Digital education honeycomb feel and look

Welcome to the Digital Education Blog

The purpose of this blog is to provide a centrally supported space to capture and share digital education practice from across King’s College London. It’s a community contribution blog for individual and teams working in this area and provides an opportunity to promote initiatives to a broader audience, both internally at King’s and externally across the sector.  Continue reading “Welcome to the Digital Education Blog”


New CPD Sessions

The Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning (CTEL) has a wide range of new development sessions available to all staff. These sessions range from how to record, edit and upload videos; creating interactive learning resources using Kaltura, our video and media service; as well as various workshops on using KEATS, our Virtual Learning Environment.

These sessions will be run by Microsoft Teams Meetings. Click the Skills Forge links below to find timings and book on available sessions. Please contact for more information.


Introductory Session


Content Creation and Video Editing

Delivering synchronous online teaching



Evaluation and Reflection, Technologies

Accepting Multiple Assignment Attempts

KEATS (Moodle) allows assignment submissions in many ways – this is a record of how a simple question became an extended investigation.

Academic Staff Requirements

Can I check what my students have previously uploaded?”

An academic colleague had used Blackboard (another Virtual Learning Environment) before coming to the Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences (NMES) at King’s. He asked if KEATS, our Moodle instance, could behave like Blackboard and allow students to submit multiple attempts to a programming assignment any time they want.

After a follow-up call with the academic colleague, it became clear that the aim was to be able to access anything students had uploaded prior to their final submission, as the latter might contain a wrong or broken file, and grade with reference to a previous submission (programme code or essay draft).

He had the following requirements:

  • Notification emails to both staff and students when a file is uploaded successfully
  • Students to be able to submit as often as they want
  • Marker to be able to review all uploaded attempts to:
    • be able to award marks if an earlier submitted programme code worked fine but a later submission introduced bugs breaking the programme, and
    • monitor the programming code development and make comments, compare changes, and to prevent collusion

This investigation looks at practical solutions to administering programming assignments as well as non-programming ones such as essays.

Background: Assessments on Blackboard (VLE)

In a Blackboard  assignment, students are required to click a Submit button for the markers to access their work. If multiple attempts are allowed, students can submit other attempts at any time, which will be stored as Attempt 1, Attempt 2 and so on and are available for the markers to view. This way, staff can review previous submissions, however, they cannot access drafts.

Screenshot of a Blackboard assignment allows multiple attempts
Blackboard assignment allows multiple attempts

KEATS: Moodle Assignment

The first step was to investigate the options and settings in Moodle Assignment, which is the tool that was already used by most colleagues for similar assignments.

With our current default settings, students can make changes to their uploaded files as much as they want, and submission is finalised only at the assignment deadline. Although instructors can see the latest uploaded files (draft)  even before the deadline, files removed/replaced by students will no longer be accessible to staff. This means, only one version is accessible to markers.

Multiple submissions can be enabled with the use of the “Require student to click the Submit button” setting for staff to review previous attempts, as on Blackboard. Feedback can be left on each attempt. However, students cannot freely submit new attempts because staff need to be involved to manually grant additional attempts to each student. Submissions are time-stamped and can be reviewed by students and markers, but students can only get notification emails after grading whereas markers can get notifications for submissions. Our problem was not resolved yet.

Screenshot of a marker accessing unsubmitted drafts and leaving feedback
Marker accessing unsubmitted drafts and leaving feedback
Screenshot of a student reviewing feedback for different attempts
Student reviewing feedback for different attempts.
Screenshot of a student reviewing feedback for different attempts (cropped version with highlight).
Student reviewing feedback for different attempts (cropped version with highlight).

KEATS: Moodle Quiz

We then considered Moodle Quiz, which some departments at King’s already use to collect scanned exam scripts: a Quiz containing an Essay-type question that allows file upload.

Screenshot of quiz attempt.

While exams usually only allow one single attempt, Moodle Quiz can be set to allow multiple attempts (Grade > Attempts allowed). The “Enforced delay between attempts” setting (from seconds to weeks) under “Extra restrictions on attempts” may be used to avoid spamming attempts. Student can submit new attempts as often as needed because no staff intervention is needed. The drawback is that there is no submission notification or emails, but the quiz summary screen should indicate to the student that the file is submitted. The Quiz attempts page for markers allows for easy review of previous attempts and feedback on each attempt. It is also possible to download all submissions as in Moodle Assignment. This was recommended to the academic colleague as an interim solution while we continued the investigation.

