Students Staff
University of Essex

31 July 2012

A new look for OCS

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alex ONeill @ 3:40 pm

We are going to be reskinning OCS later in August.┬áDon’t worry, nothing will be changing apart from the look, everything will still be where you expect it to be! We’ll be using the template of the new Essex website so it is in keeping with the rest of the web presence.

We’ll also be announcing some changes we are planning on making to OCS over the summer soon afterwards – keep an eye out to see what changes are afoot!

16 July 2012

Moodle 2 is now live!

Filed under: Moodle,Moodle 2 upgrade — Marty Jacobs @ 8:00 am

The upgrade process was successful and Moodle 2 is now live!

If you have any problems with the new system, have a look on our FAQs page for some quick answers, drop into our live Moodle chat, or email us at

Happy Moodling!

13 July 2012

Moodle 2 Upgrade – Live Blog

Filed under: Information,Moodle,Moodle 2 upgrade,News,Newsletter,Tools — Tags: , , , , — Benjamin Steeples @ 7:00 am

As you probably know by now, we will be upgrading Moodle on Friday 13th July. Moodle will be unavailable over the weekend, and returned to service by 9am on Monday 16th July.

We aim to use this blog post as a means of keeping people up-to-date during this period. We’ll write brief notes as to how the upgrade process is going, and if we return Moodle to service earlier than expected we’ll announce it here.

So, watch this space. And keep an eye on the updates below.

Live upgrade

Friday 13th

09:02: Moodle is no longer available for today. We shall be starting the upgrade very shortly! Remember, if you have any problems, email us at

09:23: We’re currently in the process of backing everything up and taking disc snapshots so that we can recover if anything goes horribly wrong! (Friday 13th… we’re not superstitious…)

09:37: Just starting a small upgrade to make sure we have everything up-to-date before making the big upgrade to version 2

10:43: We’ve hit a bit of a snag with differing versions of servers which has slowed us up a bit, but we’re now looking at upgrading on a different platform now to get us back on track.

11:02: We’re now in the process of copying everything over to a brand new shiny server. This will take a couple of hours so we’ll update more after that!

13:07: Right, all files copied. We’ve now just got to press the Big Red Upgrade button!

14:44: We’re about half way through the upgrade now – things are going pretty smoothly so far (she says, reaching for some wood somewhere…)

15:29: The major part of the upgrade is now done! We still have another short upgrade to do, but it is looking good so far :D

15:46: Did you miss out on the “What’s new in Moodle 2?” training? We are running a few more courses in September, so sign yourself up if you get a bit lost on the new Moodle!

16:10: Another server copy is happening as we speak. Once that is done, we’ll be signing off for the day and back in tomorrow to get final tweaks done and do some testing!

Saturday 14th

09:35: We’re back this morning, and ready to roll. Doing some testing to start off the day.

11:15: Testing is going well, no major issues found yet! Doing some server tweaking to get it running really smoothly for you when we go live again.

13:30: We will be setting up an FAQ page for staff and students when we go live to answer some common queries you may have about the new Moodle. We’ll also be running a live chat first thing on Monday morning for any extra questions.

14:10: Just running some testing to do with getting users to be able to view the Moodle site, so you might have seen a “maintenance” message instead of being redirected to this blog. Will be switching back shortly :)

14:32: Right, we have done what we can for now, the site will be back up and running from 9am on Monday morning. We will also be running our live chat then and updating our FAQ page. See you all then!

9 July 2012

Moodle DNS change

Filed under: Information,Moodle,Newsletter — Benjamin Steeples @ 10:11 am

Tomorrow morning, during the Network at Risk period, we will be changing the IP address of the Moodle service. This should be completed by 9:00am.

This may lead to a slight disruption in service. Essex users are advised to restart their computer if they are experiencing problems. Users who are off-campus may take slightly longer to see the change, unfortunately this is outside our control.

Edit: This was completed successfully, and Moodle was transitioned to it’s new IP. This is a long overdue job, but will help us when we come to upgrade Moodle on the 13th July.

5 July 2012

Moodle 2 update #3

Filed under: Handy hint,Information,Moodle,Moodle 2 upgrade,News — Tags: , , — Benjamin Steeples @ 9:54 am

We are now just over a week away from the Moodle 2 upgrade day (13th July), and we’re still making progress. For the last two weeks we’ve been concentrating on Moodle add-ons, these are things that aren’t included in Moodle by default, but can be installed to add extra functionality. A lot of these add-ons are relatively simple to upgrade, but some are causing a few headaches, and others are no longer required. Below is a brief list of any add-ons that will change in the new version.

If a resource/activity is not listed below, it is included in Moodle by default and will continue to work. You will not need to make any changes.

Will continue to work in Moodle 2:

  • Book
  • Certificate
  • Dialogue
  • Lightbox Gallery
  • MapleTA
  • OH Placements
  • Online Users Map
  • Related Courses/Child Courses (see below)
  • Scientific Calculator
  • Side Bar/Block

Will change in Moodle 2, you may need to add this block back into your course:

  • The following will be merged into a single “Essex” block:
    • Download plugins (links to Acrobat Reader, Word Viewer, etc.)
    • Help links
    • My practice course
  • The following are now part of Moodle by default, and so may be renamed or included elsewhere:
    • My Courses
    • Site Navigation
  • Child Courses – is now part of ‘Related Courses’
  • Quickmail

Will be disabled in Moodle 2, but be re-enabled at a later date:

  • Group Select
  • Hotpot

Will be removed from Moodle 2:

  • Choice to Group
  • Dictionary (block)
  • Elluminate
  • Game
  • IA Menu
  • Slideshow
  • SLoodle

If we’re removing something that you’re still using, let us know!

Finally, we are thinking of starting the upgrade slightly earlier on Friday 13th. This would mean that Moodle is unavailable from approximately 3am that morning (3am on Friday 13th). Again, if this causes any problems, please let us know.