Posted in Teaching and Learning, Techie stuff

Sharepoint update – almost ready to be the LMS

So, after a big effort over 2 terms we are nearly reading to roll out SharePoint sites for staff next year. The Student learning management system side still needs a few more tweaks as departments decide how they will be running certain tasks. For example, the English department needs to be able to track changes in documents to show that modifications have been made for some of their assessment pieces, and so a OneDrive or class/teacher dashboard system will probably work better than a SharePoint site. I am a massive advocate for task then tech, so we are still working our way through some of the finer points.

There has been a bit of tweaking around how we set up the sites – originally we were going to have 3 sites collections, Admin, Curriculum and Students

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However, even within the curriculum sharepoint sites this hasn’t quite worked. Why you ask? Because even within departments, no-one would decide on tags to use, or formats to use, or how to structure things. Which was frustrating to say the least…….

But also, it makes sense to have difference and diversity is important. After playing around with individual tags and permissions, it became easier to put most departments into a separate site collection each. They are still linked to the main curriculum page, but it has made it easier for each department to personalise their digital spaces to suit their needs.

Graeme in the Technology department went full steam ahead, and has a wide variety of resources

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The Science Department has also started to gather some momentum…

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And each of the images links into take you to different subsites or pages. We have also set up a page for our (incredibly patient) tech in the hope we will use the booking calendar and notice boards to track gear down for her next year.

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Kevin has been amazing getting his documents uploaded. The best thing about this is the way he has tagged them – he has both folder view where everything is in nice little folder that people feel safe with….

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And then a flat view where everything is mixed in together

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Which has been invaluable to me as I try to explain to people about tagging and moving away from folders.

Because I have been so busy helping everyone else, the chemistry site is currently very incomplete

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And I am having dramas about whether to embed office mix clips onto the sharepoint site, or just provide a link. Having them embedded means they play right from the site. They do take up a bit of room – so students would need to scroll through the list to find the ones they wanted.

If I provide a picture linked to the Mix, I can make better use of the analytics of who is watching and when etc. But it is more clicks….

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And other departments have made progress too – sharing documents, uploading pictures and videos and starting to use the documents more collaboratively. A ‘fun’ story from one department – everyone got set up with their class page and made an ‘Admin’ folder. NIGHTMARE as all of a sudden there were 6 admin folders. So it was a good chance to rationalise what needed to go where and think about file names and management.

So I am going to keep tinkering over the summer with the sites. We will have a period when we start back in Feb with some confusion over what goes where, but I am confident that by term 2 (a term later than originally planned, but oh well) we should be running fairly smoothly.

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