Possible Policy Concerns

Regarding unlimited re-submissions, Quality Assurance colleagues reminded us that students may challenge (i) a perceived inequality in opportunities to get feedback, or (ii) subconscious bias based on previous submissions. Good communication with students and a structured schedule or arrangements should improve expectations from both sides.

Turnitin Assignment and Other Assessment Options

Although the Moodle Quiz appeared to be a solution, we also considered other tools, some of which are readily integrated with KEATS at King’s:

Turnitin assignment allows multiple submissions as an option, but re-submissions will overwrite previously uploaded files. Alternatively, if it is set to a multi-part assignment, each part will be considered mandatory. However, the workflow for Turnitin assignment is not optimal for programming assignments.

Turnitin’s Gradescope offers Multi-Version Assignments for certain assignment types. It is available on KEATS for the Faculty of Natural, Mathematical, and Engineering Sciences (NMES). However, its programming assignment does not support assignment versioning yet.

Edit history is available for Moodle Wiki and OU Wiki; whereas Moodle Forum, Open Forum, Padlet and OU Blog allow continuous participation and interaction between students. These tools could be useful for group programming or other social collaborative learning projects, which is not a direct replacement for an individual programming assignment but an alternative mode of assessment.

Portfolios: Mahara has Timeline (version tracking) as an experimental feature. This may be suitable for essays but not for programming assignments.

Tracking Changes

Tracking changes is an important feature to show development in programming assignments or essays, and cloud platforms (OneDrive, Google Drive, GitHub) can host files and track changes. When used for assignments, student can submit a Share link to allow instructors to access and assess their work and how the work evolved over time. The disadvantage for this option is that the grading experience will be less integrated with Moodle. Some cloud platforms offer a File request feature where students can submit their files to a single location.

Programming Assignments

Industries such as software development use Git as a standard and all changes are tracked. GitHub offers GitHub Classroom, and it can be used with different VLEs including Moodle, but it is not readily integrated with KEATS and requires setup. There may be privacy concerns as students need to link their own accounts.

The Outcomes / Lessons learnt

  • This showcases how a simple question from academic colleague can lead to the exploration of various existing options and exploration of new tools and solutions.
  • Different options are available on KEATS with their pros and cons.
  • Existing tools, possible solutions, policies, and other considerations come into play.

Conclusion / Recommendations

KEATS Quiz matches the case requirements and was recommended to the academic colleague. It went smoothly and our colleague mentioned there were no complaints from students and they are happy with the recommended solution. It is relatively easy to setup and straightforward for students to submit. Clear step-by-step instructions  to staff and students should be enough, but trialling this with a formative assignment would also help.

Depending on the task or subject nature, other tools may work better for different kinds of tasks. TEL colleagues are always there to help!

Useful Links

Written by Antonio Cheung

Antonio is a Senior TEL Officer at the Faculty of Natural, Mathematical and Engineering Sciences (NMES).

September 2023

News and Events, Pedagogy, Technologies

Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning (CTEL) CPD Training Sessions

The Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning (CTEL) has a wide range of new development sessions available to all staff. These sessions range from how to record, edit and upload videos; creating interactive learning resources using Kaltura, our video and media service; as well as various workshops on using KEATS, our Virtual Learning Environment.

These sessions will be run by Microsoft Teams Meetings. Click the Skills Forge links below to find timings and book on available sessions. Please contact for more information.

Introductory Session


Content Creation and Video Editing

Delivering synchronous online teaching



Moodle 4, Pedagogy, Technologies

Introducing the New KEATS Education Templates

The KEATS Education Templates (KET) are a set of standardised templates that have been designed to improve the digital learning experience for students at King’s College London. The templates adhere to UXD (user experience design) good practice, and are designed to be performant, scalable, and in line with accessibility standards.

The KET were developed in consultation with King’s students and academic and professional services staff. They were, and continue to be, steered and shaped by the needs of their users.

Three formats for the template are available for use.

Collapsed Topics

King's KEATS Education Template 23/24: Collapsed Topics (for importing) showing the categories of; course, settings, Participants, Grades, Reports and More. The Course highlights different tabs such as; Timetable, Module Overview, Assessment and Week 1/Topic


Screenshot showing the Module Home page featuring a Timetable, Module Overview, Assessment and Week 1/Topic tabs.


Screenshot of King's KEATS Education Template 23/24: Topics (for importing) showing the categories of; course, settings, Participants, Grades, Reports and More. The Course highlights different tabs such as; Timetable, Module Overview, Assessment and Week 1/Topic

Why use the KEATS Education Templates?

The benefits of using the KEATS Education Templates, include: 

User Experience: The templates are designed to be easy to use and navigate, making it easier for students to find the information they need. 

Scalability: The templates are designed to be scalable, so they can be used for courses of all sizes. 

Consistency: The templates help to create a consistent look and feel across all KEATS course pages, which can help to improve the overall user experience. 

How to use the KEATS Education Templates

You will find guidance on implementing the templates on the KEATS Education Template (KET) Guidance page.

The guidance includes step-by-step instructions for adding the template to your KEATS page and a checklist of tasks required to edit the page after applying the template.

The first page of the guidance (Overview) includes links to the importable templates, as well as example courses with the templates applied.

Written by Fariha Choi 

Fariha Choi is a Learning Technologist at the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning and has been with CTEL since June 2021. She has a particular interest in educational multimedia and has worked as a Learning Technologist, eLearning Developer and Learning and Development Manager for the past 11 years. 

Evaluation and Reflection

KEATS Similarity Checker Project

Overview of project

Between July 2022 and February 2023, the SSPP TEL team conducted a pilot project to improve the student experience when submitting assignments by creating a special area for students to check the plagiarism/similarity score of their assignments. The goal of the pilot was to make it easier for students with Mitigating Circumstances and the Programme Office staff to manage the process of submitting assignments to KEATS.

Any student who is not subject to Mitigating Circumstances can submit a draft and/or reupload their submission as many times as they wish up to the assessment’s original due date. Many students use this opportunity to submit a draft to check their similarity score before they make their final submission. At the moment, due to technical limitations within KEATS/ Turnitin, students who are granted an extension to an assessment via the Mitigating Circumstances process cannot submit a draft to check their similarity score; they are only allowed to submit once, and after the due date for the assignment passes they no longer have the option to upload their final version.

This is particularly problematic for students who have submitted a draft (sometimes long before the original due date) and then realise they need to apply for Mitigating Circumstances: as they are not able to delete the draft themselves, this draft will be considered their final submission and their MC claim may be rejected on the basis that they have already made a submission. In some departments, PS Staff sometimes agrees to submit and/or delete a draft for a student, but this is time consuming, not consistently applied, and it relies too much on PS Staff being available and inclined to help outside of their normal duties; it is also not sustainable when taking into account the very high number of MC claims we process at the moment.

First Steps

The departments of Geography and Global Health and Social Medicine in the Faculty of SSPP took part in the initial pilot project for their re-sit and dissertation students, and the Similarity Checker (SM) area was created and placed on their Handbook pages on KEATS. Accompanying it was a video and PDF to explain to students how to use the SM, as well as a warning text to reinforce the idea that this did not count as a submission and would not be checked by staff.

Feedback from this small cohort of students led to some revisions and changes to the SM, the most notable of which was around the language used. We had used the words “test area”, meaning to check or trial something, but students for whom English was not their native language found this confusing and equated “test” to mean exam. This was revised and the wording was changed from “test submission area” and “test area” to “Similarity Checker” and “practice area” respectively.

Once we were happy with the revisions, the SM was then rolled out to the rest of the School of Global Affairs, War Studies, and Education, Communication and Society. All Similarity Checker areas have the same layout, same wording and same instructions for parity across all the Schools. Communications for staff and students were also created by Soshana and these were used by Departments to make students and academic staff aware of the existence of the SM.


