Service announcements and essential information from the Technology Enhanced Learning team

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Archive for August, 2015

Please inform tel-help about critical dates

We are currently collecting information on critical activities for Blackboard and QuestionMark Perception for this coming academic year. Critical activities are those for which it is essential that TEL systems such as Blackboard or QMP are available, such as assignment submissions or online exams. 

Critical activity information is very important as it is used to schedule downtime for essential maintenance to Blackboard, QMP and other systems with the least disruption to you and your students. The information also helps us and IT Services to more effectively support students and staff in the event of an unexpected disruption to Blackboard, QMP, Turnitin or related services (such as MyBristol). 

Please could you send all the following information about any critical activity to tel-help@bristol.ac.uk:- 
  * date of activity
  * time of activity
  * duration of activity (if applicable)
  * type of activity (eg Blackboard assignment submission, Turnitin assignment submission, QMP exam, Blackboard test, Blackboard results release, etc)
  * level of activity (eg summative, formative, exam, mock, etc)
  * approximate number of students involved
  * course ID (for Blackboard), or exam or group name (for QMP)
  * school
  * room the activity is taking place in (if applicable)
  * staff contact details

You can  view and check the critical date information that users have already supplied..  If you have critical activity that is missing please email: tel-help@bristol.ac.uk

Many thanks

TEL team

Places available on TEL workshops for staff

Places are available on TEL workshops for staff.  These include:

  • Media in teaching
  • Effective course design
  • TEL essentials
  • Introduction to Blackboard for administrative and support staff
  • Introduction to Blackboard for academic staff (including research staff)
  • Questionmark Perception Enterprise Manager

For further information and booking please see the TEL website.

If there is not a workshop scheduled that meets your needs or if you would like tailored training e.g. for your School please contact tel-help@bristol.ac.uk

Blackboard course roll-over 2015 complete

The Blackboard course roll-over is now complete.  You will see a new Blackboard course for every SITS unit that is running next year – these are in the format HISP21309_2015

You will find it much easier to distinguish between courses for different academic years by using these instructions “Group your courses by year: learn how to simplify your My Courses in 18 seconds.”

All new courses are created as “Unavailable” so students will not be able to see them yet.  When you wish to switch them on simply look for the course availability on the “Qwickly” module on the home page of Blackboard and switch the course to “On”.

Also this year you will see an additional hidden menu item at the bottom of your menu called “Reading List”.  From this menu you will be able to upload your reading list for library staff to access it and when the reading list has been uploaded it will appear on the page for students to see.  See this message from the library

“A reminder that the University is undertaking an early implementation of a reading list management policy, as reading lists are currently provided to students and library staff in a variety of ways leading to inconsistent student experience. The early implementation uses Blackboard to help provide reading lists  in a uniform manner. More information can be found using the ereserves/reading list tab in Blackboard.” 

All staff will have been added to the new versions of courses that they were attached to last year.  Students are being added as they are enrolled on SITS.

We also provide “Hub” courses for areas where more than one Unit code of students are being taught together – we are in the process of copying last years Hub courses and these should be available early next week.

Scheduled Turnitin maintenance 15 August

Turnitin have announced that their services will be mostly unavailable during a scheduled maintenance period on Saturday, 15 August 2015, from 15.00 to 19.00.

An announcement will appear to users within Turnitin in advance of when the system will be unavailable for the scheduled maintenance.

Turnitin “Email Non-Submitters” link should not be used

A new link has been automatically added to Turnitin assignment inboxes in Blackboard, giving Instructors the option to “Email Non-Submitters”. Unfortunately, this feature does not currently work with all versions of the Blackboard/Turnitin integration – including the one used at the University of Bristol. Turnitin’s engineering team is planning to remove the link, where it doesn’t work, in the future. In the meantime, instructors should ignore it. Turnitin apologize for any inconvenience.