A new way to access TurnItIn

After almost a year’s development, we now have an alternative way to submit coursework files to the TurnItIn UK plagiarism checking service.  Learn has a new TurnItIn Assignment activity in which:

  • Students  submit their coursework by uploading to a TurnItIn Assignment activity
  • Learn stores a local copy and also automatically sends a copy for checking to TurnItIn
  • The tutor can mark the submissions manually or use the online GradeMark tool at TurnItIn
  • The Originality Report scores and marks are returned to Learn
  • The Originality reports can be viewed from Learn, and
  • Tutors may opt to allow students to see the Originality Reports after the work has been marked

The underlying service is the same as before, but the new TurnItIn Assignment activity is an improvement because it:

  • Can be used by any tutor with a module on Learn (no registration necessary)
  • Means less administrative work for the tutor
  • Gives the student a digital receipt for their submission, and
  • Allows for anonymous online marking

A new flyer describing the service will be circulated to departments later this month, or can be downloaded from here.

Cloning modules on Learn

Image of two sheep of the same breed as Dolly

Copyright ShellieAnne - used under CC attribution/ non-commercial / no derivatives

When updating your Learn modules, has the following thought occurred to you:

I need to find a way of somehow cloning my Learn sites ABC101 and ABC102 since they are basically the same course, bar the assessment.  

That’s exactly the query that came through to learn@lboro yesterday. Here’s the response from the Learn team:

What we can do is create a parent module that has ABC101 and ABC102 as child modules. 
We’d create the new module on Learn and call it something like:


The content that should be shared across the two modules will go in the new META module, while the assessments should sit in the respective child modules.  
We can create this new module and clone all of the content from ABC101 into the new META module then delete the content from ABC101.
The students will have an extra module in their module list so you should advise them to use the META module for
resource and communication and then the other child modules for assessment hand-ins.
  If you’re faced with a similar situation, and it sounds as if this approach would work for you, get in touch with learn [at] lboro.ac.uk .

Making History at Loughborough

Screenshot of new Make History authoring toolWorking with Professor Chris Szejnmann, Head of History, as part of his Teaching Innovation Award, we’ve developed a new e-learning authoring tool called Make History which enables Chris and his colleagues easily to create Flash-based historical timelines without the need for any technical skills. Each timeline is exported by the tool to a single *.zip file which can be uploaded to Learn.

There are a number of free timeline authoring tools available on the Web but the Loughborough tool scores in terms of its suitability for HE.

Make History still needs further development work to fulfil its potential but it is already sufficiently functional to be usable by academic colleagues in History or indeed in other disciplines where it is useful to illustrate the development of theories etc through a scrolling timeline.

Once you’ve set the start and end dates for your timeline, you can add an introduction, colour-coded themes and events, and each event can have an image or short audio clip associated with it.

If you’d like to try it out, get in touch via c.f.g.shields [at] lboro.ac.uk .

Countdown to Rollover!

No, nothing to do with the National Lottery and mega jackpots – just a final reminder that the annual ‘rollover’ of Learn from one academic year to the next takes place on Monday 19th – Tuesday 20th July, during which time Learn will not be accessible.

If you haven’t done so already, please notify us as soon as possible via learn@lboro.ac.uk of any:

– module code changes;

– modules which need to be kept active;

– any other concerns you may have.


Learn Rollover

On the 19th and 20th of July, Learn will be “rolled over” to the new academic year. On these 2 days, Learn will not be accessible to staff and students. The dates were chosen on the basis of feedback from departments in order to minimise disruption. Most of you will not notice the rollover – your module pages and resources will look/remain the same.

During the rollover, modules from the current academic year on Learn will be archived and will no longer be editable by staff. However, staff and students will still be able to view past module resources on Learn.

When this year’s module resources go into the archive, only students and staff who were registered on the module will be able to access them. Students taking the new 2010/11 version of a module will be unable to access the 2009/10 version of that module (unless they were registered on that module last year).

