Blackboard modules now available

Blackboard

 

Modules starting in semester 1 are now available in Blackboard (please note semester 2 modules will be rolled over nearer their start date).

Tutors who have previously had access to modules in Blackboard will automatically have access to the new iteration, however, if you’re new to a module you will need to use the web form on the logged in staff web page to request access. This is an automated process and you will have access within the following 24 hours.

We have not automatically copied content over from previous years as you may wish to update your teaching materials, however, if you would like content copied over this can be done by following this link Migrating Blackboard Content or by sending a request to eos@worc.ac.uk stating the module code, name and what you require copying.

Students will be enrolled onto their modules at the end of August, so you have time to update materials and information before this becomes visible to students.

If you have any questions about this please contact eos@worc.ac.uk.

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Students’ Top Tips For Blackboard

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In March we undertook a SAP project focusing on maximising the use of the VLE (Blackboard) to improve the student experience. Part of this process included multiple focus groups with students to gather their opinions on the use of Blackboard, to find out what worked well and what could be improved.

The student experience of Blackboard is subject to the way in which colleagues use it, and so based on the feedback gathered during the focus groups, we have created some guidance to support staff.

Student’s Top Tips for Blackboard flyer

The flyer includes ten tips that students would like to see within their modules, which we hope colleagues will find useful when using Blackboard within their teaching.

If you would like any advice or support in using Blackboard within your course, please contact us by emailing eos@worc.ac.uk

 

New template for Semester 2

Blackboard

Modules for Semester 2 and Term 2 and 3 are now available in Blackboard for tutors to start populating ready for next semester.

We have made a few changes to the template this year that we would like to draw your attention to.

  • Welcome message – if you have not added anything to your Blackboard module area the students will see a message advising them to contact the tutor. All tutors should at least modify this Welcome message so that students are directed to any online learning materials provided. Please see the Baseline Standards for VLE use which provide more information about minimum requirements.
  • Reading Lists – there is now a direct link to your Talis Reading List from Blackboard – please ensure that you have set up and published your reading list so that students can access it via this link.
  • Virtual Classroom – each module now has access to the Collaborate Virtual Classroom tool and we have added a link to the course menu. By default this is hidden but if you would like to use this you can just “show” the link from the drop-down options next to the menu item and it will be ready to start using with your students.

. We have not automatically copied content over from previous years as you may wish to update your teaching materials, however, if you would like content copied over this can be done by following the instructions attached or by sending a request to eos@worc.ac.ukstating the module code, name and what you require copying

We will add the students to the modules early in the new year to give you chance to get these set up and ready.

migrating-blackboard-content-2016

Troubleshooting Blackboard

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As you can imagine, at this time of year the Learning Technology Team are very busy running lots of workshops and receiving lots of email enquiries from both staff and students.

We do try to respond to emails as soon as possible but please bear with us during this busy time as it may take a few days to get an answer to your query.

In the meantime though, there are lots of common questions that crop up so here are some of the most frequently asked questions and the answers you need.

  1. Gaining instructor access to modules on Blackboad – all modules are automatically created through the Blackboard SITS integration so if you need access as a tutor you only need to fill in a from on the Staff Portal to get access. Full details can be found here Adding Modules to your Blackboard profile
  2. Students not being able to access your module – because Blackboard and SITS are integrated a student’s modules in Blackboard will reflect what their Registry record shows. If a student changes modules, the new one won’t show in Blackboard until their record in SITS has been amended and once this has happened it can take up to 24 hours for the change to be reflected in Blackboard.
  3. Unable to log in – both staff and students’ user names and passwords are generated centrally by ICT and will be the same for all systems so if your password isn’t working you need to contact the ICT Helpdesk on 857500.
  4. Too many modules showing under My Courses – some people like to be able to access modules they’ve taken in previous years, however if you would prefer to only have your current modules showing you can hide any unwanted modules from view by adjusting the settings see this guide for details. Hiding unwanted modules in My Courses
  5. Trouble accessing files in Blackboard – If you or your students are having trouble accessing files in Blackboard it is likely to be an issue with the internet browser – we recommend using Firefox or Chrome with Blackboard but you can carry out a full browser check using this link

Don’t forget the Baseline Standards!

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By default, Blackboard course areas are now pre-populated with the six baseline standards pages:

  • Welcome
  • Announcements
  • Module Information
  • Resource List
  • Learning Resources
  • Assessment Information

These standards have been introduced in conjunction with staff and student feedback, as well as utilising common usability standards to provide a common framework that gives the best possible user experience.

These basic pages can provide a consistent look and feel throughout a course, and encourage the most effective use of the VLE for learning and teaching.

For a breakdown and examples how each of these pages can be used, click here for further information.

Turnitin Update

blackboardTurnitin log

We have revised the way in which Blackboard and Turnitin are integrated following some problems experienced at the end of last Semester. We now use the LTI integration which allows user to directly access the Turnitin system via their Blackboard course.

The process for setting up assignments is slightly different from the old Turnitin Direct plug-in and we have created a new guide to support staff setting this up.

The process for students submitting an assignment is very similar to the old method but an updated guide for students will be provided.

The University of Worcester Turnitin Policy states:

“The primary use of Turnitin at the University is to support students in understanding academic integrity and academic conventions, through formative use. Turnitin can also be used more formally for plagiarism detection purposes.”

We therefore recommend that you provide students with a Turnitin submission area for formative purposes and use the Blackboard or SOLE assignment tools for summative submission.