Thursday, July 10, 2014

Student printing upgrade: Monday 14th July

On Monday 14th July we will be doing a major upgrade on the pre-pay printing system which means you won't be able to print to Black&White_A4, Black&White_A4_A3 or Colour_A4_A3 university printers or use the photocopiers.

If you have an urgent need to print or copy on the day, please visit the Level 1 Information desk in the IC, or call our helpdesk on 0114 2221111.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

MOLE Downtime 5pm Fri 18 July - 9am Wed 23 July

We are currently undertaking the first part of the annual summer work on MOLE. 

  • The rollover is progressing as planned and is due to be completed by the end of Friday 18th.
  • The agreed downtime for the annual upgrade is from 5pm on Friday 18th until 9am Wednesday 23rd July.   

We still intend the 18-23 July downtime to occur, however we are now working towards using this period of time to move MOLE from servers based here at Sheffield to a managed hosting environment provided by Blackboard (the developer of the system MOLE runs on) that is based in Amsterdam. This will mean that MOLE will be running on an environment that has a greater support resource which should bring greater stability and increased performance for everyone using MOLE.

When MOLE becomes available again there will be no difference at all in how MOLE looks and works. We have decided not to upgrade to the latest version at this moment in time due to some issues which are yet to be resolved. As soon as this has been fixed, we can then consider how to approach an upgrade to the latest version. We hope to be able to do this sometime before the start of the next academic year and will be discussing with FDLTs, the MOLE governance group and others the best time to do this.  We’ll be updating you with schedules as soon as they become available. 

CiCS Presents TELFest 2014

The Learning Technologies team in CiCS are running a week long Technology Enhanced Learning Festival taking place 8-12 September in the Hicks Building. The festival has been designed to offer help, guidance and support to anyone at the University of Sheffield who wishes to develop their delivery of teaching during 2014-15. Whether you are new to using technology to enhance learning or have a great deal of experience, we have developed the festival to ensure that you walk away both inspired and equipped with the skills required to enhance your current practice.

Throughout the whole day we are running drop in sessions (G29/Hicks), where members of the learning technology team will be available to answer specific questions that you may have, no matter how basic or complex they seem. You can sign up and view the agenda now -

As well as this, we are running a variety of scheduled workshops, which will include:
  • Introduction to MOLE
  • Using Social Media to Enhance teaching and Learning
  • Mobile Learning
  • Online Assessment and Feedback
  • Multimedia to enhance learning and teaching
  • E-portfolios/PebblePad
  • Flipped Learning

And that's not all, during lunch you can participate in panel discussions and presentations from colleagues engaged with the use of technology to enhance learning in their practice.

Sign Up/View Agenda When 8-12th September 2014, 10am-4pm
Where Hicks G39A/G29/LT4
Cost All sessions are FREE!

Do I need to attend all week?
No just attend the sessions that interest you.
Do I need to sign up for scheduled workshops/training sessions/lunch? 
Yes, we recommend you do, to secure your place.
Do I need to sign up for drop in sessions? 
No, just turn up. If you have a very specific query, you can email the team: in advance, to ensure that we provide you with access to the most appropriate support.

For more information on TELfest 2014 email:

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Student Services: University tackles student email apathy

Student services have issued the following announcement:

From 1 August there will be a significant policy change in the moderation of emails sent through the MyAnnounce system that are targeted towards students.

The messages will be moderated by the Student Communications Team in line with a new student announce policy which has been designed to make these emails more relevant to students.

The development of the policy follows extensive research into the subject of email carried out with staff and students. The research revealed that students feel overwhelmed with what they consider “University spam”. As a result they often don’t read their messages, meaning that vital communications related to their studies or important University news are missed. This then impacts negatively upon their overall student experience and leads to email apathy.

To resolve the situation, the Student Communications Team has worked with colleagues across the University to create a new, comprehensive, student announce policy. This policy will come into force from 1 August and will mark a significant change in the way the University communicates with students. Messages sent through the system will need to be more targeted and relevant, while events and volunteering announcements will be published in a weekly digest.

Staff are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the policy which can be found at before 1 August and contact a member of the Student Communications Team if they have any questions or concerns.

A policy for staff announce emails will also be developed later in the year, led by the Internal Communications team.

Monday, July 7, 2014

National MATLAB Event Hosted in Sheffield 16th July

CiCS research support staff are pleased to announce that Mathworks Inc. will be presenting a nationally publicised MATLAB seminar at the University of Sheffield.

MATLAB is a highly popular scientific computing tool. The vast numerical capabilities provided in MATLAB combined with built in high quality graphical visualization and presentation features makes it an ideal platform to carry out research computing work with.

