Blackboard course preparation – what you said, what we are doing

In December we invited staff to complete a survey ‘Preparing your Blackboard course for the next academic year’. We received 108 responses, predominantly from academics, from across the University. We’d like to thank all those that took the time to complete the survey, and for the detailed additional comments that many respondents also provided.

The CQSD TEL and IT TEL Support teams are using the results of the survey to inform detailed plans for the creation of new Blackboard courses at the start of the 2017-18 academic year, but thought it would be useful to pull together some of the key themes to emerge from the survey, and to share our response to these.

Course Rollover

A clear majority of respondents (79%) wished to retain the current practice of copying forward course materials from one year to the next as the default position. Automatic course copying, but with the ability to opt out, was the single most preferred option (47%).

However, there was also a desire for more flexibility. In all, 64% voted for  options which would provide staff with more choice about what is copied.

Staff preference for course rollover

We have taken these views on board when planning for the Summer 2017 rollover.

The default position will remain that any RISIS module or programme which was used in Blackboard in the current academic year, and is scheduled to run again in 2017-18, will be copied forward.

For staff who do not want their course to be copied, Continue reading

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.

NOW FIXED Copied courses 2016-17: DO NOT set up new assignments yet!

NOW Completed – Assignment submission points have been deleted and you can set up new assignments.

Important information for staff who will have 2016-17 copied courses (after roll-over) and who want to set up Turnitin or Blackboard assignments in Blackboard.

Note: This notice only applies to courses that are being rolled over and have copied content on Saturday 30th July and Saturday 6th August.

After your courses have been rolled over and content copied, the Turnitin assignment points from last year’s course will still be present in your 2016-17 course. These still need to be deleted.

The deletion of the assignment points will take place in the next couple of weeks.

To allow this work to happen, until further notice:

  1. DO NOT create any new assignment submission points.
  2. DO NOT make changes to the Turnitin submission points copied over from last year.

Continue reading

Reminder: Annual Blackboard Course Rollover – action may be required

This is just a reminder that course rollover will take place over the weekends of 30th – 31st July and 6th – 7th August.

And that, if you need to submit a request for your course to be copied forward for use next year, now is the time to do it.

 

What do I need to do?

Standard RISIS modules and programmes

If you are teaching the same course in 2016-17 as in 2015-16, and it is a standard RISIS module or programme – you don’t need to do anything to ensure that it is copied forward.

But just to be on the safe side, check if your course is listed on the Course Copy Status page.

If it’s not shown there, email it@reading.ac.uk asap.

 

Around 90% of Blackboard courses are standard RISIS modules and programmes, so most staff don’t actually need to do anything at this stage.

 

Other types of Blackboard course: Shared courses, Non-RISIS courses, and courses where the module code is changing

You need to submit a request using the Course Copy Request Form

Please do this no later than 15th July to ensure that your course is ready for the new academic year.

 

Full details of what to do in each scenario are on the Annual Course Rollover page of this blog,

and there’s a concise summary in tabular form here: Blackboard course rollover checklist

rollover checklist (thumbnail)

 

Other questions staff have asked

Will links to online reading lists be copied forward?

If you had a published Talis Aspire online reading list for your 2015-16 course, any links to this list in Blackboard will be copied forward to your new 2016-17 course. You will have to go through a very simple process to make sure the links point to your 2016-17 reading list. Full details of what to do will be sent out when the new courses have been created, in early August, and are already on the Library’s reading lists guide for academic staff: Blackboard rollover FAQs / updating reading list links for the new academic year .

If you did not have a link to your online reading list in 2015-16 it is a simple process to create one for your 2016-17 course, see the Library’s guide for details: http://libguides.reading.ac.uk/reading-lists/staff/blackboard.

N.B. Your 2016-17 list must be published before you link to it on Blackboard.

 

What happens to 2015-16 courses?

Courses from the current year are not affected at all by course rollover – they may be copied for use in 2016-17, but no changes are made to the 2015-16 courses. You should keep these courses set as ‘Available’ so that continuing students can refer back to course materials, and the feedback they received, in subsequent years.

