Faculty Theming in UTSOnline

Faculty theming and menu structure

In collaboration with LaTS (Learning and Teaching Systems), UTS faculties have created themes and menu structures to improve the student experience in UTSOnline. Student feedback tells us that locating learning materials and relevant content can become a confusing exercise across different subject sites. Faculties have addressed this issue with the creation of a two part update:

  1. a faculty theme
  2. a faculty-preferred menu layout

These two separately applied components can improve the way your students experience your UTSOnline subjects.

What is a faculty theme?

A faculty theme includes a banner and complementary menu colour scheme.  The banner is visible on every content area and automatically displays the subject name. The colour scheme changes the menu background and font colours to meet accessibility standards and complements the colours in the banner image. The theme also enables a fully responsive mobile or tablet experience.

There are different scenarios relating to themes.

  1. Some faculties have chosen to apply the theme to all subject sites from Autumn 2018 onwards. In this case you will not need to do anything. The theme will appear for you soon after sites are created for the new session.
  2. Other faculties have an opt-in process and you can apply the theme manually when and if you choose.

If you are in category 2 and wish to apply a faculty theme, then you can go ahead with a simple one-click process as shown below. Note that this only changes your menu colours and embeds the faculty banner. Your menu layout and content items will not be changed.

What is a faculty preferred menu structure?

The menu structure chosen by your faculty aims to provide a consistent, accessible and improved navigation for students. Subject coordinators still retain the ability to add extra content areas and to manage their menu.

Depending on your faculty policy, the rollout of faculty menu structure will vary. Each faculty approaches this in a different way and your faculty will provide you with relevant details. Every brand-new subject site is now created with a faculty theme and menu structure. However, to retro-fit the menu structure onto a subject site that has been copied from a previous session, a manual intervention is required. You can follow the steps below to manually update your menu.

[If you prefer you can download the full guide for applying theming and menu structure and work through the steps via PDF.]

1. How do I apply a theme?

Steps for applying a faculty theme

  1. Login to UTSOnline and select your subject site
  2. Make sure edit mode is ON
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  3. If you have an existing banner, continue with the steps below. If not, proceed to step 4
    1. Open the Homepage edit menu and locate Page Banner.

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    2. Remove the existing banner and submit your changes. Proceed to Step 4.
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  4. Locate and mouse-over the Change Subject Theme button and select your faculty theme from the drop-down list.
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  5. You may need to refresh your browser to see the banner and menu style transformation.
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2. How do I update my menu structure?

Steps for applying a faculty menu structure

If you need assistance at any point then please log a Service Connect ticket with your faculty learning technologist.

  1. Locate Control Panel->Customisation->Teaching Style
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  2. Locate Select Subject Structure from the dialogue box and choose your faculty structure from the left side of the screen
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  3. After choosing a faculty menu, click Use This Structure
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  4. Next, choose whether or not to include sample content along with your new menu. Sample content includes things like labelled weekly folders in the Learning Materials section of the menu.
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  5. Before leaving the Customisation->Teaching Style area, locate the section named Default Content View and select Text Only and Apply this view to all existing content.
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  6. Submit your changes
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  7. A notification shows that your menu structure has been applied. Old menu items appear below the new menu structure. You still have all your data and any content areas with the same name will be merged.
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  8. Now you need to move relevant content from its old location into the relevant areas in the new menu and to delete the areas you no longer need.
    Moving Content

    1. Select the chevron icon next to the item you wish to move and choose Move from the drop down options
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    2. Select Browse
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    3. Browse the outline of the menu structure and select the destination for the moved item.
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    4. Submit and check the item has moved correctly.
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  9. Deleting menu items
    1. Select the chevron next to the menu item you wish to remove and choose Delete from the drop down menu.
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    2. Confirm the deletion.

Hot Tips:

  • If you have an area already well organised with learning materials or assessment items, simply change the name of the old menu item to match the new structure, delete the new one and move the edited one into place.
  • Remember that you can delete old or unused material in your new subject site and it will all be preserved in the site used as the source for copying. There is no need to maintain endless duplication of unnecessary or archived material. You will be able to access any past session sites if needed.

Download the full guide here.