The wide range of subjects covered will include:
  • graphical visualization, 
  • parallel and GPU computing, 
  • Simulink 
  • Raspberry Pie support.

For further details and registration for this free event please follow the link below. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

MOLE to be hosted by Blackboard

We are pleased to announce that we are moving to a brand new service delivery model for MOLE. 

Rather than being hosted on our own servers at the University, MOLE will be hosted by its suppliers, Blackboard, on their servers in Amsterdam.

All content will be migrated across by CiCS working closely with Blackboard, and staff and students will notice no difference in the user interface.

One key difference however, is that in our new service model, Blackboard will provide 24/7 maintenance for the running of MOLE. This means that if their monitoring equipment detects poor performance or unusually high utilisation at any time of the day, they will immediately take action. They'll be able to allocate additional resource and expert troubleshooters with faster access to developers as required, aiming to provide uninterrupted service in Sheffield. We expect that this will avoid a repeat of the MOLE performance problems we experienced at the start of this academic year.

With this new service delivery model we are hopeful that MOLE will meet the needs of our academic colleagues and their students. The Learning Technologies team in CiCS will now be able to focus their efforts on supporting MOLE and helping staff and students to use the features of MOLE to produce innovative and engaging online content to provide our students with the best learning experience possible.

In all service provision, we are committed to ensuring your information and data is safe. With this in mind we have carefully assessed Blackboard's security and privacy and we are satisfied that the risks are no different hosting with Blackboard than they were hosting here in Sheffield.  

We'll provide more details, including timescales, in our next update. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Training Courses in June, July and August

Want to update your skills or learn something new over the summer? Training courses on offer from CiCS  are as follows:


Tuesday 3rd              10.00 - 11.50           Google Calendar Training
                                  14.00 - 15.30           Getting Started with Google Blogger

Wednesday 4th         13.30 - 17.00           uReports

Thursday 5th             10.00 - 11.30           Getting Started with your iPad
                                  13.00 - 17.00           uReports

Friday 6th                  10.00 - 12.00           Layouts and Templates Course
                                  12.00 - 14.00           MOLE Training (Building Content plus a Quiz)
                                  14.30 - 16.00           Introduction to PebblePad

Monday 9th               10.00 - 11.50           Staff Induction

Tuesday 10th             10.00 - 11.50           Introduction to Google Mail

Wednesday 11th         09.30 - 12.00          PebblePad Training
                                   12.00 - 13.00           MOLE on your mobile.

Thursday 12th            10.00 - 12.00           Introduction to CMS
                                   13.00 - 15.20           Google Sites Training

Friday 13th                  09.00 - 17.00          Google Analytics

Monday 16th               13.30 - 16.30          uReports

Tuesday 17th              13.00 - 16.30           uReports

Wednesday 18th         10.00 - 12.00           Layouts and Templates Course
                                    12.00 - 13.00          Assessment and marking on a mobile device
                                    14.00 - 15.30          Getting Started with Google Blogger

Tuesday 24th               09.30 - 11.50          Introduction to Google Sites

Wednesday 25th          12.00 - 13.00          Researching on your mobile device

Thursday 26th             10.00 - 12.00           Introduction to CMS
                                    13.30 - 16.30           Introduction to Excel 2010


Tuesday 1st                  10.00 - 11.50          An Introduction to Google Calendar
                                     14.00 - 16.00          Marking with Turnitin for iPad     

Wednesday 2nd            10.00 - 12.00         An Introduction to Turnitin
                                      12.00 - 13.00         Mobile Learning Lunchtime Sessions

Friday 4th                     10.00 - 12.00          An Introduction to Turnitin

Tuesday 8th                  10.00 - 11.50          An Introduction to Google Mail

Wednesday 9th             10.00 12.00             Marking and Feedback with Turnitin

Thursday 10th               10.00 - 12.00          Introduction to CMS
                                      13.30 - 15.20          Introduction to Google Sites

Friday 11th                    10.00 - 12.00         Marking and Feedback with Turnitin

Monday 14th                 10.00 - 11.50         Staff Induction

Tuesday 15th                 10.00 - 12.00         Getting to grips with templates and layouts

Wednesday 16th            10.00 - 12.00         Turnitin Peermark

Thursday 24th                09.30 - 11.50         Introduction to Google Sites

Thursday 31st                10.00 - 11.50         Staff Induction


Friday 1st                       10.00 - 11.50          Staff Induction

Tuesday 5th                   10.00 - 11.50          An Introduction to Google Calendar

Tuesday 26th                  09.30 - 11.50         Introduction to Google Sites

To book a place log in to the LMS with your University Username and Password. Click on the Search button to locate the course you want. If the session is full place your name on the Interest List.