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eLearning News
Updates, announcements, and other items of interest from eLearning, Teaching and Learning Facilities (ITS).

TurnItIn Now Available

The University of Otago now subscribes to the anti-plagiarism service TurnItIn. TurnItIn are global leaders in helping students and teaching staff improve their writing and detecting dishonest academic practice.

TurnItIn is fully integrated into Blackboard and Instructors can now create TurnItIn assignments that will allow students to submit documents to create an Similarity Report on their work. This report can also be made available to students to help them craft their writing and learn how best to cite resources and quote sources.

TurnItIn is intended to be a replacement for SafeAssign which has, in recent months, shown to no longer be a tool of sufficient quality to fulfill the needs of the University.

TurnItIn is easy to use and full-featured. To help staff become familiar with the service IT Training will be providing courses that cover the key parts of the software and how to use it. eLearning has also developed a series of self-help pages that can be accessed here:

Integration of TurnItin with Moodle is expected soon once the service has been fully tested by the departments providing the service.

TurnItIn does not currently have the same Direct Submit feature like SafeAssign does. ITS are working on a solution to allow similar functionality but a timeframe for availability is unknown.

Blogs & Podcasts Update

Blogs & Podcasts will be updated on Thursday 28th June 9am – 12pm. This update includes improvements to several plugins and the core system. We are also removing some plugins that have become either insecure, defunct or they are no longer being used.

  • Plugins being removed:
    • Commentator Data
    • Simply Poll
    • Kimli Flash Player
    • SI CAPTCHA Anti Spam
    • WordTwit
    • WP Youtube Lyte
  • New Plugins added:
    • WP to Twitter
  • New features
    • Youtube embedding directly into a post or page
    • Privacy page

Youtube embedding

Now you can copy the embed code from Youtube and paste it directly into a new Blog Post, Otago Blogs will automatically embed it for you.

Privacy page

To comply with the EU’s GDPR you can now create a privacy page for your Blog or Podcast site.  This can be automatically created as a page in your menu.

Blackboard Update 2018

In late November 2018, Blackboard will be updated to a new version. This will result in an outage of Blackboard for approximately 3 days.  This update is still being worked on but some of the new features included are:

  • Assignment Submission Receipt email: Student will receive an email with a receipt of their assignment submission.
  • Security improvements and Bug fixes.

We’ll have more information about the Blackboard update later in the year.