Finding Feedback made easier for students using NEW BUTTON in My Grades

One of the main ways that students can access the marks and feedback provided for online assignments is via the ‘My Grades’ tool in Blackboard.

The TEL team have modified the design and layout of the ‘My Grades’ screen to make it easier and clearer for students to use. Improving the ability for students to recognise where and how to access to their feedback when looking at the ‘My Grades’ screen has been the key objective of this enhancement.

This revised design is now live in Blackboard and available to students.

This improvement means that:

  • Greater prominence has been given to the link a student clicks on to access their feedback for an assignment, reducing the dominance of the mark.
  • The availability of feedback is highlighted to a student by a large clickable button, clearly labelled ‘Title of assignment – View Feedback’.
  • The details and status of assignments are more visible, having increased the size of the text and adjusted line spacing.

The functionality of the ‘My Grades’ screen has not changed but the re-design should improve usability for your students.

When a student clicks on the ‘View Feedback’ button for an assignment they will be able to open a view of their submitted work that shows all the feedback that the marker has provided.

The ‘My Grades’ screen is also responsive, allowing it to resize appropriately when students view it on the smaller screens of mobile devices.

Students have been notified of this enhancement in a news article on the me@reading portal.

Existing support materials on how to access and view feedback, currently highlighted to students on the ‘My Blackboard’ page, also include this information.

 

 

Get ready! Direct transfer of marks between Blackboard and RISIS (EMA Integration)

This post contains information aimed at Module Convenors and academic staff involved in overseeing assessment in modules on Blackboard.

 

The integration of assessment information between RISIS and Blackboard is scheduled to go live on Thursday 3rd January 2019. It applies to all summative assessments with a due date of Friday 1st February or later.

 

What is EMA Integration?

 

Integration will increase the accuracy and efficiency of assessment administration:

1. Sub modular marks that are recorded in Blackboard for summative assessments will be transferred directly to RISIS by Programme Administrators (This includes marks for Turnitin assignments.)

2. Assessment information held in RISIS will be used to automatically set up Blackboard assessments e.g. Blackboard assignments, blogs, journals and wikis. (This excludes the set up of Turnitin assignments. Programme Administrators will continue to set these up manually.)

 

What does it mean for academic staff?

 

There are no changes for academic staff in how assessments are marked. Your Programme Administrators will handle all of the Integration processes. Your Support Centre has been briefed and trained for the introduction of EMA Integration, and continued support will be provided by EMA staff and the TEL team.

Please continue to provide your Programme Administrators with the details of your assessments for the coming term to allow them to automate the technical administration of the assessments in Blackboard.

 

What will I see in Blackboard?

 

If you enter the Grade Centre for your module, you will see columns that allow marks to be transferred into RISIS. The titles of these are prefaced with [IC]. Do not edit or delete these.

For some assessment types, integration will automatically set up the submission point along with the column in the Grade Centre. These are:

  • Blackboard Assignments,
  • Blackboard Blogs, Journals & Wikis.

These assessments will always be set up in the section called ‘Assessment’ in the course menu. It is essential that you do not move or copy these to another area in the course. 

If your Blackboard courses do not currently use a course menu item called ‘Assessment’ as the location for assignment submissions, we recommend renaming the existing submission area to ‘Assessment’. Further advice and guidance can be found at ‘What if my course menu does not have an Assessment area?

 

Further information and support

 

If you have any questions about integration: 

Or talk to your Programme Administrator in the first instance. If they do not know the answer, they can raise a support ticket for colleagues in the TEL, RISIS or IT teams to answer the query.

 

You can find more support about how to undertake e-assessment on our EMA Help page.

 

 

Blackboard Upgrade November 2018

Blackboard upgrade icon

This weekend’s upgrade has now completed. You can log in again as normal, to access both Blackboard and Turnitin.

The upgrade was carried out primarily to enable RISIS-Blackboard integration to take place later in the academic year, but it also brings a number of bug fixes, and makes available a few new features:

Blackboard Assignments

The ability for students to download feedback from Blackboard assignments has been restored. They are now able to download an annotated copy of their work, containing all feedback added using the Box inline grading tool, as a PDF. 

Student help page: Blackboard Assignment – download marked assignment submissions

 

Grading in the Blackboard Instructor app

It is now possible to use the Blackboard Instructor app to mark work submitted to a Blackboard Assignment.

This functionality is very new, and the TEL team have not yet had the opportunity to test it thoroughly, so please use it with caution. Check out the Grading in the Blackboard Instructor app page on the Staff help site.

