ASR Captions Now Enabled by Default for Panopto Recordings

Prior to Oct 9, automatic speech recognition captioning was available for Panopto videos, but video creators had to manually request it on a video-by-video basis. From now on, ASR captions will be automatically added to all uncaptioned videos created in or uploaded to Panopto.

Creators can remove ASR captions from a video by clicking Settings > Captions and choosing Delete Captions or edit captions in the video editor. See Panopto’s documentation on ASR Captions.

Viewers can hide closed captions on any video by clicking the CC button at the bottom of the viewing window.

Please note that unedited ASR captions may fall short of the 99% accuracy required for ADA compliance. See Captioning for more information.

If you have any questions, please contact the Help Desk at 610-526-7440 or help@brynmawr.edu.

Assignment conversion to PDF in Moodle disabled at 9pm on Oct 7

LITS has been trying to diagnosis and fix the problem causing Moodle to crash intermittently. Our research and testing has identified the PDF converter, which converts Assignments submitted in file formats other than PDF (e.g. Word docs, JPGs, etc.) to PDF so that they can be annotated within Moodle, as a likely contributor.

We disabled this feature as an emergency measure at 9 pm on Wednesday. We will need to leave it off for several days to determine the effects and may need to disable it permanently if we confirm that it was contributing to Moodle’s instability.

While Assignment conversion to PDF is disabled:

If you have any questions, please contact the Help Desk at help@brynmawr.edu or 610-526-7440.

New Zoom Feature: Ability to Add Language Interpreters

Zoom has recently added an option for language interpretation to Meetings and Webinars. Hosts can now designate participants as interpreters, who will provide translation through additional audio channels. If interpreters are added to a meeting or webinar, participants can then choose which audio channel they wish to hear. (Please note that Zoom does not provide translators, only the functionality that a translators need to provide audio in the alternative languages.)

Zoom Cloud Recording Processing Delays

Zoom is reporting cloud recording processing delays.

Processing time, or the delay between when a meeting ends and when it is available online for viewing, is directly related to the length of the video and the number of video and audio streams it contains. (Video increases recording size/processing time more than audio.) Processing times of 1-2 hours per hour of video are normal; however, delays of up to 72 hours have been reported in some cases.

Zoom is working on a fix; in the meantime, if immediate access to a recording is required they recommend recording locally to a computer. You can upload locally recorded videos to Panopto to share them; upload processing time is always dependent on the length of the recording, file size and your Internet connection, but Panopto is not reporting system-wide delays at present.

Contact the Help Desk with questions: help@brynmawr.edu or 610-526-7440.

Zoom Security Change on September 27

Starting September 27, Zoom will turn on the Waiting Room for any meeting that does have it enabled or require a Passcode. Both are common security settings that help a host control who enters a Zoom meeting and help prevent “Zoombombing.”

This change will only affect you if you host Zoom meetings and have turned off the Waiting Room. If you don’t want Zoom to add the Waiting Room to you meetings, be sure you are requiring a Passcode for them instead. See Zoom’s FAQ for more information.

Guest Access Turned Off in Academic Moodle Courses Sept 9

Since the period for adjusting registration ended, on Wed evening (Sept 9), LITS ran a site-wide process to turn off guest access for academic Moodle course sites.

  • This may not have overridden guest access settings that teachers locally enabled — please double-check the guest access settings for your courses and alter them if needed.
  • A few side effects have been reported:
    • Course name changes – the process reset the course full names back to what was initially created by Bionic. There was no way to prevent this, but they can be changed back.
    • Course section names changing – in a few cases in which the name of a section within a course was reset to the default. This was not expected, but the names can be manually changed back.
    • Duplicate and “zombie” Announcement forums – the Moodle developers really like the Announcement forum. Duplicates were created when we ran the enable/disable guest access processes and they are also often created when you copy content between courses. You can always delete these duplicates, but Moodle requires at least one Announcements forum per course. If you don’t want to use the Announcements forum at all, hide the last one instead. Otherwise, Moodle will helpfully recreate it for you.
    • Course materials disappearing – if you are using the “Collapsible topics” course format, it may look like course content has vanished. In fact, it is only hidden, and this fix will restore it.

If you need help with any of these issues or have experienced some other sudden Moodle change, please email help@brynmawr.eduNow that guest access is disabled, we do not need to make any more site-wide changes to existing courses, so any changes you make to fix the issues above should “stick.”