The only changes you will see are on final year modules, as students’ IT and Blackboard accounts are disabled roughly one month after graduating. This has the effect of making the students invisible on the course, and in the Grade Centre. Please contact it@reading.ac.uk if you know that this will cause a problem for you.

Teaching a brand new module next year? How to get access to the course in Blackboard

Where you are offering a completely new module, the course rollover process does not apply, since there’s no existing Blackboard content to copy.

Any modules scheduled for 2016-17 in RISIS will automatically have Blackboard courses created in early August.

Staff teaching those new modules will need to place a request to be enrolled on the relevant Blackboard courses.

For completely new modules, please use this form: Request enrolment on a course

and include details of any other colleagues who need to be added to the Blackboard course.

 

Alternatively, your course administrator – in your School or in the new Student Support Centres – should be able to enrol staff to the courses, from August onwards.

 

As with any other RISIS course, student enrolments will flow through automatically from RISIS to Blackboard in the new academic year.

Blackboard course rollover: action required for 2016

 

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

2016-17 Calendar

Course Rollover is being streamlined this year, so that all of the course copying is carried out over two consecutive weekends:

  • Standard courses which are scheduled in RISIS to run in 2016-17  will be rolled forward over the weekend of 30th – 31st July.
  • Other courses (e.g. Shared and non-RISIS courses) will be rolled forward over the weekend of 6th – 7th August.

Blackboard will be unavailable to users while this work is being carried out – exact times tbc.

Please see below for actions which you should take to ensure that your courses are correctly rolled forward for use in 2016-17.

 

 

Is my course scheduled to be copied?

Please see the Course Copy Status page for a list of all courses which are currently scheduled to be copied forward – you can use the search box to find your course.

If your course is listed here, no further action is required to ensure that the course copying takes place.

 

 

Standard RISIS courses

i.e. Blackboard courses which are directly linked to a single programme or module in RISIS

If you had a Blackboard course (module or programme) linked to RISIS in 2015/16 and it is scheduled in RISIS to run again in 2016/17, the course content will be copied automatically as part of Course Rollover.

If your course is listed on the Course Copy Status page no further action is required to ensure that the course is copied.

If your course is not included on this list, please check with your course administrator that the programme/module has been correctly scheduled for 2016/17 in RISIS.

 

Modules with a new code in RISIS

If your module is getting a new code for 2016-17, and you want to copy across your current course content, please check the Course Copy Status page to see if the old and new codes are already listed there (e.g. we already know that AP2EM3-15-6A needs to be copied to AP2EM4-16-7A).

If your module is not listed there, please ask your course administrator to enter this information on RISIS by Friday 1st July.

After 1st July, please submit a request for content and staff enrolments to be copied from the current Blackboard course to the re-coded 2016-17 Blackboard course.

 

 

Shared courses

Shared courses group together enrolments from a number of RISIS programmes or modules, and have a Blackboard course code ending in SH.

Shared courses are not automatically rolled forward.

If you wish your 2015-16 Shared course to be rolled-over for the next academic year, you need to request this using the Course Copy Request Form.

Under ‘Type of Course Copy’ select Shared -> Shared, and specify the RISIS programmes or modules from which the Shared course enrolments will be drawn.

The deadline for this information to be included in the annual Course Rollover is Friday 15th July.

 

Non-RISIS courses

Typically these are used for the delivery of academic activities which are not recorded in RISIS, and have a Blackboard course code ending in NR.

Non-RISIS courses are not automatically rolled forward.

If you wish your 2015-16 Non-RISIS course to be rolled-over for the next academic year, you need to request this using the Course Copy Request Form.

Under ‘Type of Course Copy’ select Single -> Single.

The deadline for this information to be included in the annual Course Rollover is Friday 15th July.

 

Which parts of my course will be copied?

Please note – there are some changes from previous years.

In particular, Turnitin and Blackboard assignments will NOT be copied forward.

See the Course Rollover blog page for further details.

 

Further Help

Please read the information on this blog and, where appropriate, speak to administrative staff in your School for clarification. If you still have unanswered questions on the Rollover process, log them with it@reading.ac.uk