Changes to Blackboard colour scheme and design

The Blackboard upgrade originally scheduled for Bank Holiday Monday has been postponed until later in the academic year.

However we have applied some changes to the colour scheme and styles in use on our Blackboard system.

For most users the most noticeable change will be that – in response to user comments, and after consultation with DPS – the top banner is now grey rather than red.

However changes have also been made to improve the visibility of information on the Enrolments tab and elsewhere. For instance, where you are enrolled on a number of courses with different roles, it was previously difficult to see where one list ended and the next began. With the new styles in place, this should now be much clearer.

Courses listing

There are other areas in Blackboard e.g. the Groups management pages, where the visibility of text and menu items has been improved.

Henley Business School staff:

you will continue to see a blue top banner in Blackboard, but the other improvements mentioned here have also been applied to the HBS Blackboard brand.


If you find any areas where information on the page is not clearly visible, please log these with as it may be possible to tweak our stylesheets further to address the issues.

Turnitin webinar: Can Turnitin really help students to improve their writing?

As part of Turnitin’s series of webcasts on topics associated with their product, Academics from Australia will be presenting on how they have used Turnitin as tool to improve students’ academic writing skills.

The webinar will look at how initiatives to use Turnitin as an educational tool and the development of resources to support students in their use of the similarity reports can have a positive impact on academic integrity, and the student experience.

The webinar is taking place on 24th August 1 pm (AEST Australian Eastern Standard Time), which means it takes place at 4am BST but is in the ideal time zone for colleagues on the Malaysia campus. UK Colleagues can always sign up for the webinar and watch the published recording later on.

Register to join the Turnitin webinar

Tii webinar image 24 Aug 16

Blackboard Course Rollover is now complete

Blackboard Course Rollover for 2016-17 is now complete.

All course copying has taken place for

  • courses which ran in Blackboard in 2015-16 and are scheduled in RISIS for 2016-17
  • Shared and non-RISIS courses, where this was requested by staff.

In addition, for 2016-17 courses created through the rollover process

  • staff enrolments (Instructors and Teaching Assistants) have been copied forward
  • steps have been taken to ensure that courses have a completely clean Grade Centre, with no Blackboard or Turnitin assignments copied from previous years.

The final step in the rollover process – deletion of Turnitin assignments in copied courses – was carried out successfully last night, using a tool developed for us by Blackboard.

You are now free to start preparing your new courses for the forthcoming academic year.

This preparation should include ensuring that course materials such as

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

are up-to-date and, where necessary, revising the course menu and structure to ensure that students can easily navigate the site.

You will also need to ensure that

  • Assignment submission points (Turnitin or Blackboard assignments) are created with appropriate dates and other settings.
  • Tests are made available to students with appropriate dates and other settings.
  • Talis reading list links are updated for the new academic year.

Help with all of these activities can be found on the TEL blog.

The TEL team will also be running a series of staff training sessions from September onwards – see the CQSD website for details.

Brand new courses for 2016-17

Courses which have not run before, and which are scheduled in RISIS, will now have been set up in Blackboard. You can use this IT form to request enrolment on a course – or see staff in your new Student Support Centre.


Additional course copy requests

For any further course copy requests, outside the rollover process, please use this form to request a course copy.

You can see a list of completed and pending course copies on the Copy Status page.

Please note that, from now on, course copies will exclude the Grade Centre. This means that, following a course copy, on the new course you will need to

  • delete any copied Turnitin Assignments
  • set up new Turnitin or Blackboard Assignment submission points with appropriate dates and other settings.
  • deploy Tests so that they are available to students with appropriate dates and other settings.


Student Enrolments

New students will not have access to Blackboard until they have completed the enrolment process – so, for most students, late September.

Returning students: the scripts to transfer enrolments from RISIS to Blackboard are currently being updated. These scripts will be enabled late August / early September, at which point students will be automatically enrolled on Part 2 and 3 modules  in Blackboard.

Update 7th September

Student course enrolments are now flowing automatically from RISIS to Blackboard for all courses – including Shared Courses – and organisations.

Introducing the new Turnitin Feedback Studio

We have today enabled a new interface for marking work in Turnitin, called the Turnitin Feedback Studio.

What is the Turnitin Feedback Studio?

The Feedback Studio replaces the Grademark and Originality features used when marking work and combines them into a single set of features accessed from a simple menu when viewing a student’s paper. It retains all of the tools that were previously available to you to provide feedback or check originality. These can now be used via a set of ‘Instructor Feedback’ and ‘Similarity’ buttons that you can choose to enable using the new Layers feature.

The Turnitin Feedback Studio has been designed to provide a simple and clear interface for you to check originality and mark online. Turnitin is still accessed in the same way and there is no change to the design of the assignment Inbox.

The Feedback Studio lets you and your students have immediate access to the information and the tools needed for an efficient marking and feedback process. Navigation has been improved in the Turnitin Feedback Studio, allowing you to more easily annotate work with comments, and to switch between features and student papers whilst marking.

For full details go to


The new interface has been put in place for the 2016-17 academic year. It replaces the previous Document Viewer (now referred to as ‘Turnitin Classic’).

The new ‘Feedback Studio’ interface will display by default to both staff and students. However, any user has the option to switch back to ‘Turnitin Classic’ up until the end of the 2016-17 academic year.

Turnitin Feedback Studio does not alter the way Turnitin integrates with Blackboard – it does not require any changes to the way you create Turnitin assignments, or the way students submit their work or gain access to their feedback.

Where can I get help?

Getting started

The first time you access the Feedback Studio you will be offered a quick tour of the new interface, which may well be enough to get you started.

Welcome to the Feedback Studio

The Turnitin website has some really good help resources:

Turnitin Feedback Studio – Instructor User Guide

Interactive Feedback Studio demo – site where you can try out how the new interface works.

Video comparison of Feedback Studio and Turnitin Classic – highlighting the key changes.


We have also prepared some quick reference guides to the new interface:

Turnitin Feedback Studio: Finding your way around the new interface

Overview of the Feedback Studio – explanation of the key features all on one screen

Turnitin Feedback Studio overview


Help for students

The following guidance is available for students:

Turnitin Feedback Studio – Student User Guide (Turnitin website)

Turnitin Feedback Studio – student guide

Student guide to accessing feedback in Turnitin Feedback Studio


Not ready to use the new interface?

If you are currently using Turnitin  to mark student work, you should find the new interface fairly intuitive.

But, if you prefer, you can take advantage of this button at the bottom of the screen:

return to Turnitin Classic

That will restore the familiar version.

You can then try out the new version at a later date, when it is more convenient for you to do so.


For more help with using Turnitin for originality checking, e-submission, e-marking and feedback, please see the Turnitin pages in the Support section of this blog.