The Similarity Checker is made up of several parts. This includes an introductory text explaining what it would be used for, how to use it and a disclaimer that nothing submitted here would ever be moved nor assessed. An explainer video and PDF instructions were added to ensure accessibility and inclusive design were adhered to, so that all students would be able to clearly understand the functionality.

Screenshot of the home screen of the similarity checker.
Screenshot of the geography similarity checker.

The submission areas were divided by level and surname. There is no functional necessity for this, but it aims to prevent Turnitin from getting overloaded by all students in the one department trying to access it at the same time. If students submit in the wrong area there are no effects on their score or submission.

Screenshot of the different Turnitin Submissions.
Screenshot of the different Turnitin Submissions.

Student Feedback

A survey was created by Soshana and shared with all participating Schools, with almost 100 responses. Feedback was generally positive, with students highlighting how the SM improved their experience and confirming that it constitutes an equalising factor for students with extensions. Overall, 90% of respondents have used the SM, 93% found it useful, and 16% used it in the context of an assessment extension (mitigating circumstances).There was also some negative feedback from students who did not find it particularly beneficial, mainly due to the long turnaround time for their score after their third submission, as well as the fact that their score changed repeatedly when uploading a new draft of the same work, depending on how close the assessment due date was. These concerns will be addressed, and elements of response will be provided in future communications.

Overview of survey respondents.
Overview of survey respondents.
Respondents usage by level of study.
Respondents usage by level of study.
Respondents use of the Similarity Checker.
Respondents use of the Similarity Checker.

Conclusion and next steps

The pilot project was a successful start to improving the experience of students and staff using KEATS and Turnitin during their submission period. This was initially to improve the experience of those with Mitigating Circumstances, but we can see that many students without extensions are also using it to check their work.

Next steps will include rolling this out further to other Schools or Departments so that all students in SSPP can access it. Some Departments have their own versions, which we would like to replace with this more modern iteration of the Similarity Checker.

As next steps, the TEL team would like to address some of the points that the students raised as part of the feedback process, and create a communications plan to ensure this is being communicated to students at all relevant points of the academic year.

An all-Faculty stance should also be drawn up if/when a student submits their paper to the Similarity Checker instead of their module page and how this should be dealt with.

Written by Leanne Kelly Leanne Kelly

Leanne is the Digital Education Manager for the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy (SSPP) at King’s College London. She is responsible for a wide range for digital education processes within the Faculty including instructional design, accessibility, training, innovation and developing new online programmes.

She has a background in publishing and eLearning, and is passionate about using technology to improve the learning experience and make it more accessible to all. She is interested in developing new ways of working, scaling projects and reusing content in new ways, and making online learning an enjoyable process for all.

Written by Soshana Fearn

Soshana Fearn

Soshana is the Senior Postgraduate Programme Officer for the Department of Geography (SSPP) at King’s College London. She delivers the day-to-day administration of taught postgraduate programmes (Masters), offers comprehensive and authoritative advice and support for all staff and students in respect of programme regulations and curriculum choices, services the relevant boards and committees, and oversees the processing of Mitigating Circumstances requests.

She has a background in project coordination and is dedicated to improve the experience of both students and staff through the development and implementation of streamlined innovative solutions, including projects related to institutional processes, policymaking and technology-enhanced learning resources.



Ever wondered how your students see your KEATS course? Create temporary users to find out…

King’s has recently released a new KEATS feature that allows staff who manage a module area to create a set of temporary user accounts. These accounts only last a few days, but can be used to log into KEATS and explore module spaces exactly as a student would.

Benefits of Temporary Users

By creating temporary users you can:

  • Test a student’s journey through your learning material
  • Investigate and understand how assessment tools work from a student perspective
  • Make sure that content displays how and when you expect it to

Guidance on Creating Temporary Users

Information on how to create temporary users is available in the KEATS Staff Documentation under Creating Temporary Users.

Screenshot of Temporary Users Creation options
Create Temporary Users in your KEATS Course

The “Temporary user creation” functionality is available for the Course Administration menu of your KEATS course and you can create up to 3 accounts at any one time, that will last a maximum of 14 days.

