IT Services

FAQs

FAQs

General

You need a web browser (e.g. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Edge and Internet Explorer 11) and an Internet connection. For the best experience and optimum security, it is recommended that you use the latest browser version.

You may require other software to use certain resources in the VLE, such as Adobe Reader to view PDFs.

Remember that you are also able to access the VLE from all IT Services open access workstations.

You can access the VLE by selecting it from the Staff / Current students drop-down menu at the upper left-hand corner of the University of Malta / Junior College homepage. If you are not signed in, enter your username and password. Information is available if you encounter any problems with signing in.

If you have just activated your UM IT Account, please try accessing the VLE again after 24 hours.

If 24 hours have passed since you activated your account but you are still unable to access the VLE, make sure that you are registered for your respective study-units. Please refer to FAQ 4 to check your registered study-units via eSIMS / eSIMS JC.

If you are a tutor and you are missing a study-unit that you deliver, please refer to FAQ 12.

If you are a student and need to check whether you are registered for your study-units, follow these steps:

UM students

  1. Access eSIMS.
  2. Click on Your Registered Study-Units/Academic Record under Student Course Details.
  3. Click the Select button next to your current course.
  4. Select Your Registered Study-Units from the drop-down menu.
  5. Click Run Report. You will be presented with a list of all the study-units you are registered for.

 JC students 

  1. Access eSIMS JC.
  2. Click on View your Subjects and Timetable under Subject and Result Details.
  3. Click the Select button next to the Matriculation Certificate course.
  4. Click on your Year of Study. You will be presented with a list of the subjects you are registered for, including the Group number.

Kindly contact your Faculty Office / Student Services Office about any missing study-units in eSIMS / eSIMS JC. Once you have been registered on a study-unit, it may take up to 24 hours until you are able to access the study-unit area in the VLE.

Note that First Year and Resit students may not be able to access the VLE immediately, until their student records are settled. Typically, these students will be able to access the VLE around the third or fourth week of October.

There could be two possible reasons:

  1. Your tutors have not made the VLE areas available to students. It is best to inform your tutors that you cannot access the areas so that they make them available to students. Your tutors can contact the IT Service Desk if they require assistance.
  2.  
  3. 24 hours have not yet elapsed since you were registered for your study-units on eSIMS. Refer to FAQ 4 to verify that you are indeed registered for your study-units on eSIMS.

If you are a tutor and you are missing a study-unit that you deliver, please refer to FAQ 12.

If you are a student and you cannot find a particular VLE area in the list, make sure that your tutor is using the VLE. Some tutors do not use the VLE. Your tutors should inform you if they are expecting you to use the VLE for their study-units.

If your tutor is using the VLE but you cannot find the study-unit area, there could be two possible reasons:

  1. Your tutor has not made the VLE area available to students. It is best to inform your tutor that you cannot access the area so that they make it available to students. Your tutors can contact the IT Service Desk if they require assistance.
  2.  
  3. 24 hours have not yet elapsed since you were registered for the study-unit/s on eSIMS. Refer to FAQ 4 to verify that you are indeed registered for your study-unit/s on eSIMS.

No. The copyright of all material including but not limited to past papers and specimen papers placed on VLE belongs to, and remains the property of the lecturer concerned and/or the University of Malta. The material is being made available only to enrolled students of the University for personal use in connection with their programme of studies at University. It is an infringement of the copyright law to copy such material and place it in the public domain, whether in whole or in part, without the authorisation of the copyright holder. The University takes these matters very seriously and disciplinary action may be taken against students who violate copyright law apart from any damages that may be claimed under applicable laws.

In line with the VLE archiving policy, study-unit areas of previous academic years will remain accessible to academics and current students for revision purposes, from the VLE.

Tutors can copy material across different areas by using the VLE Copy Tool.

An occasional issue with the Chrome browser can result in only the first page of a PDF being displayed. This is not specific to the VLE.

As a workaround, you may set your browser to always download PDF files as follows:

  1. Click the Customise and control Google Chrome (three-dot) button in the top-right corner.
  2. Choose Settings.
  3. Click Privacy and security from the left menu.
  4. Click Site settings.
  5. Click Additional content settings.
  6. Click to open PDF documents.
  7. Tick the option Download PDFs.
  8. You may close the Settings page.

The plagiarism detection software (Turnitin) is available through the UM VLE. Tutors may request that besides hard copies, students also submit an electronic version of their work through the UM VLE to be scanned by Turnitin. More information about Turnitin is available.

Academic staff

Academic staff registered on SIMS who wish to use the VLE can access it at any time by signing in using their UM IT Account. No requests are required to start using the VLE. When you access the VLE, your study-unit/s will be displayed and you can immediately start uploading the study-unit material and integrate activities. Early every September, the study-unit areas for the upcoming academic year are added to the VLE.

Remember that only study-units on offer during the current and past academic years are available in the VLE. If you wish to start preparing a study-unit area to be delivered during a future academic year, you can use the sandbox area.

If you have used the VLE in the past and you would like to transfer the course material to study-unit areas of the current academic year, you can use the VLE Copy Tool.

