Avoid using commas in the title of Turnitin assignments

We have recently become aware of a minor issue when exporting marks from a Turnitin Assignment.

This issue only arises

  • when using Google Chrome (but this is generally our preferred browser)
  • for Turnitin Assignments which have a comma in their title

 

So there’s a simple solution: don’t use commas in the title of your Turnitin Assignments.

Strangely, other punctuation marks seem to be OK – it’s just commas which cause a problem.

TEL Consultations

Would you like specific advice on your teaching practice using technology? Are you interested in finding out how you could:

  • Engage and support your students?Discussion
  • Enhance your teaching practice
  • Overview your module/course?

The TEL team are available to meet with you individually for an in-depth discussion and advice on your specific needs. The consultations are 30 min 1-to-1 sessions with a member of the team and are designed to provide you with advice and support on the effective use of technology in your teaching.

What topics can we advise on?

 

a. Supporting student learningSlide2

  • Using Blackboard effectively for communication, collaboration and learning
  • Designing online learning activities or assessed tasks using blogs, wikis or discussion boards

 

Slide4b. Assessment and Feedback: Plan e-assessment for your course: Setting up e-submission, undertaking e-marking, providing e-feedback

c. Student Engagement: Promoting interaction in lectures using technology (Apps/Quizzes)

d. Deploying and using tools effectively for a specific purpose: Designing a feedback rubric, setting up a Test to check understanding, using a blog to encourage critical reflection

e. Module design: Review an existing module or design a new module to include effective use of TEL

f. Teaching practiceSlide3

  • Discuss your teaching needs and identify appropriate TEL solutions
  • Advise on teaching approaches and techniques for delivering blended and online learning

g. VLE Administration (for Student Support Centre Staff): Managing and organising Blackboard around academic activity.

A list of dates is now published: Book your placeIf the times shown are not suitable, make a provisional booking and a TEL Advisor will contact you to arrange a suitable time following your reservation. And they count towards your professional development record!

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Blackboard Enhancements January 2017

Blackboard was upgraded 18th-19th December (to Blackboard 9.1 2016 Q2 release, Cumulative Update 3, if you like to know such things).

The upgrade did not introduce any significant new functionality, but it did bring a number of bug fixes – for instance, emails sent from Blackboard with a file attachment should now display correctly for Apple users.

The upgrade also allowed us to introduce some other enhancements:

Blackboard Assignment Receipts

We are now able to customise the receipt which students receive when they submit to a Blackboard assignment. We have added some explanatory text for students, to reiterate that

  • they should retain the receipt in case they need to provide proof of submission
  • proof of submission is not proof that they submitted the correct file, nor that the file(s) uploaded and can be viewed successfully.

In addition, where you have set up a Group Assignment, when one member of a group submits to the assignment, all members of that group will now be notified.

See Blackboard assignment submission receipts for further details.

 

Reusable Objects

Reusable Objects allow you to store in a central location (the Blackboard  Fileshare) pieces of content which you regularly use on a variety of Blackboard  courses. Moreover, you can update the Reusable Object in the Fileshare and the content will be updated in every course where it has been made available.

Reusable Objects are thus a good way to maintain and update content which needs to be made available on multiple courses – perhaps even on every course in a Department or School – but which might need to be updated at various points during the academic year. Examples might include Health and Safety guidance, School and Support Centre staff contact details, or information from central teams such as Careers and the Library.

This functionality is likely to be of most interest to colleagues who manage or support a large number of courses. For details, please see our guide Reusable Objects, and log a call with it@reading.ac.uk if you require further assistance or advice on making use of this feature.

 

Turnitin

The Blackboard upgrade required us to update our Turnitin plug-in, but this should not have affected any Turnitin functionality.

However, in an unrelated change, Turnitin introduced a welcome update to their Feedback Studio just before Christmas, which should remove an issue where some staff were finding themselves logged out while marking. Details in this earlier blog post: Turnitin enhancement: Timeout setting revised

Turnitin enhancement: Timeout setting revised

Turnitin updated Feedback Studio on 14th December.

The most important improvement appears to be this one:

“Fixed an issue where instructors were getting timed out of the Feedback Studio if marking student work for over an hour”.
https://guides.turnitin.com/01_Manuals_and_Guides/Administrator_Guides/Feedback_Studio_Success_Kit/Feedback_Studio_Release_Notes

We believe that this timeout issue may have accounted for issues experienced recently by a few staff at Reading.

As we understand the situation, leaving feedback within the Feedback Studio window was – incorrectly – not being counted as activity, with the result that staff could be logged out of Turnitin when they had been marking for 60 minutes. This has now been fixed.

User activity within the Feedback Studio window (e.g. key stokes and mouse clicks) will now reset the timeout clock. Therefore, the 60 minute timeout should now affect only those users who have the Feedback Studio window open for over 60 minutes without clicking or writing comments.

Continue reading

Suggested solutions if you encounter any issues when marking in Turnitin Feedback Studio

Here are some suggestions for staff marking student work using Turnitin Feedback Studio, in case you encounter any technical issues.

Very occasionally, you might find that

  • you are not able to save comments
  • you are not able to open previously saved comments
  • the Feedback Studio screen freezes.

If you do experience any of these problems, we believe that the simplest way to resolve them is to switch back to the old Turnitin interface, ‘Turnitin Classic’.

There is a link to do this at the bottom of the Feedback Studio window.

return to Turnitin Classic

(for more detail see our Feedback Studio User Guide)

 

You may also be able to avoid problems with the Feedback Studio by clearing your browser cache:

IE11
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17438/windows-internet-explorer-view-delete-browsing-history
Chrome
https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/32050?hl=en
Firefox
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-clear-firefox-cache
Safari
https://kb.wisc.edu/page.php?id=45060

 

Finally, these issues may be related to Turnitin’s 60-minute timeout.

A Turnitin user session will not remain active indefinitely… Continue reading

Digital Advent Calendar – Institute of Education

Yota Dimitradi from the University’s Institute of Education (IoE) has put together a digital festive treat in the form of an online advent calendar for colleagues in IoE and has kindly offered to share it with us. It reveals a different educational App everyday in the run up to December 25th.

You can see the advent calendar and join in by visiting the University of Reading Institute of Education Digital Advent Calendar. Enjoy dipping in to the growing list of apps for a few minutes every day. You might see something you’d like to investigate further and try out with your students.

IoE_Advent

The advent calendar is produced using Google’s blogging platform Blogger. Yota has made use of the Flipcard blog view to fit the advent calendar format.

If you’re not familiar with Apps and using mobile devices, check out the BBC WebWise site: