New look Blackboard – coming September 2018

Following consultation with staff and students earlier this year, we are working to improve Blackboard’s look, feel and ease of use. We currently plan to launch this more user-friendly Blackboard in early September.

What’s changing?

Alongside Blackboard’s annual summer upgrade, this year we are making changes to its design and appearance to help make it a more user-friendly, visually engaging and accessible tool for staff and students to use. The image below gives an idea of roughly how it is likely to look. Please note that this is a work-in-progress and the final interface may look slightly different (the images and headings may change, for example).     

Proposed Blackboard interface (work-in-progress)

Why?

Results from staff and student surveys, along with anecdotal feedback, suggested that people were finding Blackboard ‘cluttered’, text-heavy and challenging in places to navigate. A need was identified to work with staff and students more closely to unpick this and to engage them in contributing to the re-design of a more user-friendly and accessible tool.   

When?

Work is taking place over the summer to implement the identified changes. It is planned to launch this new look Blackboard in early September. 

What will this mean for you?

These changes are designed to give an improved user experience for our staff and students. All the same functionality will still be available and Blackboard will work in the same way. 

If staff are planning to create any resources that require use of Blackboard imagery, it would be advisable to wait until the new look is available before doing so. 

Support/resources 

The Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team will be creating a short video suitable for staff to use to support students, new and returning, in getting started with (the new look) Blackboard. Details of this will be communicated towards the end of the summer.

If you have any questions relating to these improvements, please feel free to reply to this blog post or email me: l.j.mccann@reading.ac.uk

Lauren & the TEL CQSD team

 

Teaching and Learning for All – Symposium – 12 July 2018

Technology as a Springboard to Inclusive Practice

Technology, Accessibility and the University of Reading

The effective use of technology can play a key role in reducing the barriers to student participation and success. Knowing how and in what ways current technologies can make learning accessible can act as a springboard to inclusive practice that can benefit all students.

Within the context of the Curriculum Framework, and the Teaching and Learning Strategy, this one-day event aims to raise awareness about accessibility and inclusivity in T&L and to provide practical advice and ideas on how technology can enhance teaching and make it more inclusive.

Programme and Booking             Speakers

The Symposium

The event brings together expert external speakers in the field of accessibility and inclusion, alongside internal University specialists who are addressing the issue of inclusive practice at the University. The interactive sessions are designed to stimulate discussion and provide advice, and ideas on how available technologies can help you to make the leap to inclusive teaching, ranging from Blackboard to Microsoft Office 365 and beyond. During the expert panel session, you can have your questions answered, while the TEL team and other University Support Services will be available during the day to get you started.

Sessions Highlights

  • Shapeshifting and invisibility – alternative approaches to inclusive practice,
    Alistair McNaught, JISC
  • Practical adjustments to make teaching more inclusive,
    Annabel Avery, DAS, University of Reading
  • Panel Discussion,
    Experts from the University of Reading, JISC, Microsoft, Blackboard
  • Microsoft built-in Accessibility Tools,
    Hector Minto, Microsoft
  • Accessibility and Beyond: Let’s play with ALLY,
    Gillian Fielding Blackboard and TEL team

    This fun workshop/competition will introduce you to the Blackboard ALLY tool which automatically creates alternative formats of your Blackboard course content to benefit all students and assists you in creating accessible documents in a step-by-step approach.

Symposium Programme and Booking             Symposium Speakers

The TEL Team

Course Rollover 2018 – what do I need to do?

Annual Course Rollover takes place on Saturday 30th June.

Blackboard downtime will be required, approximately 08:00 – 17:00 BST.

All the relevant forms have been updated, and can be accessed from http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/vle-support/

 

No action is required…

if you are responsible for a RISIS module or programme

  • which was used in Blackboard in the current academic year (i.e. in 2017-18)
  • is scheduled to run again in the new academic year (i.e. in 2018-19)
  • and you are happy for the 2017-18 Blackboard course to be copied forward

In this case, the 2017-18 course will be automatically copied forward as part of Course Rollover.

 

Action is required…

in the following cases (click on the link for further details)

I’m redesigning my Blackboard course and would like to start from scratch

Module Convenors can choose to Opt Out of Course Rollover.

Why might I choose this option?

Last year the academics who chose to opt out of rollover were taking over as new Module Convenors, and wanted to reorganise their Blackboard sites

  • to make them easier for students to navigate
  • to better reflect the way that they planned to deliver the module.

This year one entire School and one Department have chosen not to have their Blackboard courses copied forward. This is so they can respond to student feedback by introducing a standard course menu and navigation across all of their courses.

My RISIS Module did not run in 2017-18

…but I would like content to be copied from a previous Blackboard course.

I am teaching a Module with a new RISIS code

…and would like content to be copied from an existing Blackboard course.

I want to use a Blackboard Shared Course

We are introducing some changes to shared spaces in Blackboard.

Full details can be found here:  Merged and Supplementary Courses.

If you need a shared Blackboard course which replaces two or more RISIS modules, then IT can create a Merged Course.

You can

 

If you need a shared Blackboard course for use in addition to a number of RISIS modules or Programmes, then IT can create a Supplementary Course.

You can

Please note: Supplementary Courses should not be used to deliver summative assessment, as this is not supported by the forthcoming Blackboard-RISIS integration.

 

The deadline…

for submitting any requests in time for Rollover is the close of play on Tuesday 26th June.

 

If you have any queries please check the more detailed information on Annual Rollover on this site.

If you still need further advice, please log a call with it@reading.ac.uk

Paper information missing in latest version of Feedback Studio for iOS (Resolved)

Update: 15/06/2018:

Turnitin have now released an update for the Feedback Studio iOS App which resolves this issue. Please make sure to sync all your grades and feedback before updating!

 

More Information: Feedback Studio for iOS Release Notes

 


Original Post:

Turnitin iPad app logo

 

Currently when using the Turnitin App on an Apple device, users might have difficulty accessing a paper’s information using the information button. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It appears that there is no information loading in the window, but this is a rendering issue not an app issue.

If you scroll up and down on the information box which opens, the information gradually appears.

Turnitin does not support Final Marks with Decimal Places

Users grading Assignments using Turnitin, where an Assignment’s rubric will allow for a non-integer (not a whole number) final grade, should be aware that Turnitin does not support non-integer final grades.

Non-integer scores produced in a rubric or grading form are rounded to the nearest integer when “Apply to Grade” is pressed.

Turnitin only passes integer grades to the Blackboard Grade Centre.

Users wishing to apply non-integer marks can do so by either Manually Overriding the grade in the Full Grade Centre at the end of the marking process, or by using Blackboard Assignments, which will allow non-integer final grades. Alternatively, Users might wish to edit their rubric to contain only integer scores when grading.