to occur after the Moodle upgrade date. This is because the upgrade date is also when the yearly Moodle Snapshot is taken to capture a point in time copy of the previous year’s courses. The departmental teams can then be confident to work on these processes without any data loss as per our normal guidance https://wiki.ucl.ac.uk/x/bR88AQ.

Moodle Use and Late Summer Assessments

To facilitate the changing combination of required end of year tasks in combination with the late summer assessments, we request that all late summer assessments take place within the 19/20 Moodle Snapshot that will be created on the 13th of July 2020. Please note: The 19/20 snapshot should only be used for Late Summer Assessments and all other work follows normal process. For example, if you run a Masters Dissertation Module every year this does not fall under this category and you should carry on with your existing process by using live Moodle 20-21 for your students submissions

The reason why we are asking that you follow this guidance is as follows:

What are we doing to facilitate this change?

How can you prepare for Late Summer Assessments?

If you wish to prepare in advance courses that will have late summer assessments requirements, we recommend the following:

Details on how to create and hide sections within Moodle can be found in the following miniguide: https://wiki.ucl.ac.uk/x/RgxiAQ

For any questions regarding Moodle and Late Summer Assessments, please email digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk.

Timeline for Dates

Late Summer exam period will be TBC. Moodle Snapshot will become read-only on the 30th November 2020.
If you have any assessments after this period - October onwards, these should follow normal processes and must run on live Moodle.

FAQs

This year 19/20 sees a significant increase and change in practice to the late summer assessments process (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/academic-manual/recent-changes/late-summer-assessments-2019-20). To facilitate the changing combination of required end of year tasks in combination with the late summer assessments, we now request that all late summer assessments take place within the 19/20 Moodle Snapshot that will be created on the 13th of July 2020.

The reason why we are asking that you follow this guidance is as follows:

  • All associated course content and student/cohort data will remain consistent and associated with the correct Moodle snapshot in this case 19/20.
  • Completing late summer assessment within the 19/20 Snapshot allows all the “live” Moodle courses to be reset and normal end of year course activities to take place from the 15th July, so course teams can begin immediately on 20/21 courses.
  • Additional Moodle course creation is kept to a minimum within the live Moodle instance, and aids in Moodle housekeeping activities (reducing dead/unwanted courses, improving long term database performance).

No, this change is ONLY for late summer assessments (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/academic-manual/recent-changes/late-summer-assessments-2019-20). This change does not apply to any modules which have always run over the summer or any postgraduate modules which finish later on in the year. For these modules please follow your normal processes. Moodle Snapshot is unable to cope with all these courses and therefore can only run LSA.

The snapshot (previously known as the Archive) is a 'point-in-time' copy of UCL Moodle (http://moodle.ucl.ac.uk) taken for reference purposes. All records present on this date will be included in the snapshot. This includes, but is not limited to, course content, i.e. resources and activities, and stored records, i.e. forum posts, assignments, and grades. Modifications are made to ensure staff and students are moved into read-only roles. If the Late Summer Assessments does not apply to you course, students can view content but not take part in any two-way activities (quizzes, forums, assignments etc). While this retains most of their respective functionality, it prohibits further editing or changes to course content, grades and enrolments. The purpose is to retain an accessible digital record of each course for students and staff. Courses will be kept in the archive for up to five years.


No, this change does not affect you and you can follow your usual processes unless your PGT Module is running a late summer assessment and would normally finish before July.

If this is the case please send an email to digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk closer to the time and we will accommodate your needs.

We will be creating signage on the front page of Moodle as well as directing students from Moodle to the Snapshot to take any Late Summer Assessments. You can either add a notice on your course if you like on the live Moodle once we upgrade or hide your course to avoid confusion. See below the steps we plan to take:
  • Digital Education will retain the current two Moodle selection/landing screen however, it will be re-purposed to direct students to the Snapshot Moodle for late summer assessments.
  • Digital Education will create a global banner within “live” Moodle directing students to the Snapshot for the duration of the late summer assessment period.
  • Digital Education will place other redirection adverts/links within “live” Moodle to highlight to students that late summer assessment activities can be found within the 19/20 Snapshot.

You do not need to wait until the snapshot is taken and can prepare your assessments earlier. Within your course where late summer assessments will be taking place, create a hidden section and place any material or submission points within that section. This can be done in the current “live” Moodle up until the 10th July 2020.

When you are ready to make late summer assessment material/submission points available simply unhide the section within the course on the 19/20 Snapshot.

Details on how to create and hide sections within Moodle can be found in the following UCL Moodle Guides: M01 - Moodle course structure#Moodlecoursestructure-Hidesectionsonmycourse

If your assessment is due on the 13th July you may have extension requests or extenuating circumstances, which mean your students will need to submit their assignment somewhere. In this case, we advise that you do this on live Moodle and grade/provide feedback on live Moodle.

The changes are only being made to Late summer assessments modules. For example, if your assignment finishes at the end of June 2020 and you have all your submissions submitted and ready to grade. You can either choose to grade your students on live Moodle OR the 19/20 Moodle Snapshot. This is entirely up to you and you can follow your old process if this is easier.

The new 19/20 Snapshot will remain read/write editable until the 30th November 2020. Changes made on the new 19/20 Snapshot will need to be made before this date.

If you are anticipating your marking will not be completed before 30th November 2020, we would suggest duplicating your course on live Moodle and rename this course to (for example) ‘Course name 1920 Dissertations'. By doing this, you will not have to remove the dissertation students and they will be captured in 2021 Moodle snapshot as a separate course.

If you have any assessments after this period - October on wards, please continue to use live Moodle following normal processes, as Snapshot cannot be kept open after 30th November 2020.

You do not need to wait until the snapshot is taken and can prepare your course materials earlier. To do this create a hidden section and place any material or submission points within that section. This can be done in the current “live” Moodle up until the 10th July 2020. Alternatively, it can be done within the 19/20 Snapshot.

When you are ready to make course material/submission points available simply unhide the section within the course on the 19/20 Snapshot.

Details on how to create and hide sections within Moodle can be found in the following UCL Moodle Guides: UCL Moodle Guides: M01 - Moodle course structure#Moodlecoursestructure-Hidesectionsonmycourse

Moodle is unavailable from 19:00, Monday 13th July23:00 Monday 13th July. We strongly advise that you avoid this period for any specific Moodle activities such as submissions deadlines or time bound Moodle activities.