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.

Re/Play adding and reusing content.

Following the changes made to the unit codes as part of the SLSP project we are currently investigating a problem where the search functions will not return results for the new unit code catalogs.

There are two ways we would recommend reusing or adding recordings in to Blackboard  –

Add Presentation tool –

  • Navigate to the content area in the Blackboard course where you would like to add the recording
  • Ensure Edit Mode is ON and then select Build Content
  •  Select Mediasite – Link to presentation(s)
  •  Enter the name of the presentation you wish to add and select Search Presentations
  •  tick the box to the left once located and then Submit
  •  Click OK
  •  The recording will now be at the bottom of the page and can be moved as required.

Embedding –

  •  Open Blackboard and select the My Re/Play Tab
  •  Scroll down and select Share Presentation
  •  Select Copy if you want to add a link or select Embed and then Copy if you wish to add a responsive video player
  • Navigate to the content area in the Blackboard course where you would like to add the recording
  • Ensure Edit Mode is ON and then select Build Content
  •  Select Item
  •  Give the Item a Name
  •  To add a link simply paste in to the editor and add descriptive text so your students know what they are looking at and select Submit
  •  To Embed Select HTML from the bottom row of icons in the editor. If you can not see this click the arrows in the top right. Paste in your Embed code and Update
  •  Add anything else you want in to the text editor and select Submit

If you do need to add a recording to the catalog for the 19/20 academic session please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk and we will be able to assist.

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 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.