Revised date for Blackboard upgrade: 6th – 7th August

Colleagues will be aware that we had previously scheduled this summer’s Blackboard upgrade for 25th June, but this had to be postponed when Blackboard’s quality checks identified a software defect. This bug was quickly resolved, and we are currently testing the revised software version on our Staging system.

We are keen to take advantage of new features offered by the latest version, and have provisionally rescheduled the upgrade for 6th – 7th August.

The upgrade requires system downtime.

 

Blackboard and Turnitin  will be unavailable

from 7.30 p.m. on Sunday 6th August

until no later than midday on Monday 7th August

We will endeavour to complete all post-upgrade checks, and have Blackboard back online, by mid-morning on Monday 7th, but the whole of the morning should be considered as being “at risk”.

 

This downtime window has been planned to minimise disruption, and particularly to avoid any disruption to those resitting exams.

Our apologies if the revised schedule does cause any inconvenience for you and your learners.

Course rollover now complete

The annual course rollover took place at the weekend. A very big thank you to our colleagues in the IT TEL Support team who not only gave up their Saturday to get this done, but have also spent many hours over the previous weeks and months preparing for a successful rollover.

 

The following types of course copy have now taken place:

  • 2016-17 RISIS courses scheduled to run again in 2017-18
  • any other courses where a staff member had submitted a course copy request by 1st July

 

Other 2017-18 courses will have been created as a blank shell:

  • RISIS modules where the Module Convenor specifically requested this via the opt-out form
  • RISIS modules which were not in use in 2016-17, and no course copy request had been received
  • modules which have never run before
  • modules where the RISIS code has changed (unless you requested a copy from a previous course)

 

If you missed the 1st July deadline, but still have content you would like copied from a 2016-17 (or earlier) course, please fill out the Course Copy Request Form which you can find – along with many other Blackboard-related request forms – at http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/vle-support/

Please submit your request as early as possible, to make sure you have plenty of time to set up your course for the new academic year.

 

Staff enrolments

As part of the course copy process, most staff enrolments will have been rolled forward – all Instructors, Teaching Assistants and External Examiners.

In addition, staff identified in RISIS as Module Convenor for a 2017-18 module will have been enrolled on the corresponding Blackboard course.
This applies equally to courses which were copied, and to courses which have been set up as a blank shell.
If you are a Module Convenor for a module which runs both in Reading and Malaysia, you will see all 2017-18 occurrences of the module in Blackboard.

 

If you do not see all of the 2017-18 Blackboard courses you need

  • If the course has run before:
    Ask a colleague to enrol you. This could be

    • the Module Convenor
    • another colleague who is already enrolled on the course
    • the programme administrator in the Support Centre.
  • If the course has never run before (or has a new RISIS code):
    Ask Support Centre staff to enrol you. This could be

    • the Programmes Manager
    • the Senior Programme Administrator

You could also fill out this form – Request enrolment on a course – but it will probably be quickest just to contact colleagues in the Support Centre.

 

 

Preparing your 2017-18 courses for the new academic year

Course menu

If your course was created as a copy of a previous course, the menu will be exactly the same on the new course.

If your course was created as a blank shell, it will have the default course menu.

default Blackboard course menu 2017

In either case, please spend some time considering if the menu and underlying course structure

  • meet the specific requirements of your course
  • will be easily navigable by your learners

and then make any changes required.

Please see our guides on this:

The Blackboard course menu

The default menu for new modules/programmes, with suggestions for what each section should contain.

Customising a course menu

How to customise the course menu to include essential features & make it easy to navigate for students.

 

Course content

Courses which have been copied forward will include all course content except for announcements, discussion boards, and Blackboard blogs, journals and wikis.

Naturally, before you make the course available to students in the new academic year, you will need to ensure that preparation should include ensuring that all course materials, such as

  • module / programme handbooks
  • assignment briefs
  • lecture and seminar material

are up-to-date, and in the appropriate section of the course.

Talis reading list links – whether as part of the menu, or in a course content area – will have been copied, but you need to configure them for use by students in the new academic year. Please see http://libguides.reading.ac.uk/reading-lists/staff/blackboard

Module Evaluation – this is a new content area which has been added to the Blackboard course for all 2017-18 RISIS modules. Information for both staff and students is included within the Module Evaluation course content area. There is no need to make any changes to this area until later in the academic year.

 

Assessment

Blackboard Tests and Surveys will have been copied, and you will find them listed under Control Panel > Course Tools > Tests, Surveys and Pools. However they will NOT yet be deployed to users  (made available for students to take). You will need to deploy them with appropriate settings on the new course. Please see our guidance on Tests and Surveys.

Blackboard and Turnitin Assignments – these will not have been copied at all, and new submission points will now need to be created with appropriate settings on the new course. In most Schools, this work is done by programme administrators in the Support Centres.

 

Any Questions?

Please log a support ticket with IT and depending on the nature of your query, you’ll get a response from either the CQSD or IT TEL team.

*TEL Fest – TEL Roadshow, Tuesday 11 July, 13:00-14:00 in Carrington 201*

TEL Fest image

TEL Fest: Lunchtime Fringe – TEL Roadshow (with free light lunch!)

