Dates for forthcoming Blackboard upgrades and course rollover

The following dates have been scheduled for the 2018 Course Rollover, and for Blackboard upgrades over the next twelve months.

Course rollover

Saturday 30th June 2018

downtime required approximately 08:00 – 17:00

 

Summer Blackboard Upgrade

Sunday 5th – Monday 6th August 2018

downtime required, probably from Sunday afternoon till Monday lunchtime

 

Winter Upgrade

Sunday 6th – Monday 7th January 2019

downtime required, probably from Sunday afternoon till Monday lunchtime)

 

These dates have been agreed by CQSD and IT after consultation with Support Centres, the Examinations Office, ISLI and other staff both at Reading and in Malaysia. While we appreciate that there is never an entirely convenient time to make Blackboard unavailable, these downtime windows have been scheduled to avoid inconvenience to most users.

 

Further, more detailed information on Course Rollover and these Blackboard upgrades will of course follow in due course.

In the meantime, if you are aware of any assessment deadlines or other activity which might be affected by one of these downtime windows, please take steps to reschedule the activity.

Course rollover now complete

The annual course rollover took place at the weekend. A very big thank you to our colleagues in the IT TEL Support team who not only gave up their Saturday to get this done, but have also spent many hours over the previous weeks and months preparing for a successful rollover.

 

The following types of course copy have now taken place:

  • 2016-17 RISIS courses scheduled to run again in 2017-18
  • any other courses where a staff member had submitted a course copy request by 1st July

 

Other 2017-18 courses will have been created as a blank shell:

  • RISIS modules where the Module Convenor specifically requested this via the opt-out form
  • RISIS modules which were not in use in 2016-17, and no course copy request had been received
  • modules which have never run before
  • modules where the RISIS code has changed (unless you requested a copy from a previous course)

 

If you missed the 1st July deadline, but still have content you would like copied from a 2016-17 (or earlier) course, please fill out the Course Copy Request Form which you can find – along with many other Blackboard-related request forms – at http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/vle-support/

Please submit your request as early as possible, to make sure you have plenty of time to set up your course for the new academic year.

 

Staff enrolments

As part of the course copy process, most staff enrolments will have been rolled forward – all Instructors, Teaching Assistants and External Examiners.

In addition, staff identified in RISIS as Module Convenor for a 2017-18 module will have been enrolled on the corresponding Blackboard course.
This applies equally to courses which were copied, and to courses which have been set up as a blank shell.
If you are a Module Convenor for a module which runs both in Reading and Malaysia, you will see all 2017-18 occurrences of the module in Blackboard.

 

If you do not see all of the 2017-18 Blackboard courses you need

  • If the course has run before:
    Ask a colleague to enrol you. This could be

    • the Module Convenor
    • another colleague who is already enrolled on the course
    • the programme administrator in the Support Centre.
  • If the course has never run before (or has a new RISIS code):
    Ask Support Centre staff to enrol you. This could be

    • the Programmes Manager
    • the Senior Programme Administrator

You could also fill out this form – Request enrolment on a course – but it will probably be quickest just to contact colleagues in the Support Centre.

 

 

Preparing your 2017-18 courses for the new academic year

Course menu

If your course was created as a copy of a previous course, the menu will be exactly the same on the new course.

If your course was created as a blank shell, it will have the default course menu.

default Blackboard course menu 2017

In either case, please spend some time considering if the menu and underlying course structure

  • meet the specific requirements of your course
  • will be easily navigable by your learners

and then make any changes required.

Please see our guides on this:

The Blackboard course menu

The default menu for new modules/programmes, with suggestions for what each section should contain.

Customising a course menu

How to customise the course menu to include essential features & make it easy to navigate for students.

 

Course content

Courses which have been copied forward will include all course content except for announcements, discussion boards, and Blackboard blogs, journals and wikis.

Naturally, before you make the course available to students in the new academic year, you will need to ensure that preparation should include ensuring that all course materials, such as

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

are up-to-date, and in the appropriate section of the course.

Talis reading list links – whether as part of the menu, or in a course content area – will have been copied, but you need to configure them for use by students in the new academic year. Please see http://libguides.reading.ac.uk/reading-lists/staff/blackboard

Module Evaluation – this is a new content area which has been added to the Blackboard course for all 2017-18 RISIS modules. Information for both staff and students is included within the Module Evaluation course content area. There is no need to make any changes to this area until later in the academic year.