When you create the users they are automatically enrolled in the course created them in and the “Student” role. Once you have created a temporary user you can log in using the account details via


  • Once a Temporary user is created you can enrol the users into any KEATS area you wish.
  • If your module space is still hidden give the temporary account the role “Student Tester” so they are able to access the material.
  • If you don’t see the Temporary user creation link in you Course Administration Menu then contact your local Digital Education team as they may need to enable the functionality for your part of KEATS.


Moodle 4, News and Events, Technologies

KEATS Upgrade: What to expect as a student

On 18 July 2023 KEATS (Moodle) will be upgraded, with KEATS being unavailable for all staff and students from 6am and for most of upgrade day.

As part of this upgrade KEATS is getting a makeover and as such will look different for students logging back in after 18 July. The resources and teaching materials available via KEATS will remain the same, but the look of your courses will be different as improvements to the user interface and navigation are introduced.

New look KEATS will include:

Improved Dashboard & Separate My Course Page

When you login to KEATS your Dashboard will allow easy access to courses you have recently accessed and provide you with a timeline highlighting activities which have tasks and deadlines upcoming. A separate ‘My Courses’ page is also available allowing you search, access and highlight important courses for you.

KEATS (Moodle Dashboard)
New look KEATS Dashboard highlighting recently accessed courses and a timeline of upcoming activities

Navigable Table of Contents within Courses

When accessing a KEATS course, an Index Drawer is provided on the left of screen to allow you easy access to different sections and resources within the course. This index is collapsible/expandable to allow individuals to focus better on the main content as needed.

Collapsible Blocks & Resources

Similar to the table of contents, a series of blocks and resources are available on the right of screen via a collapsible/expandable Block Drawer. These blocks provide you with access to key resources and information, but can be minimised to declutter the screen as needed.

Screenshot of new-look KEATS course, displaying content in a grid format
A KEATS course showing the collapsible/expandable Index Drawer on the left and the Block Drawer on the right.

Improved Design for Mobile Devices

Our new version of KEATS is responsive to mobile and tablet devices allowing your courses to be better displayed and navigated.

New look KEATS for desktop and mobile
New look KEATS is responsively designed for screens of different sizes

Please note, faculties and departments use KEATS in different ways and may have different templates and approaches for you to be aware of. If you are in the middle of teaching during this upgrade and are experiencing unexpected changes, please do contact your Programme Team in the first instance.

Moodle 4, News and Events, Technologies

Check-out what your KEATS course will look like in Moodle 4

KEATS is being upgraded on the 18 July 2023 and will be getting a make over (see our blog post New look KEATS coming in July 2023). As well as incorporating new, modern branding guidelines the interface aims to make doing the things you want to achieve in KEATS easier.  

To help you prepare for the upgrade, a read-only test environment is available to staff which has the new theme applied. You can jump straight from KEATS to the test environment from a course to see what the content looks like using the new theme. You can also log into the site directly at (staff only).  

Linking to the test site is being enabled locally within faculties and departments, but one thing to look out for is a new block on your course page that allows you to make the jump directly to the equivalent course in the test site. This block (and the test site) is available to staff only.

Screenshot of block enabling access to upgraded Moodle for staff

You will see changes in the look-and-feel of KEATS over time as the branding is still being developed. Look out for the new primary menus that help you get to Participant lists, Grades and other Reports (your course settings will also be here, but aren’t visible in the test environment) and keep an eye out for our blog posts giving further details on the upcoming changes.  

Screenshot of new-look KEATS course, displaying content in a grid format
Disclaimer: This may look different in your faculty

Please note: course content in the test site is a snapshot from March 2023. Any course developments after this time won’t be available in the test site. You can also access your Dashboard and the new My Courses page to browse the site as usual. 

Moodle 4, News and Events, Pedagogy, Technologies

New look KEATS coming in July 2023

KEATS will be upgraded to Moodle 4 on 18 July 2023 (see KEATS Upgrade to Moodle 4 Blog post for further information).

As part of this upgrade the look-and-feel of KEATS will be updated to bring it in line with emerging King’s Digital Brand Guidelines, improving consistency for staff and students across our digital platforms.

The new theme for KEATS will be primarily available for layouts which display modules and courses in a Topics or Grid formats. All course pages will be presented with a left-hand navigation and a right hand-panel for module/programme specific information as required, both of which can be expanded/collapsed as required.

