Changes to Blackboard for 2019-20

New tool in Blackboard to batch upload feedback 

In response to suggestions from staff users, the Digital Education Office has worked with Blackboard to develop an extra tool to make marking quicker by batch uploading feedback documents. To find out more about the tool, see this three-minute video: https://youtu.be/VdRdH8ylB5Y. For further information, or to arrange a demonstration, please contact the Digital Education Office.

New assessment, submission and feedback area in all Blackboard courses

The new assessment, submission and feedback area in all Blackboard unit courses is now available. It provides students with a consistent one-stop-shop for assessment information, online submission, and access to marks and feedback on each of their units. Information can be added and updated at faculty, school or unit level. Where added at faculty or school level, the information needs only to be updated in one place and will then be visible in all units within a faculty or school. If you wish to start using this facility, FEMs, SAMs or GAMs should please nominate two colleagues in the school or faculty to be editors, informing the Digital Education Office, who will then provide training and assign permission to edit.

Non-SITS courses changing to organisations

In order to support the introduction of the Student Lifecycle Support Programme, Blackboard courses that are not linked to a specific unit in SITS are being changed into Blackboard organisations. The content and functioning of these are unaffected, but staff and students will now find them in the My Organisations area rather than My Courses.

If you have questions about any of these changes, please contact digital-education@bristol.ac.uk. For additional information, please see the Digital Education Office website.

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.

 

 

Blackboard Upgrade and Course Rollover 2019

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.

Course Rollover 

Course rollover and new course creation for 2019/20 will take place on Monday 5th August 2019. Blackboard will continue to be available as normal during this process. Staff enrolments will roll over from 2018/19 or 2017/18 courses as applicable. For any issues with new course enrolments, please contact your school admin team in the first instance.  

 

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.

 

 

Chance to try a new Blackboard tool to upload digital feedback for your students

If you are interested in marking offline eg using Word, would you like to try out a new tool which allows the upload of feedback for a whole cohort or for groups of students? The Digital Education Office is running our third hands on session on the 22nd May where you can have a go. The session will be suitable for markers or administrators who support marking.

Book online to attend a session

Alternatively we will also be running a Webinar demonstration/Q&A on the 24th May. This session will be recorded.

Book online to attend the Webinar

More information on the tool

In order to better support markers who mark offline, the Digital Education Office has been working with Blackboard on development of a tool which allows Instructors to:

  1. batch download assignments, including by group (eg if you are marking a subset of students within a unit)
  2. mark offline eg annotating an assignment or completing a separate feedback sheet in Word
  3. batch upload marks and feedback files.

This video  provides an overview of how the tool works.    Please note that currently the tool can only be used where students have submitted an assignment in Blackboard.