 

Assessment

Blackboard Tests and Surveys will have been copied, and you will find them listed under Control Panel > Course Tools > Tests, Surveys and Pools. However they will NOT yet be deployed to users  (made available for students to take). You will need to deploy them with appropriate settings on the new course. Please see our guidance on Tests and Surveys.

Blackboard and Turnitin Assignments – these will not have been copied at all, and new submission points will now need to be created with appropriate settings on the new course. In most Schools, this work is done by programme administrators in the Support Centres.

 

Any Questions?

Please log a support ticket with IT and depending on the nature of your query, you’ll get a response from either the CQSD or IT TEL team.

*TEL Fest – TEL Roadshow, Tuesday 11 July, 13:00-14:00 in Carrington 201*

TEL Fest image

TEL Fest: Lunchtime Fringe – TEL Roadshow (with free light lunch!)

Tuesday 11 July, 13:00 – 14:00 in Carrington 201

Calling Academic & Administrative staff!

 

 Don’t miss this opportunity to meet, talk & munch with various TEL-related staff and teams from within and beyond the university, including staff from the Blackboard company, TEL CQSD, the Open Online Courses (OOC) team, ISLI TEL, TEL/AV Support, IT, the Library, Academic Development and EMA.

No need to book, just drop in at 13:00 for a bite to eat and a chat! This session in itself a TEL Fest with key staff all in one place!

Come along and find out, for example, how ILSI TEL staff have been using the Xerte tool to create interactive teaching materials. How can the Library help you with online reading lists? How can the TEL team support you to develop your use of technology to enhance your teaching? What is Office 365 that we all have access to? What’s an OOC? Who works ‘behind the scenes’ to help support TEL at the university and what do they do? Chat to TEL/AV Support staff about new audio-visual kit in teaching rooms.

Who’s Who at the TEL Roadshow: 

Team Staff Find out…
TEL CQSD Vicki Holmes (Head of TEL)

Adam Bailey

Lauren McCann

Bobbi Moore

Maria Papaethimiou

Andy Turner

How TEL staff can help you to use technology to enhance & enrich

T & L

Blackboard Anne Cross

Steve Hoole

About Blackboard from people who work for the company!
TEL Support / AV Helena Bampton

Jonathan Rajadurai

Mark Taylor

How TEL Support support TEL at UoR

Blackboard course rollover

What AV resources are available & the new kit available in rooms

IT Anton Lawrence

Steve Gough

Matt Gee

Robin Taylor

Jo Mortimer (Business Partner)

How IT can support you

Office 365

Windows 10 deployment

How your Business Partner can support you

ISLI TEL Jonathan Smith

Takeshi Adachi

How have ISLI TEL staff been using Xerte to create interactive

T & L materials

Library Kerry Webb

Natalie Guest

Online reading lists

Box of Broadcasts

Open Online Courses

(OOCs)

Nicky McGirr

Stasia Rattigan

Yen Tu

What is an Open Online Course?

How to get involved

Lessons you can learn from OOCs for designing your own blended and online learning

EMA

(Electronic Management of Assessment)

Emma Mayhew

Peter Hancock

Kat Lee

Siobhan Crathern

The latest on EMA at the university from the people who know!
Academic Development Deb Heighes

 

How the Academic Development team can support you & all about professional development

Hope to see you there,

Lauren & the TEL CQSD team

 

 

 

Blackboard Course Rollover: a reminder of actions required – and an interactive model

What is Course Rollover?

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

This year Course Rollover will take place on Saturday 8th July 2017

 

Read on for a summary of how Rollover will work for your course, and what action (if any) you need to take.

Or, if you prefer a more visual approach to this, please check out this interactive model of your rollover options.

Course Rollover model

With thanks to Jonathan Rajadurai, Analyst Programmer (TEL) in the IT TEL & AV Team.

 

What action is required?

Blackboard courses linked to a single RISIS module or programme

The default position is that any RISIS module or programme

  • which was used in Blackboard in the current academic year (i.e. in 2016-17)
  • and is scheduled to run again in the new academic year (i.e. in 2017-18)

will be copied forward.

The vast majority of Blackboard courses fall into this category.