We will transfer all your module material to the 2010/11 modules on Learn, and as of the 21st of July you will be able to edit materials for the 2010/11 academic year. If you have activities in your module they will be copied across too. When new students are registered to your module they will be automatically added to your activities. The exception will be any activities you have created using groups. New students will need to be allocated into your pre-existing groups as you see fit.

The MyModules page will contain a link to the 2009-10 edition of Learn so that everyone can consult their modules from last session.

Students will be able to log in and view their upcoming module material, as well as getting access to module results and details of any forthcoming exams (resits during the Special Assessment period). They will still be able to access this year’s module material in preparation for the Special Assessment period.

Please notify us via learn [at] lboro.ac.uk of any:

– module code changes

– modules which need to be kept active

TxT ur DL stdnts!

Screenshot of MoodleText block in Learn

(Translation: why not consider sending a mobile phone text message to your Distance Learning students?)

As part of the current Distance Learning Fund programme, we now have an institutional licence for the TxTtools service and their MoodleTxT ‘plug-in’ which allows text (SMS) messages to be composed and sent to students from within Learn module pages.

The service has already been sucessfully piloted in modules in PHIR and Aero / Auto.

If you’d like to know more, or to see a demonstration, send me an e-mail at c.f.g.shields [at] lboro.ac.uk . Priority will be given to uses in support of DL students but we’ll given serious consideration to any other requests too.

Learn Rollover Dates – Take 2

As posted previously:

We now have 2 proposed sets of dates for the Learn ‘rollover’ from 09/10 to 10/11. These are:-

 Monday 19th/Tuesday 20th July

Monday 9th/Tuesday 10th August

If either period is likely to cause you / your department a problem, or if you have any other concerns, could you please let us know via learn [at] lboro.ac.uk  before May 28th.

New Learn plug-in for TurnItIn access

The good news is that Learn now has a new Activity type, a TurnItIn Assignment.
Unlike previous connections with the plagiarism detection service, this one has the students doing the submitting.  Staff no longer need to be individually registered for the service – Learn is registered instead.


  • A scaleable service, because individuals are no longer manually registered
  • Students get an emailed receipt for their submission
  • Slicker interface
  • Students can be allowed to see the Originality Report
  • Anonymous marking (if required) can be turned on from within Learn 
  • (optional) use of GradeMark online marking tools, in which case… 
  • Marks are fed back into the Learn module’s Activity Results


  • Needs a live internet connection
  • Scaling up usage increases training requirements

The bad news is that, at least in the current version, the activity does not have the usual weekly backup facility. 
This means that, for this term at least, it should not be used for summative assessments.

If you would like to use the new system, please contact Bryan Dawson (x226037, library e-Learning office) for details.
Documentation on the new system is available from the Staff Room on Learn.

Existing TurnItIn users may continue to use the current batch upload system: the new plug-in is an additional service, not a replacement service.

Learn Rollover Dates

We now have 2 proposed sets of dates for the Learn ‘rollover’ from 09/10 to 10/11. These are:-

 Monday 19th/Tuesday 20th July

Monday 9th/Tuesday 10th August

If either period is likely to cause you / your department a problem, could you please let us know via learn [at] lboro.ac.uk .

Learn – have your say

Following on from Rich Goodman’s post last month regarding the Learn suggestion system, I thought I’d post a quick reminder to colleagues to keep visiting the pages to see what’s new.  There are now around 30 suggested Screenshot of Learn suggestion systemenhancements to vote / comment on so please do log in and have your say on proposed changes.

As Rich indicated previously, the purpose of the pages is not just to capture ideas for possible enhancements but to establish whether there is consensus that the changes would be desirable. Some changes may be beneficial for certain academics / modules / cohorts / scenarios but in fact detrimental to others.

Loughborough colleagues can access the system at http://learn.lboro.ac.uk/suggest/submit.php .