You are also encouraged to read through the Start of semester checklist

If you cannot find a study-unit in the VLE, check that you are registered on SIMS as a tutor for the missing study-unit:

  1. Access eSIMS / eSIMS JC.
  2. Click:
    • View / Print Study-Unit Reports under Study-Unit Reports and Email Facility in eSIMS, or
    • View / Print Class Reports under Subject Reports in eSIMS JC.
  3. Select the academic year, e.g. 2021/22.
  4. Click the Retrieve Study-Units / Subjects button.

If the study-unit does not appear on eSIMS / eSIMS JC, contact your faculty or departmental office / Office of the Principal so that they can register you as a tutor for the missing study-unit. Once data is entered in SIMS, the study-unit will appear in the VLE within 24 hours.

From time to time, IT Services organises the Getting Started with the VLE workshop for academics.

User guides to get started with the VLE are also available for both academics and students.

Tutors need to make the study-unit area visible to students. Study-unit areas are not immediately available to students, in order to provide tutors with a private space to develop their study-unit area.

Upon accessing the VLE, a list of your study-unit/s will be displayed. A study-unit with the text 'Hidden from students' next to it indicates that the study-unit is not visible to students.

When you are ready to make your study-unit area visible to students:

  1. Access the VLE and click on your study-unit area.
  2. In the Show study-unit to students block (right side of the page), click the toggle button. The status will update from Hidden to Visible.

Subsequently, all students registered to the study-unit on SIMS are automatically granted access to the study-unit area. You need to inform your students that your study-unit has a presence in the VLE. Students can then access the study-unit area using their UM IT Account. Students who experience issues with accessing the VLE should be directed to the IT Service Desk.

Note that First Year and Resit students may not be able to access the VLE immediately, until their student records are settled. Typically, these students will be able to access the VLE around the third or fourth week of October. 

You are also encouraged to read through the Start of semester checklist.

As a tutor, if you Switch role to... Student while editing a hidden VLE area and navigate outside the area before switching back to your tutor role, the hidden VLE area will no longer show in the VLE Dashboard, as you will still be considered as a student. You must return to the VLE area (using the browser's Back button) and revert back to your tutor role.

For more information, you may refer to the Switching role to student  quick guide.

The Library has produced a set of guidelines related to copyright and intellectual property rights. Some of these guidelines are related to content published on the VLE.

If the student cohorts of all occurrences will be following the same material, a metacourse VLE area may be created linking all student cohorts to the same area.

To request a metacourse VLE area, please submit a request via the Self-Service Portal and indicate all the study-unit codes / occurrences which you would like metalinked.

Note that if you are co-tutoring any of these study-units, it is important to liaise with the other tutors involved, as all the tutors would need to use the metacourse area to avoid any confusion among students.

The VLE includes those study-units on offer during the current and past academic years. Early every September, the study-unit areas for the upcoming academic year are added to the VLE. To start preparing material for a study-unit which will be delivered during a future academic year, you can make use of your sandbox area.

The sandbox area is also used to explore and experiment with different features of the VLE. The sandbox area is not accessible by students.

Early every September, the study-unit areas for the upcoming academic year are added to the VLE.

You can use the VLE Copy Tool to copy the study-unit material from archived study-unit areas to the ones on offer during the current academic year. This online tool copies all the files, resources and activities that the tutors have set up for students, except for any submissions made by students, such as assignments, forum posts etc.

Note that Zoom meeting activities will not be copied via the VLE Copy Tool. Although the Lecture Capture (Panopto) activities will be copied, the Panopto recordings will not be copied via the VLE Copy Tool since these are stored on the Panopto platform, not on the VLE. To copy and move Panopto recordings, refer to the Copying and moving recordings  quick guide.

This warning occurs when the file that you are trying to upload  is greater than 100MB. IT Services recommends small sized files, as larger files take longer to upload and can be frustrating for students to view these (particularly on tablets or mobile phones).

Some suggestions to reduce the file size:

  • it is a good practice to upload PDF versions of your documents. MS Office 2010 and onwards has built-in features to save files to PDF
  • use the inbuilt crop and compression options in your MS Office software to reduce the size of images
  • use file compression (zip) software for Windows or Mac 
  • use smallpdf.com to further compress a PDF file.

Tutors who are unable to reduce the file to less than 100MB can upload the file to their University Google Drive and create a shareable link which they would then add as a URL resource in their VLE area. To create a shareable link for a file/folder stored on Google Drive:

  1. Locate the file / folder in your Google Drive.
  2. Right-click on the file / folder and from the drop-down menu select Get link. A dialog box will be displayed.
  3. From the drop-down menu, switch the setting from Restricted to University of Malta.
  4. Click the Copy link button to copy the shareable link.
  5. Click the Done button.
  6. In your VLE area, click Start editing.
  7. From the Add a resource drop-down menu, select URL.
  8. Type in a Name and Description (optional) for your resource in the respective text fields.
  9. Paste the shareable link in the External URL text field.
  10. Click the Save and return to course button.

Contact IT Service Desk if you require further assistance.


https://www.um.edu.mt/itservices/vle/info/faqs/