Changes to Blackboard Assignments

Additional features in the New Box Viewer

If you make use of the Blackboard assignment tool, you will be aware that the interface for leaving comments directly on students’ submissions changed in January this year. Our guidance for staff on using the new Box interface can be found on this page: Marking a Blackboard Assignment online using the in-built tool (Inline Grading).

Please be aware that the Box Viewer runs as Software as a Service – that is to say, new features and improvements are added on a continuous basis, and do not rely on us upgrading the Blackboard system as a whole. A number of improvements requested by Blackboard users have already been introduced, with more promised for the coming months.

As of yesterday. the ability for markers to draw on the student’s submission (available via the old marking interface) has been added. And fewer clicks are required when adding multiple drawing or text comments on the page. These updated features are now included in our PDF guide: Marking a Blackboard assignment online using Inline Grading (New Box View)

Box drawing tool

We have also updated our student guidance on submitting to Blackboard Assignments, and locating and viewing marks and feedback, following our transition to the New Box Viewer.

 

Edit 12th March: new annotation features temporarily withdrawn

Box have discovered that the new annotation mentioned above were causing performance issues, and have temporarily removed them. We understand that the drawing tool and other features should be restored later this week, once Box have resolved their technical issues.

 

Important: Known issue for students Saving as Draft

Edit 09/08/18

This issue has been fixed by the Summer 2018 Blackboard upgrade

Blackboard have identified an issue which could have serious consequences if a student

  • uploads a file to a Blackboard Assignment
  • selects Save Draft
  • uploads a later version of the file, with the same filename, before submitting the attempt.

In this situation, the later version of the file will be successfully submitted to Blackboard, but the earlier version still displays on screen – i.e. the marker will inadvertently mark an earlier draft of the work.

Fortunately, this sequence of events is probably fairly rare, and it will always be possible to download the later file from Blackboard.

We have provided a warning about this on the Blackboard assignment submission screen, with a link to our guidance for students on how to avoid the issue.

Blackboard Assignment submission help text

Blackboard are working on a fix for this, which we expect to be available in the next week or two. However, with many assessment deadlines coming up, if you are using the Blackboard Assignment tool, please make your students aware of this serious, but easily-avoided, problem. Please direct them to the relevant information on the Student Support site, and tell them to contact IT if they have any issues.

 

 

 

 

 

Recent Turnitin changes

Turnitin logo

Turnitin – immediate Similarity Reports for up to three resubmissions

Previously, on Turnitin assignments where students were allowed to submit and resubmit drafts up until the due date, if students made a resubmission they had to wait 24 hours for the Similarity Report to generate.

Turnitin have now changed this:

Students can now view their initial Similarity Report, then revise and resubmit their work up to three times, without having to wait 24 hours for an updated report. After three resubmissions have been made, the 24-hour report generation wait time will be restored.
Instantaneous similarity results give students the formative support they need to master paraphrasing and citation conventions efficiently.

https://guides.turnitin.com/01_Manuals_and_Guides/Release_Notes/Turnitin_Release_Notes/Instant_Similarity_Reports_for_up_to_three_resubmissions

 

This feature is, of course, only available if resubmissions are enabled for an assignment i.e. if under Generate Similarity Reports for student submission you have selected Immediately (can overwrite reports until due date).

We have updated our Turnitin user guides for students accordingly.

 

Turnitin iPad app logoTurnitin iPad app

A new release of the iPad app was made available in the Apple app store in January. This includes fixes for bugs which were affecting Rubrics and Grading Forms.

As ever, please ensure that you have finished marking and sync’d all downloaded papers before updating your app.

For information on using the app, see our support page: Turnitin iPad app.

Turnitin Feedback Studio: Save Error

Turnitin logo

Update – The issue is now resolved.

 

Here is the information from Turnitin:

 

Turnitin Service Alert

 

Some Turnitin and TurnitinUk users (including those integrated with our service) may have experienced an error when attempting to leave comments through Feedback Studio from Jan 29 1:30 am PST- Feb 03 7:09 PST/Jan 29 9:30 am GMT – Feb 04 3:09 am GMT/Jan 29 8:30 pm AEST – Feb 04 2:09pm AEST. Post resolution, root cause analysis was performed and monitoring / alerting has been put in place to further mitigate the chances of similar technical difficulties from occurring.

 

________________________________________________________________________

 

Original post:

Over the last few days some staff have encountered an intermittent error when attempting to add Quick Marks or comments, using the Turnitin Feedback Studio.

A ‘Save Error’ message is displayed as shown below.

Turnitin 503 error

This issue is affecting users at other institutions, and Turnitin are aware of the problem. At present, Turnitin have not been able to give us an indication of how quickly the error can be resolved.

If you experience this issue, please log a support call  via the IT Self-Service portal.

When doing so, please provide details of

  • the Blackboard course
  • the Turnitin assignment name
  • the Turnitin paper ID for a paper where this occurred
  • what kind of computer are you using – Windows or Mac?
  • which browser are you using?

It is also worth clearing your browser cache – this may not prevent the problem from recurring, but should delay its reappearance.

 

Please note:

If you are simply having trouble viewing or editing previously entered comments and Quick Marks, our recommendation is to switch to the Firefox browser.

However the ‘Save Error’ described above appears to affect all browsers.

 

 

Turnitin Feedback Studio: unable to view or edit Quick Marks

Turnitin logo

Some staff have reported that, when marking student work using Turnitin Feedback Studio

  • they are not able to view previously entered comments or QuickMarks
  • they are not able to open and edit previously entered comments or QuickMarks
  • the Feedback Studio screen freezes.

Turnitin are aware of this, but the intermittent nature of the problem makes a diagnosis difficult.

However Turnitin have said that, as far as they are aware, these issues do not occur in the Mozilla Firefox browser.

Therefore, when marking student work in the Feedback Studio, we recommend that staff use Firefox.

*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

 

 

 

TEL Fest 2017 – Booking is now open!

TEL Fest logo

 

Bookings for TEL Fest sessions are now open! (This event is for University of Reading staff only.) 

*Please see the link in the Details & Booking section at the end of this email for full descriptions of the ‘gigs’ (sessions) and booking information.*

TEL Fest

TEL Fest is designed in large part (though not exclusively) to help academic staff make the most of technology to enrich teaching and learning. (Administrative staff may also be interested in some of the sessions.) A series of bookable sessions, and something a little different from our TEL staff development provision during the year, it draws on expertise from colleagues across the University and external speakers, and comprises a range of TEL-related demonstrations, practical workshops, a roadshow and sharing/showcase sessions. Whether you come along to one or many ‘gigs’, and regardless of your previous TEL experience, the festival has been developed to ensure that you leave both inspired and equipped with the skills you need to enhance your current practice.

The Programme

Here’s how the final festival programme (and catered lunchtime ‘fringe’) shapes up:

  • Tuesday 11 July

Telling TEL Tales and TEL Tapas: A taster session. What are they doing elsewhere with TEL and Blackboard? Examples of interesting & innovative practice at other institutions (Steve Hoole, Blackboard)

Mixing it up with an OOC: Lessons from our Open Online Courses for designing blended learning and maximising student engagement (the OOC team)

Lunchtime ‘Fringe’: TEL Roadshow

Blackboard Bootcamp: Whip your Blackboard course in to shape! A practical workshop to help you develop your Blackboard module (Steve Hoole, Blackboard) 

  • Wednesday 12 July

Electronic Management of Assessment – Programme overview, progress and initial deliverables! (Emma Mayhew & EMA team)

1. ABC Curriculum Design workshop. A rapid-design workshop useful for new programmes and those being reviewed and changing to a more blended format, with links to the Curriculum Framework initiative (Clive Young & Natasa Perovic, University College, London)

Lunchtime ‘Fringe’: Show and TEL –  A forum for academics to share how they’ve used an aspect of technology enhanced learning in their teaching

2. ABC Curriculum Design workshop. Repeat of morning’s rapid-design workshop useful for new programmes and those being reviewed and changing to a more blended format, with links to the Curriculum Framework initiative (ADE/TEL staff along with Clive Young & Natasa Perovic, University College, London)

  • Thursday 13 July

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (Live Online Classroom): Launch & Early Adopters Showcase– Official launch of this new online collaboration/live online classroom tool and tales, hints and tips from our early adopters (Lauren McCann, Adam Bailey & early adopters)

An introduction to using webinars for teaching and Learning using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (Adam Bailey & Angela Buckingham)

Lunchtime ‘Fringe’: APPetite – Sharing apps for teaching & learning

Play a video and BoB’s your uncle! Using TV and radio programmes from Box of Broadcasts (BoB) to enhance teaching and learning (Markeda Cole, Learning on Screen)

Details & Booking

Book to come along to one, a few or all of the ‘gigs’ – whatever best suits you!

For full details of each of the sessions (in chronological order) and to book, please visit: https://www.reading.ac.uk/cqsd/TandLEvents/CQSD-TELEvents.aspx

All sessions are capped at 40 participants, except for Blackboard Collaborate: Using webinars for teaching & Learning (Thurs 13 July) which, for logistical reasons, is capped at 20 on this occasion. If the session you require is full and you are unable to book a place, feel free to email cqsd-tandl@reading.ac.uk to be added to a waiting list.

Please feel free to get in touch directly with me if you have any questions about this event – I’ll be happy to advise.  

Countdown: 5 weeks ’til TEL Fest – TEL your colleagues!  

Image of spaceship countdown