Students Staff


August 2, 2021

[Service Alert] [Resolved] Issues with Panopto and Listen Again

Filed under: Elearning, Listen Again, [Resolved], [Service Alert] — Samantha Thornton @ 9:28 am

Resolved, 10:04am:

Panopto sign-in services are now available and we believe this issue is now resolved.

Staff and students will be able to sign into Panopto and watch recordings on Listen Again/Moodle.

We will continue to monitor the site. If you experience any further issues, please contact the IT Helpdesk.

Thank you for your patience during this time.

Investigating, 09:30am

We are aware of an issue with signing into Panopto ( to watch recordings.

During this time, staff and students will be unable to log into these services to watch recordings on Listen Again (, and Panopto pre-recordings on Moodle (

We are investigating the cause and will restore the service as soon as possible.

Sorry for any disruption this may be causing you.

We’ll update you here as soon as information is available.

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

July 8, 2021

[Service Alert] Pocket Essex unavailable

Filed under: Elearning, Pocket Essex app — John Maydew @ 2:13 pm

We are working with our supplier to perform critical maintenance on the Pocket Essex app, which will affect both Android and iOS users. During this period you may find that some parts of the app are unavailable, all information in Pocket Essex can be found online:

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

July 2, 2021

[Service Alert] Moodle upgrade 2021

Filed under: Elearning, Moodle, [Scheduled], [Service Alert] — Tags: , , , — John Maydew @ 10:37 am


  • 07:00 The Moodle update is now underway, you will experience some connection issues
  • 08:27 Upgrade is still progressing but taking longer than anticipated, thank you for your patience
  • 09:39 We’ve hit a few hurdles, but the upgrade is still progressing
  • 10:36 Upgrade is largely complete, Moodle and Open Essex will remain “At risk” throughout the day while we monitor the situation. We are still working on creating the 2020 Moodle archive
  • 12:15 2020 Moodle archive is now available
  • 15:00 All existing grid format courses are now set to “One section per page”
  • 15:15 Changes to student enrolments have been completed

Original message

Moodle will be unavailable from 7:00am on Tuesday, 13th July until no later than 5:00pm (GMT) while we upgrade to the latest version and perform essential system maintenance. Moodle will be “At risk” throughout the day, and we advise users to avoid any critical work in Moodle during this period.

The latest version of Moodle will include performance and security improvements, along with bug fixes and new features for Moodle and its core plugins. You can find full details in the release notes for Moodle 3.10 and 3.11.

We will also be creating the 2020/21 Moodle archive and removing the 2016/17 archive.

New plugins

This upgrade will include the following new plugins:

  • Download Essay Submissions (quiz_downloadsubmissions)
    • Allows teachers to bulk download essay answers from Moodle quizzes
  • Panopto filter (filter_panopto)
    • Paste a link in your course to a video in Panopto and Moodle will automatically convert it into an embedded video, without you having to worry about embed codes
  • Word count (atto_count)
    • See word counts in the Moodle text editor
  • Coderunner question type (qtype_coderunner)
    • Pose programming questions to students who respond with blocks of code, which can be automatically checked and graded
  • Academic week availability (availability_academicweek)
    • Restrict access to activities and sections based on the current academic week

Changes to student enrolments

We’re improving how students get added to Moodle courses, to make the process more accessible to staff and much more flexible. This will make it easier to set up courses for multiple modules, provide better control over when students gain and lose access to a course, and improved group synchronisation.

We’ve trialled this method with a few courses over the last six months, during this upgrade we’ll be migrating all taught courses (linked to at least one module) to use the new enrolment method. This process will happen automatically, and you shouldn’t need to do anything.

You can find more information on how to manage student enrolments in your courses here:

Changing how courses are displayed

We’ve noticed a number of problems with the “Grid” course format, specifically when configured to open sections in a pop-up window, rather than in a separate page.

This pop-up window does not follow web accessibility standards, and may be difficult to navigate for some users who make use of assistive technologies. In addition pop-up windows have been observed causing serious performance issues in large courses, and especially courses with lots of embedded videos.

During the upgrade we will be changing all courses using the “Grid” format to not use the pop-up window, and instead open each section in a separate page. This will be done automatically, and you won’t need to do anything.

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

May 17, 2021

[Service Alert] [Monitoring] Slow connection to FASER

Filed under: Elearning, FASER, [Resolved], [Service Alert] — Samantha Thornton @ 10:24 am

Users will experience slow connections to at the moment, which is caused by a high volume of users accessing the site. If you are having trouble accessing FASER, please try again after a couple of minutes.

An issue was identified and has been fixed. We are monitoring the situation.

Thank you for your patience while we dealt with this.

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

February 10, 2021

[Service Alert] Power cut on Colchester campus yesterday evening

There was a power outage at the Colchester campus yesterday which affected a significant number of our IT services. Power was restored at 22:38, however, some computers and other services may still be affected today, such as remoting into your computer on campus.

If you have any issues, please contact the IT Helpdesk, and will help you as soon as we can.

Details of the power cut can be found on the UK Power Networks site at

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


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