Tuesday 11 July, 13:00 – 14:00 in Carrington 201

Calling Academic & Administrative staff!

 

 Don’t miss this opportunity to meet, talk & munch with various TEL-related staff and teams from within and beyond the university, including staff from the Blackboard company, TEL CQSD, the Open Online Courses (OOC) team, ISLI TEL, TEL/AV Support, IT, the Library, Academic Development and EMA.

No need to book, just drop in at 13:00 for a bite to eat and a chat! This session in itself a TEL Fest with key staff all in one place!

Come along and find out, for example, how ILSI TEL staff have been using the Xerte tool to create interactive teaching materials. How can the Library help you with online reading lists? How can the TEL team support you to develop your use of technology to enhance your teaching? What is Office 365 that we all have access to? What’s an OOC? Who works ‘behind the scenes’ to help support TEL at the university and what do they do? Chat to TEL/AV Support staff about new audio-visual kit in teaching rooms.

Who’s Who at the TEL Roadshow: 

Team Staff Find out…
TEL CQSD Vicki Holmes (Head of TEL)

Adam Bailey

Lauren McCann

Bobbi Moore

Maria Papaethimiou

Andy Turner

How TEL staff can help you to use technology to enhance & enrich

T & L

Blackboard Anne Cross

Steve Hoole

About Blackboard from people who work for the company!
TEL Support / AV Helena Bampton

Jonathan Rajadurai

Mark Taylor

How TEL Support support TEL at UoR

Blackboard course rollover

What AV resources are available & the new kit available in rooms

IT Anton Lawrence

Steve Gough

Matt Gee

Robin Taylor

Jo Mortimer (Business Partner)

How IT can support you

Office 365

Windows 10 deployment

How your Business Partner can support you

ISLI TEL Jonathan Smith

Takeshi Adachi

How have ISLI TEL staff been using Xerte to create interactive

T & L materials

Library Kerry Webb

Natalie Guest

Online reading lists

Box of Broadcasts

Open Online Courses

(OOCs)

Nicky McGirr

Stasia Rattigan

Yen Tu

What is an Open Online Course?

How to get involved

Lessons you can learn from OOCs for designing your own blended and online learning

EMA

(Electronic Management of Assessment)

Emma Mayhew

Peter Hancock

Kat Lee

Siobhan Crathern

The latest on EMA at the university from the people who know!
Academic Development Deb Heighes

 

How the Academic Development team can support you & all about professional development

Hope to see you there,

Lauren & the TEL CQSD team

 

 

 

TEL Fest – Places still available! Bookings close on Friday (30 June)!

TEL Fest logo

There are still places available for TEL Fest sessions (Tues 11 – Thus 13 July, UoR staff only.) Bookings close on Friday (30 June). 

*Please see the link in the Details & Booking section at the end of this email for full descriptions of the ‘gigs’ (sessions) and booking information.*

TEL Fest

TEL Fest is designed in large part (though not exclusively) to help academic staff make the most of technology to enhance teaching and learning. (Administrative staff may also be interested in some of the sessions.) A series of bookable sessions, and something a little different from our TEL staff development provision during the year, it draws on expertise from colleagues across the University and external speakers, and comprises a range of TEL-related demonstrations, practical workshops, a roadshow and sharing/showcase sessions. Whether you come along to one or many ‘gigs’, and regardless of your previous TEL experience, the festival has been developed to ensure that you leave both inspired and equipped with the skills you need to enhance your current practice.

The Programme

Here’s how the final festival programme (and catered lunchtime ‘fringe) shapes up:

  • Tuesday 11 July

Telling TEL Tales and TEL Tapas: A taster session. What are they doing elsewhere with TEL and Blackboard? Examples of interesting & innovative practice at other institutions (Steve Hoole, Blackboard)

Mixing it up with an OOC: Lessons from our Open Online Courses for designing blended learning and maximising student engagement (the OOC team)

Lunchtime ‘Fringe’: TEL Roadshow (light lunch, drop-in)

Blackboard Bootcamp: Whip your Blackboard course in to shape! A practical workshop to help you develop your Blackboard module (Steve Hoole, Blackboard) 

  • Wednesday 12 July

Electronic Management of Assessment – Programme overview, progress and initial deliverables! (Emma Mayhew & EMA team)

1. ABC Curriculum Design workshop. A rapid-design workshop useful for new programmes and those being reviewed and changing to a more blended format, with links to the Curriculum Framework initiative (Clive Young & Natasa Perovic, University College, London)

Lunchtime ‘Fringe’: Show and TEL – Teaching Large Classes. A forum for academics to share how they’ve approached teaching large classes and technologies that can help. A look at the new Large Class Toolkit too!