 

As ever, if you encounter any issues using Blackboard, please contact the IT Service Desk.

TEL team meet our new students at Welcome Week’s Academic Success Fair

Staff from the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team and Electronic Management of Assessment (EMA) programme enjoyed meeting our new students at Welcome Week’s Academic Success Fair.  

Pic of Pete & Chris

Pete Moll (L) & Chris Johnson (R) from the TEL team

We had some great discussions with students about Blackboard (our Virtual Learning Environment, VLE), submitting work and accessing marks and feedback online. It was interesting to hear about students’ previous experiences of VLEs, both anecdotally and via a survey we ran on the day.

The headline survey results showed that 54% of students have used VLEs prior to joining UoR and 60% have submitted assignments or coursework online before. It’s worth noting that although many students have prior experience of using a VLE, only 19% have previously used Blackboard.

We have some really useful resources to help students who are new to Blackboard and/or online submissions. These can be found via Blackboard’s Help tab; there’s a searchable site containing helpful resources on all aspects of using Blackboard and Turnitin. 

Congratulations to the 8 winners of our survey prize draw – we’ve emailed you with details of how to collect your Amazon voucher prizes (kindly donated by Blackboard)!

The TEL team would like to wish all our new and returning students every success for the forthcoming year! 

Chris Johnson / Lauren McCann (CQSD TEL) 

Blackboard and TEL – What’s New for 2018-19

As we start a new academic year, here’ s a summary of changes that have taken place over the summer.

Blackboard redesign

You can’t fail to have noticed that Blackboard has a crisp new look. The redesign was informed by feedback received from student and staff focus groups held in the Spring term. As well as aiming to be more visually appealing, the landing page has been designed to give prominence to those areas of Blackboard which users need to access most frequently. And we’ve used a new responsive theme, meaning that Blackboard should now display well on any device, and any size of screen.

Read more on the new Blackboard design

 

Blackboard upgrade

This was a fairly minor upgrade, but it brought a number of enhancements and bug fixes.

Read more on the Blackboard upgrade

 

Blackboard Ally

Ally is an innovative tool which can help improve the accessibility of content on Blackboard courses. It has been enabled on all 2018-19 courses. Ally is being trialled for a year as part of the implementation of the University’s policy on Inclusive Practice in Teaching and Learning.

Read more on Blackboard Ally

View Blackboard ALLY support materials

 

New support sites for staff and students

We have launched new help sites for you and your students to use Blackboard and related technologies such as Turnitin and Collaborate (web conferencing).

Staff support site: https://sites.reading.ac.uk/tel-support-for-students

Student support site: https://sites.reading.ac.uk/tel-support

Help articles are categorised, so you can for instance find all articles on Marking & Feedback, but the best way of finding what you want is to use the search box at the top of every page.

 

Preparing for the new academic year

Highlighted on the staff support site at the moment is a checklist aimed to help you prepare your Blackboard sites for a new cohort of students – see Getting ready for the new Year.

 

Requesting support

As ever, when seeking support from the TEL team – whether you have a technical query or are looking for advice or training – please contact us by logging a support ticket through the IT Self-Service Portal

You can also simply email it@reading.ac.uk or use the ASK A QUESTION link at the top of the Staff support site.

Your queries and requests for support are picked up and dealt with by the TEL team.

 

Wishing you all a successful academic year.

New-look Blackboard live this Friday (info for students)

Blackboard will look a little different from Friday morning (31 August), and there are a couple of things you will need to do before logging in for the first time.

In response to staff and student feedback, we’ve been working to improve Blackboard’s look, feel, accessibility and the experience of our staff and students when using it. We’ve also been keen to make it more responsive and give a better experience when using it on mobile devices. 

 

What will I need to do before logging in for the first time?

Edit 22/09/18: it should no longer be necessary to clear browsing data before logging on to Blackboard

Before logging in, you will need to clear the browsing data from the web browser you use, e.g. Chrome, Firefox. Don’t worry if you don’t know what this means or how to do it – just click for guidance on the link below for the browser you use: 

*You are advised not to use the Internet Explorer browser when using Blackboard*

Mobile browsers:

 

How will it look?

The new log-in screen will present like this (use your university user-name and password to log in):

Image of new Blackboard log-in page

Once logged in, you will find yourself on the My Blackboard tab (shown below) where you will find your modules, your organisations, relevant announcements and module evaluation surveys.  Continue reading