Students Staff
University of Essex

9 October 2012

We’ve made some changes to OCS

Filed under: News,OCS — Alex ONeill @ 10:24 am

Our developers have been busy beavering away over the summer to make some changes to OCS that were requested by students and staff of the University. We haven’t been able to do everything you asked, but there’s lots of new bits in there! See a summary of the main changes below:


  1. It looks different – we’ve made OCS fit in with the style of the main website, so it looks a bit different now!
  2. The assignment details have been split up – where the students can see their assignment details, upload files and receive feedback has now changed and has been split into 3 tabs. This is just to make it a bit easier to read and work with.
  3. Final submission and draft files have been split up - to make it more obvious to students what is being submitted and what isn’t.
  4. Students can no longer delete files – this is to reduce the number of accidental deletions by students just before the deadline. They can move files into the draft box if they don’t want to submit them.
  5. Watermarking now happens automatically – students no longer need to specifically click on the watermarking button: if an assignment requires documents to be watermarked, this will happen automatically and all the student has to do is wait to download it.
  6. Student Support assignment cover sheets are now available through OCS – previously, students had to go to the Student Support office to collect their assignment cover sheets and get them stamped  if they were eligible to attach them to an assignment. These are now available to download directly in OCS.


  1. It looks different – we’ve done the same on the staff side as on the student side, so it looks like the main website now.
  2. You can filter and search for modules / assignments – when you click on each tab, you now get the option to filter modules and assignments so you only see the ones you want.
  3. The assignment listing has been updated – it now shows both deadlines and whether feedback is showing or hidden.
  4. Each assignment has a summary of submissions – on the overview page, you can now see total number of submissions split by when it was submitted and whether it is hidden.
  5. The number of tabs has increased – well, it hasn’t really, it’s just everything is easier to get to now as all the tabs are available on one screen. You can now get to the submissions, downloads, activity reports and feedback all in one click.
  6. The activity report now has more filter options – which will make it easy for you to run reports on submitting / non-submitting students, late submissions and extensions.

We’ve also done lots of other minor tweaks, updates and bug fixes to make everything run a little bit smoother!

These changes are now available for you to have a look at, play with and feedback your thoughts to us. Simply go to and you can use the new pages for your work, alongside the current system. We will launch the new pages at the start of week 4 (Tuesday 23rd October), but until then you have time to get used to them!

Launch date: start of week 4 (Tuesday 23rd October)

Download summary of changes

Click on the links below for a concise and distributable version of the changes detailed above in a PDF document:

2 October 2012

Moodle has got quicker!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alex ONeill @ 2:08 pm

After beavering away this morning at getting an important update installed, we’ve now improved Moodle so that it is running quicker than before. We hope you notice the difference… we certainly have so far! We’re still working closely with Moodle HQ however to make it even better for you, but in the meantime the system should be back to a good operating speed.

Something to note

One of the issues we were having was with users trying to edit courses using the Internet Explorer web browser. We have now implemented a change so that some of the new snazzy features (like drag and drop file uploading and the activity chooser) ARE NOT available in Internet Explorer, although it should be fairly familiar as it still works in a very similar way to the old Moodle. If you would like to use these new features, you can still do so by using another web browser – we’ve found Google Chrome to be the best. Try downloading Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox if you want to make the most of Moodle.

While you’re looking at your Moodle courses for the start of term, you might be interested in a bunch of training sessions coming up this term, for new and experienced users alike. Why not take a look at how to use Conditional Activities or try our Intelligent Course Design session to make your Moodle courses really usable for your students?

If you still notice problems or issues with the new Moodle, do give us a yell at or by ringing (01206 87) 3659.