Author: Caroline Carlin.
In October Microsoft announced that the Office Mix product will be retired in May 2018. As keen promoters and users of Office Mix, the TELT team initially felt a little frustrated at what felt like a sudden announcement, but dig a little deeper and there are sure to be exciting times ahead.
From its initial rollout in 2014 Office Mix has offered educators a simple interface to create interactive on demand lectures in the familiar environment of PowerPoint. With the ability to record audio directly over slides and screen recordings, coupled with basic quizzing tools and powerful analytics, Mix has proved to be a popular tool at UCLan for creating blended learning and flipped classroom content.
So what’s going to happen next?
To be honest, the details are a little sketchy at present. What we do know is that no new users will be able to sign up to Mix after January 1st 2018 and existing users will be able to continue to use the service until 1st May 2018 (Microsoft are requesting all content be migrated to Stream before then). All the features we love about Mix will be integrated into PowerPoint without the need to download additional Add ins, though at the time of writing dates for this haven’t been released. Possibly the most exciting element of the move to PowerPoint will be the ability to embed Forms into slides to replace the fairly lacklustre Quiz options currently available in Mix. The Quiz tool within Forms has a good range of question types, is simple to use, embeds well (you can currently embed Forms into OneNote, Sway and web pages) and has powerful analytics if you want to track student progress.
What does this mean for my current Mixes?
Until we know more, it’s probably best to leave your Mixes where they are for now. The TELT Team will be monitoring news from Microsoft about when features will be available in PowerPoint and when all features will work as expected when mixes migrate to Stream on Office 365. We’ll be keeping you up to date via the usual channels (Blog, Twitter and UCLan Communications), but if you’d like to keep track yourself, Microsoft will be updating their Office Mix page over the coming months.