Useful links for preparing online teaching

Change to Turnitin for anonymous marking

Please read this information if you use or administer Turnitin for anonymous marking.

With the recent Blackboard upgrade, essential to ensure our Blackboard service remains supported, we were also required to update the Turnitin integration. Unfortunately, in the newer version Turnitin have changed the Sync Grades functionality so it cannot be used to send submission information (marks or submission status) from Turnitin to the Blackboard Grade Centre while anonymity is on.

Does this affect me?

The change affects you if you have previously used Sync Grades to:

  • Check to see which students have or have not submitted while an assignment is anonymous
  • Run anonymous moderation

If you are affected please read the information about alternatives to sync grades before setting up any new Turnitin assignments. If in doubt contact the Digital Education Office for further advice.

New marking tool in Blackboard from 10th August

Bb Annotate is a new tool in Blackboard for feedback annotations. It will replace the current tool, Box View, from 10th August 2020, and has a much wider range of functionality. The change to Bb Annotate will not require downtime, and it will work immediately for new submissions. Previously submitted assignments and feedback will be converted in the background, or when first accessed after the switch. This change does not affect Turnitin assignments.  For more information see Bb Annotate – new Blackboard inline marking tool.

DEO dropins and training webinars for staff

To support you to move teaching and assessment online, the DEO are running daily drop-ins as well as subject-specific webinars for staff.  Current webinars cover using Collaborate for live sessions, creating and reusing video, Blackboard basics, assessment and feedback, and designing and facilitating engaging online discussion. You can find details and signup instructions on our Events page.

To access recordings of previous webinars, please enrol yourself on the DEO Staff Development course on Blackboard (you’ll be asked to log in to Single sign on first).

Coronavirus – information and support for staff on moving teaching online

The following information is for staff. Guidance for students is being developed.

  1. Self-help materials – moving teaching online. Please look at these first.
  2. Online drop-ins and training webinars.
  3. Share questions and ideas with peers through the digital education Yammer group.
  4. Queries? Email Please be patient. We will respond as soon as we can, but expect to be very busy over the coming weeks.

Digital Education Office support over the Christmas period

  • The University is closed for Christmas from 5pm on Monday 23rd December, and re-opens on Friday 3rd January 2020
  • The Digital Education Office (DEO) team will be unavailable on the afternoon of Friday 20th December due to a divisional Christmas celebration
  • There will be a limited DEO Helpdesk service on Monday 23rd December

If you have a query for the DEO during the Christmas period please email and we will respond as soon as possible.  If you have an urgent IT problem (eg a service is unavailable) please contact the IT Service Desk on 0117 4282100 (internal 82100).



Bulk upload of feedback for group assignments – issue fixed

This message is for staff marking group assignments using EMA workflow B1 (the marks and feedback batch upload tool in Blackboard).  Group assignments are where one student submits on behalf of a group.

An issue was recently identified as potentially affecting a small number of courses with group assignments due to have feedback bulk uploaded.

We are pleased to say that this has been fixed by Blackboard.

Feedback for group assignments can now be bulk uploaded as normal using EMA workflow B1.  

If you have any questions please contact the Digital Education Office.