KEATS Course Grid Format

KEATS new-look grid format
KEATS New Look Grid Format

KEATS Course Topics Format

GIF of a new look KEATS Course Topics Format
New Look KEATS Topics Format



Click on the screenshots below to view larger images of the new look-and- feel for KEATS coming in July 2023.

Evaluation and Reflection, Technologies

Introducing CMALT programme at King’s College – Part 1

In September 2021 King’s launched its first CMALT (Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology) programme cohort aimed at helping 15 colleagues put together an evidence-based portfolio in order to gain CMALT accreditation.

What is CMALT?
Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology (CMALT) is the learning technologist’s ‘kitemark.’ This professional certification (and membership) recognises your expertise and experience in your field. Benefits to candidates are in the form of reflection on their professional practice, mentoring from experienced colleagues and peer-to-peer support. CMALT also, increasingly, appears on TEL job specifications so gaining CMALT (and with it post-nominal letters which you are allowed then to use) provides both CPD and career-development opportunities. You join an established community or practice, are invited to ALT meetings and events; and can view and contribute to publications.

The CMALT Accreditation Framework provides pathways to peer-assessed accreditation for a cross-section of learning technology-focused professionals, educators and administrators in the UK and internationally. Accreditation is achieved by the successful submission of a reflective, online portfolio, which evidences skills and experience in learning technology across four core areas and a specialist area. There are three different pathways to choose from to best match an individual’s experience: Associate Certified Member, Certified Member and Senior Certified Member.

First steps:
•  Having joined King’s in 2018, I quickly realised I was one of only a few colleagues in the institution that held CMALT accreditation. Given the size of King’s and the number of TEL colleagues, I wanted to see if I could support colleagues in gaining CMALT recognition.
•  I originally attempted to launch a pilot programme in late February 2019 with a small group of colleagues from my team in CTEL, however, the Covid pandemic hit and efforts were instead prioritised elsewhere.
•  In early 2021, I along with three other colleagues (David Reid Matthews, Danielle Johnston and Fariha Choi) came together to resurrect the CMALT programme. We formed the CMALT planning team to create a year-long programme and agreed to become mentors to the colleagues taking part.
We successfully bid for funding from the Students and Education Directorate (SED) for up to 20 places on the new programme (see CMALT registration fees for more info).
•  We began sharing information about the new programme and asked interested parties to complete a show of interest form (Google Form).
In the summer of 2021, we invited all interested colleagues to an online (MS Teams) 1h CMALT Information Session to provide further details about the accreditation and what the programme entailed. Of 25 that attended the session 15 opted to sign up for the 2021/22 CMALT programme with the remaining either deferring to the following academic year or deciding to remove their interest from the programme.

Make up the first Cohort:

Pie Chart showing the distribution of the 15 members who attend the programme. With Faculty TEL having the highest with 8, Followed by CTEL with 5 and Other being 2.

The programme schedule
•  The programme would start in September 2021 with each month focusing on a section of the portfolio, delivered purely online via MS Teams. We provided two months (December and June) when no meetings took place to allow colleagues to catch up.

Here is the full schedule of our CMALT programme:

For more detail please refer to Part 2 of this blog:


Written by Sultan Wadud and David Reid Matthews

Wadud works as a Learning Technologist, Faculty Liaison at CTEL, working closely with Academic Faculties and Departments to support and drive the implementation of the King’s Technology Enhanced Learning ‘Transformation in Digital Learning’ strategy.
Wadud supports the management and delivery of multiple projects aimed at both the development of academics’ pedagogic understanding and the practice of technology enhanced learning.
Wadud is the product owner for Kaltura and one of the leads for the CMALT programme at King’s. In addition to this Wadud oversees the Digital Education Blog.

David is the TEL Manager for Arts & Humanities and joined King’s in 2018. He leads a team of learning technologists supporting a large and complex faculty, providing mainly 2nd line support, training and troubleshooting on our core, recognised and recommended TEL tools. David has worked in learning technology since 2011, having previously (and improbably) been a Lecturer in Theatre Studies. His particular interests are in legislation and policy around TEL, as well as IT Service Management and Delivery. David is one of the leads for the CMALT programme at King’s.