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Moving from one embedding tool to another: Managing the change process at Manchester Metropolitan University Library In 2018 the Library moved from the Lancaster Moodle plugin tool to the Talis LTI. This session will cover how the implementation was managed, communication with academic staff and the support the library team offered. Can we just take a hands up on how many here are thinking of implementing the Talis LTI LTI – Learning tools Interoperability
How do we manage the change, and ensure that we communicate the impact/benefits of the change. Change is sometimes like trying to turn a liner ship around in rough waters at some institutions.. Not always easy at Manchester Met… however sometimes we know that we need to just do it! We resisted moving to LTI tool, we had numerous phone calls with Zena and Laura re asking if Talis could ‘do something’
We had been using the Lancaster embedding tool for a number of years, and our academics and Library staff were pleased with the functionality. However as a managers of the service, we were concerned that this tool sat outside of any Talis support that we could call upon, and relied upon the knowledge and support of colleagues in Lancaster – who were always so very helpful.
So when we knew that Lancaster University were moving away from supporting the plugin, we knew that we needed to do something! We have very little technical support in the Library, this is one person who manages Ezproxy/shibboleth and the Library Web pages.. My technical ability is very limited – I can run the reports, do some ‘stuff’ in GA, but have nothing like what is needed to maintain the Lancaster Plugin.
We knew Talis LTI as it was a supported service and which we could rely on. However we were very reluctant to lose the ability to add one resource from the reading lists to Moodle, and had several conversations with Talis – Zena and Laura to see if there was any option for them to develop a tool which worked in the same way as the Lancaster plugin. We were resisting change as we were worried about the impact on the Lecturers who really liked the ability to only embed one resource and we were worried that they may disengage with the Reading lists completely! However as this was not an option in the Talis LTI, we knew that we just had to make the change and manage the process of change.
LTI – Learning tools Interoperability
In order to use Talis LTI we needed the support of Manchester Met’s LRT, that is the team that manages Moodle, our VLE. Fortunately we do have good relations with them, they are always very helpful, at the end of the day, we are all here to ensure the student has the smoothest journey in their learning.
In Feb 2017 we discussed the project with them, and started working through the mini project plan. We also needed support of our IT colleagues.
We decided to keep Lancaster plugin and use Talis LTI alongside it.
Tim’s mini project plan was essential in getting the LTI up and running ! Search for mini project plan lti
Nothing is ever as straightforward as you might think.
We had moved to https, then came to the critical parts. There are several in the plan, but the one that held us up was
Audit your IDP to make sure that it uses Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) headers in all responses. – needed ITS support, and then it all moved to our Legal team. So this all took longer than expected. However agreement between ITS and Legal was reached, and we moved forward.
We also have Change control in place at the University, so obviously some steps needed to go through this process
It all felt like a long slog to get the LTI up and working but by November 2017 we went live with the LTI, working alongside Lancaster Plugin.
We also like to keep up to date with developments in Aspire, so had been watching the new list view with interest, and were keen to get going with it.
In January 2018 we turned on the List View beta button for our tenancy, so that staff and academics could have a look and test out the new functionality.
In June 2018, a week after our annual roll-over, we decided to switch all lists over. However after testing things out on the live, we realised that we could no see items in Moodle that had been added with the Lancaster plug in, so Talis quickly switched us back.
So now had 2 changes to manage – moving to the new list view and moving from using both of the integration tools, to only using Talis LTI.
Timing was critical as we were really keen to get the new list view turned on ahead of the start of the new academic year, but knew it would mean students couldn’t access items which had been embedded with the Lancaster. We had to balance this with the need to communicate with lecturers that they needed to switch to the LTI when updating their Moodle area for 2018-19.
Handing over to Rachel -
After discussions with our LRT colleagues, they were able to supply us with a list of units/academics who had used the Lancaster plug in, so we were able to contact them directly in order to do provide some support for them. Rachel’s key area!
We asked Subject Librarians to highlight the units they support on a reading list activity spreadsheet. We could then ask the relevant Subject Librarians to liaise with affected colleagues on an individual basis which would hopefully be more personal and give them a direct contact.
We took a long time drafting an email to properly explain what the change was and why it was happening. This was for our own benefit as much as colleagues!
There were 2 different options for adding items from Aspire to Moodle areas. Lancaster plugin (known on Moodle as Reading List old). Enabled individual items to be selected from the reading list. This plugin was created by Lancaster University, and is no longer being supported. If something was to stop working, we have no way of fixing it!
Talis Aspire’s LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability). This is known on Moodle as Reading list New. Enables only sections to be selected from the reading lists and added into the Moodle area.
Talis Aspire - The New View List We moved over to this new list view, briefly a few weeks ago, but many of the items in Moodle that had been added with the Lancaster plug in disappeared. We therefore quickly switched back. After more investigation, we found out that items added via the Lancaster plugin are not going to appear in Moodle, after the switch to the new list view, and there is no support to make them appear. As we do need to move to the new list view this summer rather than next summer (it improves the users experience of Aspire, development work is focussed here), we need to notify academics to tell them that the Lancaster plugin is being phased out and advise them on what changes they need to make.
