Digital Insights Surveys launched today

Digital Insights Surveys live from November 16th

The University will be running surveys with staff and students on their digital experience using the Jisc Digital Experience Insights survey.

The three surveys, which will run between November 16th and December 7th 2020, are:

  • A student survey
  • A teaching staff survey
  • A professional services staff survey

The surveys will be managed by Education Services with input from other stakeholders, including IT Services.

The Digital Experience Insights survey allows us to collect and analyse data about the digital environment and how digital technologies are used in learning, teaching and support activity.

The surveys capture user expectations and experiences of technology, based on concise question sets which have been intensively trialled within higher education. The surveys will allow us to gather data on the digital experience of staff and students and benchmark our provision with other HEIs. The information generated will inform our decision-making and resource allocation, and demonstrate where we have made improvements.

Please encourage your colleagues and students to complete the survey. As a direct result of last year’s student survey, we have:

  • Improved the consistency of Blackboard courses through new templates and core standards
  • Developed a new range of direct support for students (including the new digital induction, guides and contextual help)
  • Recruited 12 Student Digital Champions to inform the development of the digital environment and improve our support for students
  • Introduced new tools to support teaching and learning

More information and project updates will be posted on the DEO website.

Guidance on recording teaching and hybrid teaching

The DEO have drafted two new guides to support staff planning teaching and timetables in TB2. The first guide is a summary of options for recording online and face-to-face teaching. This guide also includes options which could be used instead of recording (which might be useful for all students on a unit). The second guide summarises some questions and considerations which might be useful for any staff considering hybrid teaching (teaching online and face-to-face students at the same time) to enable self-isolating students to join on-campus sessions. Hybrid teaching can be complex and difficult to do well, and teaching rooms are not currently designed to support it. This guidance considers some of the areas you may need to address before you choose to adopt it.

Important information on email from Blackboard

In the last week an issue was identified where emails sent from University systems – like Blackboard, or MyBristol – may have been wrongly identified as spam and automatically consigned to individual Gmail account spam folders. This could mean that important information may not have reached all of the intended recipients.  The issue has now been resolved but you may wish to check your spam folder, and also advise your students to check theirs. On a more general note, checking spam folders regularly to ensure emails have not been incorrectly identified as spam is recommended.

Access Denied or prompted to re-enter username and password – full fix

If the quick LOGOUT fix to resolve Access Denied or the prompt to re-login has not worked you should clear out your cookies and browser history.

In Firefox: Tools/Options/ Privacy/Clear recent history & remove individual cookies (remove all or just the Blackboard ones.)

In Internet Explorer: Tools/ Delete Browsing History. Ensure you delete History, Cookie and Favorites information (if Blackboard is one of your favorites.)

In Chrome: Options(Spanner Icon top right)/Under the Bonnet/Clear Browsing Data/Change timescale to ‘Beginning of Time’/Click Clear Browsing Data

Figure 1: removing browser history and cookies in Internet Explorer.

With Firefox, Safari and Chrome you should then have no further problems. Internet Explorer may continue to ask for your username and password when you open Microsoft documents, simply click Cancel and the documents will still open.

The TEL Support team in the ESU are investigating whether there is a fix we can apply to resolve this browser issue, however the simple steps outlined above should solve the problem. N.B. as this is an issue with browsers you may need to do it on any PC you use.

Blackboard Mobile Learn

We have recently purchased the Blackboard Mobile Learn building block. Blackboard Mobile Learn makes the VLE accessible on mobile devices, without the need for interface or course redesign by staff.  Students can browse Blackboard in an interface designed to be used on mobile devices and participate in activities, add multimedia to blogs and discussion boards, view grades and check for alerts and updates to indicate recently marked work or activity in a group project.  Students will be able to browse reading lists and other information posted in Blackboard while in the library, prepare for seminars and group tutorials while on the bus or train and download and listen to podcasts and audio feedback on their way home.[1]  The additional functionality of Blackboard Mobile Learn could support off campus activities such as field trips.

For a sneak preview of how Blackboard Mobile Learn looks see:

Future updates on Blackboard Mobile Learn will be circulated to subscribers to our “BB Mobile” Category.

[1] A full specification of Blackboard Mobile Learn is available from:

Course statistics and tracking disabled

We have currently disabled course statistics while we continue to investigate the problems with this functionality. Disabling tracking and statistics within courses will impact on instructor’s ability to generate course and item statistics and tracking data for individual or groups of users. We apologise for any disruption this may cause.

At present Blackboard course instructors still have the ability to enable tracking on individual items within a course but please be aware that the reports generated may not contain any data, or the data may not be accurate.