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.

 

 

Get ready! Direct transfer of marks between Blackboard and RISIS (EMA Integration)

This post contains information aimed at Module Convenors and academic staff involved in overseeing assessment in modules on Blackboard.

 

The integration of assessment information between RISIS and Blackboard is scheduled to go live on Thursday 3rd January 2019. It applies to all summative assessments with a due date of Friday 1st February or later.

 

What is EMA Integration?

 

Integration will increase the accuracy and efficiency of assessment administration:

1. Sub modular marks that are recorded in Blackboard for summative assessments will be transferred directly to RISIS by Programme Administrators (This includes marks for Turnitin assignments.)

2. Assessment information held in RISIS will be used to automatically set up Blackboard assessments e.g. Blackboard assignments, blogs, journals and wikis. (This excludes the set up of Turnitin assignments. Programme Administrators will continue to set these up manually.)

 

What does it mean for academic staff?

 

There are no changes for academic staff in how assessments are marked. Your Programme Administrators will handle all of the Integration processes. Your Support Centre has been briefed and trained for the introduction of EMA Integration, and continued support will be provided by EMA staff and the TEL team.

Please continue to provide your Programme Administrators with the details of your assessments for the coming term to allow them to automate the technical administration of the assessments in Blackboard.

 

What will I see in Blackboard?

 

If you enter the Grade Centre for your module, you will see columns that allow marks to be transferred into RISIS. The titles of these are prefaced with [IC]. Do not edit or delete these.

For some assessment types, integration will automatically set up the submission point along with the column in the Grade Centre. These are:

  • Blackboard Assignments,
  • Blackboard Blogs, Journals & Wikis.

These assessments will always be set up in the section called ‘Assessment’ in the course menu. It is essential that you do not move or copy these to another area in the course. 

If your Blackboard courses do not currently use a course menu item called ‘Assessment’ as the location for assignment submissions, we recommend renaming the existing submission area to ‘Assessment’. Further advice and guidance can be found at ‘What if my course menu does not have an Assessment area?

 

Further information and support

 

If you have any questions about integration: 

Or talk to your Programme Administrator in the first instance. If they do not know the answer, they can raise a support ticket for colleagues in the TEL, RISIS or IT teams to answer the query.

 

You can find more support about how to undertake e-assessment on our EMA Help page.

 

 

Online staff meetings with Skype for Business: New interactive guide

The TEL team love sharing useful technology that can make working life easier and Skype for Business is now available to all staff at the University. Skype is the ideal choice for arranging online meetings between academics, professional staff or external colleagues.

Our friends in Information Technology have made a new interactive tutorial (published on the Learning and Teaching Facilities blog) that shows you how easy it is to schedule and join a meeting using the Outlook Calendar and information for external contacts to join using the Web App.

How can I meet my students online?

 

Blackboard Collaborate logoThe ability to use Skype between staff joins the existing option to hold ‘real-time’ lessons and meetings with your students using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. This tool is built into the University’s virtual learning environment and is specifically designed for education. It provides students with the ability to easily interact and communicate with you, in a virtual classroom, through your module on Blackboard.

Read our case studies to find out how Blackboard Collaborate has enabled students to engage online and increased learning opportunities for both on-campus and off-campus students.

 

 

Changing the focus: Accessibility in Blackboard

When thinking about accessibility and inclusive teaching practice, technology is often cited as a solution. Technology can certainly assist students with disabilities but well designed online learning provision can benefit all learners.

Central to this is a shift in focus away from the ‘deficit’ model of perceiving disability, where Universities respond to a ‘need’ and adopting a ‘social’ model that addresses the structural barriers to students’ ability to participate, and succeed in learning. This is where technology can play a key role in levelling the learning playing field by designing systems that optimise access for all (JISC Quick Guide, Getting started with accessibility and inclusion).

The University’s virtual learning environment, Blackboard, is fully compatible with internationally recognised accessibility standards and has in-built features that allow students with different impairments to engage with digital content.

Turnitin is working towards full compliance. A text based PDF version of students’ work can be downloaded to work with screen-readers.

There are also things you can do to when producing your learning materials to ensure students have the best experience.

Find out how to make the most of the accessibility features in Blackboard and Turnitin.

Find advice on making your documents and screencasts accessible in the Creating accessible teaching and learning resources blackboard course. (Log-in and click the +Enrol button.)

The Library guide to Inclusive Technology provides advice on accessibility features that students can use including Windows, Microsoft and Office365.

 

 

TEL team recruiting! Job vacancies – June closing dates

We are recruiting to several new Technology Enhanced Learning posts within the Centre for Quality Support and Development. These offer an exciting opportunity to join a recently established team who are building on the development of strategic pedagogical and technological initiatives within the institution.

We are looking to appoint:

  • TEL Advisors (1 permanent, 1 maternity cover) £29,301 to £38,183 Closing date: 21st June
  • TEL Support Manager (permanent) £29,301 to £38,183 Closing date: 15th June
  • TEL Support Officers (1 permanent, 1 fixed term) £23,879 – £28,454 Closing date: 23rd June

Please read the job descriptions to find out more and make an application at: https://jobs.reading.ac.uk/ .

Blackboard Service Interruption – 19 April

  • Blackboard experienced a service interruption between approximately 11.30am and 12.15pm BST on Wednesday 19 April 2017.
  • During this time Blackboard was unavailable for staff and students.

Information for staff with online submission deadlines during the service interruption:

If you had online assessment deadlines during this time, please make appropriate allowances for any student submission issues encountered in consultation with your SDTL and Support Centre.

It may be necessary to amend the Due Date for assignments to allow students to submit work, if it is decided an extension of the deadline is appropriate in your circumstance. (Guide on extending submission deadlines.)

If you have a Turnitin submission and the students have emailed you the work, it is possible to submit work on their behalf and may negate the need to extend the deadline. (Guide on how to submit on behalf of a student in Turnitin. )

If you have any queries with regards to the service interruption, please contact us via the IT Service Desk.