Changes to your Blackboard courses (units) for 2019/20

As you know, the Student Lifecycle Support Programme is delivering changes to assessment and feedback this year, including the following areas in Blackboard:  

  • The capability for marks and feedback to be accessed and submitted in Blackboard 
  • Allowing for marks to be transferred automatically from Blackboard to SITS, saving staff time and reducing the risk of transcription errors. 

To enable this, the Digital Education Office will be rolling over Blackboard courses with blank Grade Centres this academic year. This means that any settings currently in Grade Centres, as well as test deployments, will be deleted and will need to be set up again after roll-over. If you have Blackboard courses with complicated Grade Centre settings that need to be copied over, you can opt to have these courses rolled over with the Grade Centres intact; however, you will then need to manually delete parts of the new course in order to make them ready for the new link with SITS. The DEO will advise you on what needs to be done. Please fill in the attached form as soon as possible if you have any courses like this.  

Please contact digital-education@bristol.ac.uk if you have any queries 

Blackboard course rollover and planned changes

Each year, we copy existing course materials into new Blackboard courses (units) for the following year through a process called ‘rollover’. Rollover will take place in the first week of August, with two changes from previous years:

  1. The new course codes will include the teaching block recorded in SITS. For example AENG11111_2018 will be copied to AENG11111_2019_TB-2. If a unit occurs in multiple teaching blocks, rollover will create multiple instances of that unit, eg AENG11111_2019_TB-1 and AENG11111_2019_TB-2.
  2. Courses will be rolled forward without the Grade Centre; the existing columns for past assignments will not be replicated in the new version of the course.

There are several implications of the rollover without the Grade Centre:

  • Whilst existing Blackboard tests will be copied to the new unit, they will need to be redeployed. Any tests added to the SLS assessment diet will be created as a blank test. SLS are providing guidance on this, and DEO can provide guidance and help in redeploying these tests with the questions from the previous year.
  • No assignment submission points will exist within your courses until they have been set to be transferred from SITS. SLS will provide guidance on how to transfer assignments from SITS to Blackboard.
  • Any adaptive release rules based on the previous tests or assignments will need to be reapplied as necessary.

Please contact Digital Education if you require further information about the changes.

Blackboard upgrade reminder

Blackboard Upgrade  

The Digital Education Office will be upgrading Blackboard from 7pm on Monday 29th July 2019. Blackboard will be unavailable until midday on Tuesday 30th July.  

This update brings general improvements to Blackboard, including audio/video feedback for submissions. Keep an eye on the blog for updates.

 

 

Submission uploads to Blackboard – advice for students

We have had some reports of submissions to Blackboard being 0 bytes (empty) when accessed for marking.  In the past this has been identified as a problem with a browser, initially with Edge and then with Safari.  These errors have since been fixed in Blackboard upgrades, however if you have students and markers still reporting similar problems it may be prudent to offer your students some advice for when they upload a submission:

Start the submission at least an hour before the due time.

Make sure you are on a stable, secure connection, an intermittent wi-fi connection could cause problems.

Close the document before trying to upload it to Blackboard.

Wait to see the document rendered properly on screen before assuming that it has uploaded.

If you are having problems, change browser and/or refresh the cache in the browser you are using.

Check that your internet connection is still active and you are still logged in to Blackboard properly (restart the machine and log out and back in).

If you are unable to submit properly email your school administrator immediately attaching a copy of the submission and let them know you have a problem.  They can then clear the submission and allow you to try again if necessary.