What we have done so far Investigated the removal of the Lancaster plugin option from Moodle (this is in progress) Found out which units have used the Lancaster plug in (see spreadsheet)
Next steps ACTION: Subject Librarians to check spreadsheet on R drive R:\Services\LRIS\Library\Reading Lists\LRT_Lancaster users in Moodle.xlsx and identify reading lists for units they support by next Tuesday 24th July (enter your name in column C). We will then get in touch with Subject Librarians affected to explain what to advise the relevant unit leaders.
Subject Librarians highlighted the units they support on the reading list activity spreadsheet. We then liaised with only those subject librarians this affected and we asked them to you send the following message to the relevant unit leaders:
We are aware that you are currently embedding reading list items within Moodle. The tool you used to do this is being phased out from the beginning of September to make way for a new tool. This means that all the embedded links in your units will disappear in September. In order to prevent this you will need to make changes to your Moodle areas. Please can you get in touch so we can support you through this process.
We created a flowchart to help Subject Librarians respond to any enquiries they had based on what the unit leader has set up in their Moodle area.
I held briefing sessions next week for anyone who wants to go over this in person:
Monday 30th July 11:00am-11:30pm Library Staff Meeting Room Tuesday 31st July 1:00pm-1:30pm Library Staff Meeting Room Wednesday 1st August 3:30-4:00pm Library Staff Meeting Room
Explaining the change was occasionally a challenge most people managed to follow the instructions without any problem. I think people get confused with terminology e.g. embedding, Talis Aspire so for most enquiries it was about reinforcing what it was they needed to do. My job share partner was on long term sick leave so I needed to communicate with the History staff. The flow chart really helped direct what action was required of an academic.
We were prepared to help library and academic staff as much as we possibly could. This included changing the links for them if necessary, and I did this for a lot of the staff in the Department of English and the Department of History.
Academic staff firstly have to give you admin access to their Moodle area. For some lecturers, I had to also restructure their list matching what they had embedded in previous years using the Lancaster tool before embedding the sections. It was a lot of a work and a big responsibility in ensuring I got it right.
As part of this process, we have also realised that when promoting the LTI we need to be clear that it does require additional work and the links will need updating on an annual basis. This is frustrating for academic staff but I think the payoff is worth it. It still is the part of the training that gets academic staff most excited and we are finding that students like this level of embedding, our most popular lists are those which have weekly sections embedded in Moodle.
Google Analytics shows that embedding sections has been popular amongst our academics and students.
In December, our IT services made a change to Shibboleth, and we moved to a cloud environment and began to use Azure single sign in. This caused problems with the login page for Aspire within the LTI. We put our LRT team in touch with Talis – and they were able to assist in solving this problem.
Plan Communicate Support
Talis Insight Europe 2019: Moving from one embedding tool to another: Managing the change process at Manchester Metropolitan University Library
Moving from one embedding
tool to another: managing the
Jo Ryder & Rachel Fell
CC0 / Public domain: https://pixabay.com/photos/change-board-door-new-beginning-4056014/
• Lancaster plugin no longer being maintained by staff
• Needed to change to a supported service
• A lot of our reading lists were moving to a weekly
structure which provides more flexibility when using
• Manage Moodle
• Feb 2017 – mini project plan
• Support from colleagues in IT
LRT (Learning &
• Critical steps involved – Audit your IDP to make sure that it
uses Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) headers in all
• November 2017 Talis LTI working alongside Lancaster Plugin
Tim’s mini project plan
• January 2018 turned on
the List View beta
button for our tenancy.
• June 2018 – switched
new list view for all lists
• Realised Lancaster
plugin didn’t work –
reverted to classic view
New list view
CC0 / Public domain: https://pixabay.com/photos/error-not-found-404-lego-mistake-2129569//
Managing two changes
1. Move to new list
2. Replacing Lancaster
plugin with Talis LTI
CCO/public domain: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/juggle-artists-circus-money-1027847/
List of academics
Rachel Fell √
Jo Ryder √
David Wittington √
•LRT provided list of
•Only wanted to
those affected by
CCO/public domain: https://pixabay.com/photos/clipboard-paper-clip-business-2693417/
Explaining the change
CC0 / Public domain: https://pixabay.com/photos/conversation-talk-bird-blue-tit-3513843/
Communicating change to
We are aware that you are currently embedding
reading list items within Moodle. The tool you
used to do this is being phased out from the
beginning of September to make way for a new
tool. This means that all the embedded links in
your units will disappear in September.
In order to prevent this you will need to make
changes to your Moodle areas. Please can you
get in touch so we can support you through this
CCO/public domain: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/social-social-networks-1206610/
Remove links from
Is the reading list
Weekly sections can be embedded using
‘Reading list (new)’. See instructions
Are individual items
embedded using the old
Individual links to library resources e.g. books, eBooks,
articles can be added as a URL
See instructions: https://libguides.mmu.ac.uk/c.php?
Digitised material should be linked to as follows
The reading list must be structured into
weekly/thematic sections before embedding
using ‘Reading list (new)’.
1. Opportunity to explain the change
in person to Librarians
2. Flow-chart for reference
3. Answer any questions
CCO/public domain: https://pixabay.com/en/paper-blank-paper-empty-pen-diary-1230085/
CC0 / Public domain: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/overcoming-stone-roll-slide-strong-2127669
CC0 / Public domain: https://unsplash.com/photos/gVfGGb62Fpo