Panopto Video Access Issues

We have received numerous reports from instructors and students about access to Panopto videos. There are a few known issues that Panopto tech support is working to diagnose and fix. In the meantime, here are two workarounds that will fix many problems:

  1. By design, Panopto creates an account for course participants (if needed) and grants them access to course videos the first time they click on a link in the Panopto block in a Moodle course. If you are having difficulty accessing videos, try clicking the link to a recording in the Panopto block in one of your Moodle courses.
  2. As a workaround for video access issues, instructors can get a Panopto share link that works for Anyone who has the link and add it to a course page as a URL resource. (Turn editing on, then click Add activity or resource and choose URL)

We will post more information as we have it from Panopto.

Contact the Help Desk with questions: help@brynmawr.edu or 610-526-7440.

Moodle Known Issue: Course Content Seems to Disappear

Several instructors have recently reported that content has disappeared from their Moodle course sites. In fact, the course content is only hidden. The culprit seems to be the Collapsible topics course format, which gets reset to show the course containing fewer sections than it actually has. We are not certain what triggers this change, but the fix is to change the Course Format settings to Topics with hidden sections collapsed, and then change them back to Collapsible topics.

  1. On the course main page, click the gear icon (Actions menu) and choose Course Settings.
  2. Under Course format, 
    1. Reset Format to Topics.
    2. Reset Hidden sections to Hidden sections are shown in collapsed form.
  3. Click Save and Display.
  4. Click the gear icon (Actions menu) again and choose Course Settings.
  5. Under Course format, 
    1. Reset Format to Collapsed topics.
    2. Reset Hidden sections to Hidden sections are completely invisible.
  6. Click Save and Display.

 

Emergency Maintenance on Moodle 8/20 2-3pm

LITS will be performing emergency maintenance on Moodle between 2 and 3 pm on Thursday, August 20 to fix outstanding bugs and issues. We do not anticipate that there will be any system downtime, but some logged in users may notice brief changes in the appearance of the site or performance delays.

Contact the Help Desk with questions: help@brynmawr.edu or 610-526-7440.

Moodle Outage and Changes 9am to 11am on Aug 18, 2020

As the final step in our Moodle upgrade process, both old and new Moodle sites will be down for scheduled maintenance between 9:00 am to 11:00 am on Aug 18, 2020

During this outage:

  • The URL for the new Moodle site (currently at poodle.brynmawr.edu) will change to moodle.brynmawr.edu.
  • The new Moodle site will be connected to Panopto, and Panopto course folders will be created for all fall 2020  academic courses.
  • The URL for the old Moodle site, with course content from fall 2017 through summer 2020 will become moodlearchive.brynmawr.edu.
  • The old moodlearchive site, with course content from fall 2014 through spring 2017 will be retired.

Starting at 11am, students, faculty and staff should log into moodle.brynmawr.edu to access fall academic courses. (We will place a redirect on poodle.brynmawr.edu to alert anyone who accidentally logs in after that.)

LAST CHANCE TO ARCHIVE COURSE MATERIALS FROM FALL 2014-SPRING 2017!!

If you need course materials on moodlearchive.brynmawr.edu, create and download a backup file BEFORE 9AM AUGUST 18. You will lose access to those materials at that point.

Advice on when and how to back up your Moodle course

Please note that due to security risks connected to outdated software on moodlearchive.brynmawr.edu, we have had to restrict access to people who are on physically on campus or logging in through the VPN. You will see a security warning when accessing the site, This is due to the outdated software; it is okay to proceed in order to archive materials, but this is why it is imperative that we take the site down as soon as possible. If you have trouble connecting to moodlearchive, try:

  • clearing your browser history
  • quitting and restarting your browser
  • using a different browser entirely
  • disconnecting from the VPN and reconnecting

Contact the Help Desk with questions: help@brynmawr.edu or 610-526-7440.

Access to moodlearchive.brynmawr.edu restricted to on-campus or VPN use

Due to potential security weaknesses, we have had to restrict access to moodlearchive.brynmawr.edu, which currently houses archival course materials from fall 2014 to spring 2017 to people logging in while on campus or through VPN.

Faculty and staff are reminded to back up any course materials they need from this time period before August 18. On Aug 18, the site with content from fall 2014-spring 2017 will be decommissioned, and our current Moodle site, which contains course material from fall 2017 through summer 2020, will become the new moodlearchive.brynmawr.edu.

 

Panopto Unavailable 8/15 9pm – midnight

Panopto has announced that they will be making a number of updates to the cloud service infrastructure to improve performance and scalability that require schedule downtime on Saturday, August 15. The target start time is 9:00 pm Eastern Time and they expect the downtime to last up to 3 hours.

During this downtime, users will not be able to access Panopto videos and will see a “Server unable to connect” message if attempting to upload or record to the cloud from a desktop or mobile recording app.

Contact the Help Desk with questions: help@brynmawr.edu or 610-526-7440.