Students Staff


July 5, 2017

[Resolved] Issues with logging into ORB

Filed under: Elearning, [Resolved], [Service Alert] — Samantha Thornton @ 1:14 pm

5th July 14:23pm

ORB is now back up and running

5th July 13:14pm

It’s been reported that users are experiencing issues with logging into

We are currently looking into a resolution for the issue, we will send an update once this has been resolved.

Apologies for the inconvenience.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

July 4, 2017

Moodle 3.3 Upgrade

Filed under: Elearning, Moodle, [Resolved], [Scheduled], [Service Alert] — John Maydew @ 4:36 pm

Still ending up here?

If you’re still ending up here when you try to get to Moodle, MoodleX, or the Moodle Archive you’ll need to reset your browser cache.


2017-07-18 13:38: We are now verifying that the update to Moodle and MoodleX hasn’t had any adverse effects.

2017-07-18 16:33: Moodle has been made available again, however due to a misconfiguration you may be required to reset your browser cache to prevent being redirected back to this post.

2017-07-18 16:42: MoodleX is now available again.

2017-07-19 11:33: We are aware of an issue where users are being frequently timed out of their session and are currently looking into solutions

2017-07-19 13:18: We are confident that the frequent timeout issue has been resolved.

2017-07-19 15:04: Issues preventing users from logging in to MoodleX via Moodle should now be fixed.

2017-07-26 16:47: Moodle and MoodleX  are no longer considered At Risk. If you experience any issues you should continue to e-mail for support

What’s happening?

Moodle will be unavailable from 9:00am Tuesday 18th July while we upgrade to Moodle 3.3+ and perform maintenance on the servers. This upgrade will affect the following Moodle sites:

  • Moodle (
  • MoodleX (
  • Moodle Archive (

We expect that the upgrade will be completed before 5:00pm Wednesday 19th July. Because the upgrade will affect how these services run, they will be considered at risk until Sunday 23rd July when we can be certain that the upgrade has been successful.

What can I expect?

Moodle 3.3+ includes a tweaked interface with new icons, a new course overview for students, an improved video player and lots of other features, alongside the usual bug fixes and security patches.

We’re also making some major changes to how Moodle will work behind-the-scenes, which should enhance Moodle’s performance and improve our ability to respond to increased usage and demand of the service.


Follow this post for more information as the update progresses.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

June 26, 2017

How Lynda helped Mandi Maripise get a Frontrunner role

Filed under: Elearning, IT Training, Lynda — sgswaine @ 10:01 am

JobReadyHeadshot_Mandi_1_Cropped-WebMandi Maripise is a Philosophy, Politics and Economics student and, until recently, a Digital Revolution frontrunner for IT Services.

We talked to Mandi to find out how she used Lynda to enhance her CV in preparation for the Frontrunner role; and also how videos like Design thinking: Lead Change in Your Organisation, which talks about mapping customer journeys and user-centered problem solving, helped during her placement.

The Lynda Team
IT Services

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

June 5, 2017

Find out how our students are using Lynda to get job ready

Filed under: Elearning, IT Training, Lynda — Tags: , , — Alyson Wilson @ 3:25 pm












We spoke to three students to find out how Lynda has helped them prepare for postgraduate study, secure a UROP placement and land a frontrunner role.

In our new video series, Drew, Mandi and Ivana talk about how Lynda has helped them gain confidence, knowledge and skills by watching Lynda courses like Human Design Thinking, 3D Printing, HTML and financial markets.

If you’re preparing for a new job, why not check out our JobReady playlist in Lynda. 

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

May 19, 2017

Improvements to FASER

Filed under: Elearning, FASER, News — Benjamin Steeples @ 3:12 pm

FASER originally started life as a project in Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE). When it was adopted by IT Services in 2005/6, FASER had roughly 5,000 submissions per academic year.
Since then the number of students has increased, but behind the scenes FASER has remained largely unchanged. 2015/16 saw nearly 150,000 student submissions in addition to 120,000 items of feedback, that’s over 50x the number of items FASER was initially designed for. Despite a partial rewrite of FASER in 2011 its performance has not scaled as well as we’d hoped, and last year it was clear that more drastic action was needed.

Over the last year we’ve been working hard on a new and improved version of FASER, developed in response to feedback from staff and students. The main goal of this new version has been to change the underlying infrastructure, paving the way for future enhancements and providing a modest performance and usability improvement. Other improvements include:

  • Implementing Single-Sign-On (SSO) to reduce the number of login prompts.
  • Ensuring FASER only reloads parts of the page that have changed, rather than reloading the entire page every time. We have combined this with additional caching of information and some database changes to ensure that pages and information loads faster than before.
  • Adding calls to action to FASER. These guide staff to common outstanding tasks relating to an assignment, and reduce the number of clicks and page loads required to achieve that task.
  • Rewriting the majority of FASER to take advantage of MVC software design. This allows us to separate the code responsible for the appearance, logic, and underlying data of FASER, and enables us to make changes to the service in a quicker and more responsive manner.
  • Finally, we have taken the opportunity to fix a lot of minor annoyances and bugs in FASER.

These are major changes to FASER, and things are still a little rough around the edges. To help us refine these improvements we have invited nearly 100 members of the University to trial this new version. With their help we hope to release this new version to all staff and students for the start of the 2017/18 academic year.







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