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

Blackboard Course Rollover 2018 – update

Updated 12th July – further updates to follow

Annual course rollover took place on Saturday 30th June, with work continuing on related tasks throughout the following weeks. 

Many thanks to our colleagues in the IT TEL/AV team who gave up their Saturday to carry out the rollover process (as well as spending many hours in preparation and testing over the previous weeks and months).

The majority of 2018-19 Blackboard courses have now been created, and staff enrolled onto them.

 

 

How have 2018-19 courses been created?

RISIS modules

  • If your RISIS module ran in 2017-18, and is scheduled to run again in 2018-19
    then, unless the Module Convenor submitted an Opt Out request, 
    a 2018-19 course has been created as a copy of the 2017-18 course.
     
  • If your module last ran in a year prior to 2017-18, as long as you submitted a course copy request before the deadline of 26th June, the course will have been copied forward for use in 2018-19.
     
  • Modules in Fine Art have been created as copies of a standard Departmental course template created by the SDTL in consultation with the TEL team – please contact your SDTL if you need further information about this.
    Module Convenors and key staff in the Department have now been enrolled onto these Blackboard courses. 
    Still to be done: creation of Merged courses.
    If you are expecting to use a shared Blackboard space, and can so far only see the individual RISIS modules, please wait a few more days for your new Merged course to be created.

     
  • Modules in the School of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences have been created as copies of a standard School course template created by the SDTL and DTLs, in consultation with the TEL team. Please contact your DTL if you need further information about this. 
    Module Convenors have now been enrolled onto these Blackboard courses, and additional academic and administrative support staff will be added in the next few days. 
    Still to be done: creation of Merged and Supplementary courses.
    If you are expecting to use a shared Blackboard space (e.g. for Part 2 Psychology options), and can so far only see the individual RISIS modules, please wait a few more days for your new Merged or Supplementary course to be created.

     
  • Any other RISIS modules – for example, brand new modules, or modules where the code has changed – will have been created with the default Blackboard course menu. Module Convenors have now been enrolled onto these courses.

 

Shared courses

As long as you submitted a course copy request by the deadline of 26th June, your shared course will have been copied forward for 2018-19.

  • Where the shared course replaces individual RISIS modules, a Merged Course will have been created.
  • Where the shared course is run in addition to individual RISIS modules or programmes, a Supplementary Course will have been created.

Please see Merged Courses and Supplementary Courses for further detail on these.

If you requested a completely new Merged or Supplementary course, this may not have been created yet, but you’ll have access to it within the next few days.

 

What content has been copied?

  • All course content will have been copied forward.
  • Links to Talis online reading lists will have been copied, but need to be configured for the new academic year.
  • Announcements, Discussion Boards, Blogs, Journals and Wikis will not have been copied.
  • The Grade Centre and Assessments have not been copied.
  • Tests have been copied, but you will need to set them up with the correct settings for your 2018-19 students.

Further details can be found on the Course Rollover page of this site.

 

I missed the deadline – what can I do?

If you missed the 26th June deadline, but still have content you would like copied from a 2017-18 (or earlier) course, please fill out the Course Copy Request Form which you can find at http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/vle-support/.

That page also has links where you can 

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.

Needless to say, if you have any queries, just log a support ticket with IT.

 

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 2018-19 module 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 2018-19 occurrences of the module in Blackboard.

If you do not see all of the 2018-19 Blackboard courses you need

please wait a few more days, until all the rollover processes have been completed (an update will be posted here). After that

  • 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 your 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 2018-19 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 was a new content area added to all 2017-18 RISIS modules, and is part of the current default Blackboard course menu.
If your 2018-19 course is a copy of last year’s course, it will already have the Module Evaluation area, including any documents which were uploaded to this area.

Module Convenors please note:
On the 2018-19 course you should remove any comments and/or files relating to student feedback which have been copied forward from 2017-18.

To do this, simply Edit the item

Removing old Module Evaluation responses

Delete any cohort-specific text entered into the Text field then click Mark for Removal next to any attached files.

Mark file for removal

You can also set this content item to be unavailable until later in the year, when you upload your response to the 2018-19 cohort.

 

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. This work will be carried out by programme administrators in the Support Centres, who are receiving all required training this summer.

 

When will students be able to see their new Blackboard courses?

Returning students (i.e. those progressing to Part 2 and 3) will already have made their 2018-19 module selections. These enrolments will be pulled through from RISIS to Blackboard once these two systems have switched to the new academic year, on or shortly after 1st August.

From that date, they will see any Blackboard courses which staff have made available.

New students (i.e. Part 1 and new PGT students) will not have full access to IT systems until they complete their enrolment in late September, and it is only at that point that they will be able to log on to Blackboard and access their courses.

 

What do I need to do with the 2017-18 course?

The short answer is “absolutely nothing”.

Please DO NOT SET OLD COURSES AS UNAVAILABLE – it has been agreed by DELT that students should continue to have access to all of the Blackboard courses relevant to their programme of study
i.e. a final undergraduate student should still be able to access their Blackboard courses from Parts 1 and 2.

This is so that they can access course materials and all feedback received from staff.

 

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.

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

 

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.