 

If a course you are teaching or supporting meets these criteria, and you are happy for the 2016-17 course to be copied forward, NO ACTION IS REQUIRED AT THIS TIME.

 

You can check that your course is scheduled to be copied by searching the Course Copy Status page at https://www.reading.ac.uk/blackboard/bbcopy/Home/Status

Courses included in the forthcoming Course Rollover will display as SCHEDULED – AUTO.

 

If your course is not shown here, please check:

  • was the course used in Blackboard in 2016-17?
  • is the module scheduled in RISIS for 2017-18? (your programme administrator can check this for you)

 

What if I don’t want my course to be copied?

If you would prefer to set your 2017-18 course up from scratch, perhaps with a new menu structure, and uploading only the specific content you need for the coming year, IT will provide you with a blank course shell.

An opt-out form is available for staff who do not want their 2016-17 course to be copied forward.

DEADLINE: 1st July

Please note that this opt-out form is only accessible to staff who are identified in RISIS as Module Convenor for 2017-18 modules.

 

Other options

What if the course did not run in 2016-17?

What if my module has a new code in RISIS?

What if I am teaching a completely new module?

 

Shared Courses

Shared Courses are not copied forward by default.

If you are responsible for a Shared Course in Blackboard and you want it copied forward for use in 2017-18, please use the Course Copy Request Form. Under ‘Select Type of Course Copy’ select Shared -> Shared, and make any changes required.

DEADLINE to be included in the main Course Rollover: 1st July

 

Non-RISIS courses

Non-RISIS Courses are not copied forward by default.

If you are responsible for a non-RISIS Course in Blackboard and you want it copied forward for use in 2017-18, please use the Course Copy Request Form. Under ‘Select Type of Course Copy’ select Single -> Single, and make any changes required.

DEADLINE to be included in the main Course Rollover: 1st July

 

 

What is copied during Course Rollover?

Course content and staff enrolments (Instructors, Teaching Assistants and External Examiners) will be copied as part of rollover.

In addition all staff identified as a 2017-18 Module Convenor in RISIS will be enrolled on the corresponding Blackboard course.

full details of what is and is not copied

 

 

For more detailed information on Course Rollover, please see the Course Rollover page on this blog.

 

If you have any queries, please log them with the IT Service Desk.

 

Blackboard course rollover 2017: advance notice of timetable and downtime

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

This post contains notice of this year’s rollover timetable and planned downtime, plus some preparatory information on how different types of courses are rolled forward, and what you will need to do for this process to go smoothly.

This year Course Rollover will take place on Saturday 8th July 2017

 Saturday 15th July is being held in reserve in case of technical issues, or further work needing to be done.

Blackboard will be unavailable to users while course copying is taking place.

We anticipate that Blackboard will be unavailable during the morning on 8th July (and 15th July if required), but Blackboard should be considered “at risk” for the whole of the day.

 

If you have a RISIS course that is running again with the same module/programme code

The default position is that any RISIS module or programme

  • which was used in Blackboard in the current academic year (i.e. in 2016-17)
  • and is scheduled to run again in the new academic year (i.e. in 2017-18)

will be automatically copied forward as part of Course Rollover.

 

If your Module meets these criteria, then no action is required to ensure that the course is included in the rollover process.

 

An opt-out will be available for staff who do not want their entire course to be copied, and would prefer to upload or copy course materials to a new blank course shell.

 

If your Module did not run in 2016-17, you can request that the 2015-16 Blackboard course is copied forward for use next academic year.

 

There is no need to do anything at present – the request forms for staff to use are currently being updated. A further communication will be sent out, specifying what actions are required (if any), in early June.

 

 

If you have a new RISIS course or an existing course where the module/programme code is changing

If you are the Module Convenor for a brand new module, or if your module is getting a new course code in RISIS there are some checks you can carry out now to ensure that these changes will be properly reflected in Blackboard.

Please see the Course Rollover page for further details.

 

 

If you have a shared course or non-RISIS course

If your Blackboard course is not directly linked to a RISIS programme or module code (e.g. if you use a Shared Course or Non-RISIS course), you will need to submit a request to have a 2017-18 course created and to have course content copied forward.

 

There is no need to do anything at present – the request forms for staff to use are currently being updated. A further communication will be sent out, specifying what actions are required (if any), in early June.

 

More detail on all of this is available on the Course Rollover page of this Blog.

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