2. ABC Curriculum Design workshop. Repeat of morning’s rapid-design workshop useful for new programmes and those being reviewed and changing to a more blended format, with links to the Curriculum Framework initiative (ADE/TEL staff along with Clive Young & Natasa Perovic, University College, London)

  • Thursday 13 July

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (Live Online Classroom): Launch & Early Adopters Showcase– Official launch of this new online collaboration/live online classroom tool and tales, hints and tips from our early adopters (Lauren McCann, Adam Bailey & early adopters)

An introduction to using webinars for teaching and Learning using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (Angela Buckingham, Pete Andrews & Adam Bailey)

Lunchtime ‘Fringe’: APPetite – Sharing apps for teaching & learning

Play a video and BoB’s your uncle! Using TV and radio programmes from Box of Broadcasts (BoB) to enhance teaching and learning (Markeda Cole, Learning on Screen)

Details & Booking

Book to come along to one, a few or all of the ‘gigs’ – whatever best suits you!

For full details of each of the sessions (in chronological order) and to book, please visit: https://www.reading.ac.uk/cqsd/TandLEvents/CQSD-TELEvents.aspx

All sessions are capped at 40 participants, except for Blackboard Collaborate: Using webinars for teaching & Learning (Thurs 13 July) which, for logistical reasons, is capped at 20 on this occasion. The TEl Roadshow event is a drop-in session. If the session you require is full and you are unable to book a place, feel free to email cqsd-tandl@reading.ac.uk to be added to a waiting list.

Please feel free to get in touch directly with me (email: l.j.mccann@reading.ac.uk) if you have any questions about this event – I’ll be happy to advise.  

Countdown: Less than 2 weeks ’til TEL Fest – TEL your colleagues!  

Blackboard upgrade postponed

We’re sorry to say that, with very little notice, Blackboard cancelled the upgrade which had been due to take place yesterday. This is because they had discovered a new bug, which was deemed sufficiently serious to put the success of the upgrade in jeopardy. No doubt determining the cause of this bug, and resolving the issue, will now be an absolute priority for Blackboard. However, until we know more about the likely timescales, we are unable to reschedule our upgrade.

In the meantime, our plans for course rollover are unaffected, and this will take place as scheduled on Saturday 8th July.

Blackboard Course Rollover: a reminder of actions required – and an interactive model

What is Course Rollover?

Course rollover is the annual process whereby Blackboard courses from the current academic year are copied for use in the next academic year.

This year Course Rollover will take place on Saturday 8th July 2017

 

Read on for a summary of how Rollover will work for your course, and what action (if any) you need to take.

Or, if you prefer a more visual approach to this, please check out this interactive model of your rollover options.

Course Rollover model

With thanks to Jonathan Rajadurai, Analyst Programmer (TEL) in the IT TEL & AV Team.

 

What action is required?

Blackboard courses linked to a single RISIS module or programme

The default position is that any RISIS module or programme

  • which was used in Blackboard in the current academic year (i.e. in 2016-17)
  • and is scheduled to run again in the new academic year (i.e. in 2017-18)

will be copied forward.

The vast majority of Blackboard courses fall into this category.

 

If a course you are teaching or supporting meets these criteria, and you are happy for the 2016-17 course to be copied forward, NO ACTION IS REQUIRED AT THIS TIME.

 

You can check that your course is scheduled to be copied by searching the Course Copy Status page at https://www.reading.ac.uk/blackboard/bbcopy/Home/Status

Courses included in the forthcoming Course Rollover will display as SCHEDULED – AUTO.

 

If your course is not shown here, please check:

  • was the course used in Blackboard in 2016-17?
  • is the module scheduled in RISIS for 2017-18? (your programme administrator can check this for you)

 

What if I don’t want my course to be copied?

If you would prefer to set your 2017-18 course up from scratch, perhaps with a new menu structure, and uploading only the specific content you need for the coming year, IT will provide you with a blank course shell.

An opt-out form is available for staff who do not want their 2016-17 course to be copied forward.

DEADLINE: 1st July

Please note that this opt-out form is only accessible to staff who are identified in RISIS as Module Convenor for 2017-18 modules.

 

Other options

What if the course did not run in 2016-17?

What if my module has a new code in RISIS?

What if I am teaching a completely new module?

 

Shared Courses

Shared Courses are not copied forward by default.

If you are responsible for a Shared Course in Blackboard and you want it copied forward for use in 2017-18, please use the Course Copy Request Form. Under ‘Select Type of Course Copy’ select Shared -> Shared, and make any changes required.

DEADLINE to be included in the main Course Rollover: 1st July

 

Non-RISIS courses

Non-RISIS Courses are not copied forward by default.

If you are responsible for a non-RISIS Course in Blackboard and you want it copied forward for use in 2017-18, please use the Course Copy Request Form. Under ‘Select Type of Course Copy’ select Single -> Single, and make any changes required.

DEADLINE to be included in the main Course Rollover: 1st July

 

 

What is copied during Course Rollover?

Course content and staff enrolments (Instructors, Teaching Assistants and External Examiners) will be copied as part of rollover.

In addition all staff identified as a 2017-18 Module Convenor in RISIS will be enrolled on the corresponding Blackboard course.

full details of what is and is not copied

 

 

For more detailed information on Course Rollover, please see the Course Rollover page on this blog.

 

If you have any queries, please log them with the IT Service Desk.