Blackboard Ally Road Tour visit and Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD 2019)

Thursday 16th May 2019 marked the eighth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion.

 

In recognition of GAAD 2019, the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team welcomed the Blackboard Ally Road Tour for a day of knowledge sharing. Members of the University were recorded discussing accessibility issues for broadcast at the 2019 European T&L Blackboard Conference.

Watch highlights from students and staff participating in the event:

Summary of the day

  • 30 UoR staff participated in a talk and an interactive workshop, exploring Universal Design for Learning. See #inclusiveRDG for coverage.
  • Round table discussions highlighted how the university is responding to challenges and opportunities presented by inclusive teaching practices.
  • UoR students and academic staff shared their individual experiences using assistive learning technologies and exploring digital accessibility in STEM subjects.

For more information or ideas on developing inclusive teaching and learning approaches, visit the CQSD Engaging Everyone webpages or browse the T&L Exchange for case studies.

Colleagues are invited to book a short Blackboard Ally consultation with a member of the TEL team. These 1 2 1 meetings provide an opportunity to discuss the online accessibility of your Blackboard teaching resources and receive support to make adjustments. Schedule your check-up via email: IT@reading.ac.uk

 

Providing Exam feedback in Blackboard

Generic exams feedback is now being rolled out across the University following a successful pilot and approval by UBTLSE. Details of how this process works were highlighted in a recent staff portal news article: Provision of generic exams feedback approved by UBTLSE for 2018/19 onwards.

The exam feedback is being provided to students through Blackboard. To facilitate this and ensure consistency in how the feedback is made available, a new menu area has been automatically added to the Blackboard courses for all 2018-19 modules. 

Colleagues from the Programme Administration teams will be working with Module Convenors to populate this new area with the correct content.

The area is labelled ‘Past Exam Papers and Feedback‘.

By default, this area appears at the bottom of the course menu.

example course menu

You can easily move it to a different position, so that it sits with other assessment-related menu items, by dragging and dropping it.

What do I need to do if my Blackboard course does not have the new menu area?

All Blackboard courses for single RISIS modules, and all Merged courses will have the new menu area added automatically. If your course is in a different category, you can still provide exam feedback but need to add the menu area manually. You can do this by adding a new content area to your course menu

 

 

 

Don’t Get Caught: Phishing emails impersonating a Blackboard System Account

We’ve received a number of reports from users who have received phishing emails from an account claiming to be “Blackboard”. Some have had a notification of a Voicemail message attached.

If you do receive a message like this, please delete it immediately and do not click on any links.

We have reported these messages to the University’s spam filter so there shouldn’t be more of them coming into university inboxes.

What does a genuine email from Blackboard look like?

  • Blackboard Learn does not have a Voicemail function.
  • Any genuine emails from Blackboard will come from
    do-not-reply@blackboard.com
  • The Blackboard notification emails will have the Blackboard Logo

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at it@reading.ac.uk.

 

 

Marking online – hints and tips

Are you marking coursework and returning feedback to your students online? Use the following tips and advice to make sure you make the most effective and efficient use of the tools.

This post includes some advice based on recent queries that we have received.

 

Read ‘e-Marking Essentials’

The e-Marking Essentials page in the staff help site provides key advice on what to do and how to avoid common pitfalls.

It includes advice on both the Blackboard Assignment and Turnitin tools and will be particularly useful for colleagues who are new to marking online.

Find out about:

 

Using Turnitin Assignments by Groups

Navigating between student papers

The Turnitin Assignments by Groups feature can be used where there are multiple markers, to allocate markers to student papers (even when Anonymity is turned on).

Do not use the navigation arrows to scroll through papers when you have a student’s paper open in the Feedback Studio.

Close the Feedback Studio window for that student’s work and open a new paper from the View Assignments by Group screen in Blackboard.

Screenshot of the top of the Feedback Studio window, indicating that you should not use the right and left arrows to scroll between papers.

NOTE: Using the left or right arrows at the top of the screen, will take you to the next student in the class as a whole and not the next student in the group you have been assigned to mark.

 

Anonymous marking and Turnitin Assignments by Groups

When anonymity is enabled,  the tool can still be used to filter the class list by Group, but you will not see any student names or the grades entered on the View Assignments by Groups screen.

 

Submitting scanned handwritten work to Turnitin

For Mathematical and Scientific notation that is marked online.

If your students need to submit scanned copies of handwritten work for you to mark online in Turnitin they MUST submit a file that includes at least 20 words of typed text in either their Word docx or PDF. This allows the file to be uploaded into Turnitin. You may wish to provide a standard coversheet template with the 20 words included to make sure students do this.

We have put together this page to provide guidance to students on submitting this type of work: Turnitin: Submit Scanned / Handwritten Work. It includes instructions on how to add selectable typed text into a PDF.

Advice for staff: Setting up assignment submission points for scanned work.

 

The Grade Centre and anonymous marking

When Anonymous Marking is enabled, whether in Turnitin or on a Blackboard assignment, no information about grades or submissions is visible in the Grade Centre.

  • You cannot see which students have / have not submitted,
  • And you cannot see the grades that have been entered.

You cannot mark submissions for an anonymous Turnitin assignment from the Grade Centre. You should go via the main Turnitin assignment inbox. In your course, go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Turnitin Assignments (or Turnitin Assignments by Groups).

We recommend using this route to mark all Turnitin assignments, regardless of whether they are being marked anonymously.

 

Internal Moderation options

The way work is to be moderated may affect what first markers need to record, and where.

Module Convenors: please make sure you are familiar with the workflow and ensure that first markers have clear instructions on what you expect from them. The following pages offer guidance on a the different marking and moderation scenarios:

 

 

Students scanning handwritten work for submission to Turnitin

Who does this affect?

This is an important message for any staff who require their students to scan handwritten work – for example Mathematical or Scientific equations – and submit this to Turnitin.

This is likely to be relevant in subject areas such as Mathematics, Economics, Meteorology and the Sciences, and possibly on some Language courses.

 

When setting up a Turnitin assignment, it is possible to choose the ‘Accept any file type’ option, and students should then be able to submit files which won’t generate a Similarity Report, for instance a PDF containing only scanned images.

Recently, however, issues have arisen for

  • students attempting to submit files containing scanned work
  • staff wishing to mark such work using Turnitin Feedback Studio.

These issues have been raised with Turnitin Support, by us and by TEL staff at other Universities, and we are awaiting their response.

 

What can we do to avoid problems?

If you require students to submit scanned work to Turnitin, the key thing is to tell them to include at least 20 words of typed text in their Word document or PDF.

You may wish to provide a standard coversheet as a prompt, to make sure students do this.

We have put together this page to provide guidance to students: Turnitin: Submit Scanned / Handwritten Work 

If you, or your students, need additional guidance, please contact the TEL team via it@reading.ac.uk

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.