In this article:
- Project Timeline
- 2023/24 Minerva Modules
- Top Tips and Reminders for Content Copying
- Your Feedback
- Keep in touch
Staff will be aware of the changes to Minerva, the institutional VLE (virtual learning environment) over the last few years. Within this article you’ll find a background to the project, a reminder about module content rollover for the 2023/24 academic year, and an opportunity to provide feedback to the Minerva Project Team.
The first phase of the Minerva Upgrade Project delivered a range of system benefits, with the move to Ultra Course View in 2022 providing improvements to teaching areas. A series of training and resources were made available to staff to provide support ahead of, and during, the 2022/23 academic year.
2023/24 Minerva Modules
New module areas for the 2023/24 academic year will be created in Minerva in early June, featuring the Leeds module template. This template provides a suggested structure for teaching areas and was created following consultation with staff and in collaboration with students, to improve consistency across all modules.
Due to technical limitations, and to ensure that module areas are uncluttered and that the most up-to-date thinking and research is used, content will not be automatically copied from the previous instance of a module.
Once staff have reviewed their teaching content, simple and straightforward copy functionality exists to enable individual items or folders from previous modules to be copied at the click of a button. Clear guidance on copying will be made available to coincide with the release of 2023/24 modules.
You can keep updated on developments and notifications at the Digital Education Systems Help website.
Top Tips and Reminders for Content Copying
- Staff will need to update the content within your own module areas
- Copying module content from one year to the next is an easy process
- Where possible the structure in the institutional template should be used
- Individual files, folders and content (such as tests) can be copied easily. Although it is possible to copy an entire module, this should not be done, as not all content types will copy well. For example, any structure deeper than the two levels will not be copied across which will result in more time being spent reviewing, moving, and removing content e.g., Turnitin assignments
You can complete this short survey and send your feedback on Minerva to the Minerva Project Team.
Staff Feedback on Minerva Ultra
'The revised institutional module template was introduced in September 2022 as a direct response to student feedback. Anecdotal evidence at this point has been extremely positive with students enjoying the consistency of the learning experience. This consistency is critical to the students' learning journey as it allows them to focus on the subject matter, rather than trying to understand how the course is structured. Whilst retaining academic flexibility, the template has provided a clarity of relevant expectations for students so they can focus on what they need to do to succeed in a given module. Furthermore, it has allowed for greater efficiency for staff and students as they no longer have to spend time identifying the course structure or format. Finally, this has enabled academics to improve the quality of the students' virtual learning experience by offering a consistency which makes it easier to identify areas for improvement and implement changes where needed.
Overall, the institutional module template has provided a more structured and consistent learning experience for students, which has helped to improve their overall learning outcomes.'
Dr Steven Montagu-Cairns
Academic Lead: Minerva Ultra Implementation Project
'We’ve had lots of positive feedback from students about Minerva Ultra, particularly when modules have content that is organised and consistent across a module. This is something lots of staff have put efforts into through Covid so moving that (newly produced content and resources) into Ultra has been really valued by students.
Like with any new tool that requires time and energy there is an upfront cost for colleagues (who are often time short already), but the process of structuring a module content with a mind for how students see and access it has been useful process for many.
I should add we have an excellent Learning Technologist team in our faculty, and they have been great at helping colleagues get on top of (or around) some of the more the challenging features.'
Dr Duncan Borman
Digital Education Academic Lead
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences