Service announcements and essential information from the Technology Enhanced Learning team

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Archive for September, 2015

What does course “not currently available” mean and how can I make a course available?

As an Instructor, if under “My courses” on your Blackboard home page  you see “not currently available” or “unavailable” after the course, this means the course is unavailable to students. Instructors can still access and edit the course.

Once your course is ready for students to use, ensure that it is made available as follows:

  • Click on the course
  • Under Control Panel click on Customisation
  • Click on Properties
  • In section 3 Set availability select Yes
  • Click Submit

Your course is now available to students.

Or use the Qwickly tool on your home page

Click Course Availability and turn the On/Off button next to the course to the required state.

Hub Courses – need to know

Rationale

Blackboard is based around SITS units, with a single Blackboard course being created for every SITS unit that is running in the current year. Sometimes staff may require a Blackboard course that has students from more than one SITS unit on it (in addition to the normal SITS units). If you want a course like this, please fill in a  “hub course” request form.

Setup

Once the form is completed, your new hub course will be created in 3-5 working days (more at start of term). You will be sent an email when it is ready.

Students: Those who are enrolled on any of the SITS units included on the form will be automatically enrolled onto the hub course. Students that enroll in those units later will also be enrolled onto the hub course, 3-5 working days after their enrollment on SITS.

Staff: As the hub course requester, you are automatically added to the hub course as an Instructor, with the ability to add other staff. To add other staff (instructions from Blackboard):

  • In the control panel in the hub course, Click on “Users and Groups”, then “Users”
  • Click the blue button “Find other users to enrol”
  • If you know your colleagues’ user names, put them in the user name box (otherwise use the “Browse” button to search for them by name)
  • Set the role to “Instructor” (or whatever level of access you want them to have)
  • Click “Submit”

Content

The hub course will be a copy of the first unit course in the list you submitted via the form. So if you submitted THRS10034, THRS20102, and PHIL20052, it will be a copy of THRS10034_2015. In future years, the hub course will be a copy of the previous year’s hub course.

SITS unit courses

Your normal SITS courses will still be on Blackboard, and you may make them available to your students in addition to your hub course. There are a number of University tools that only work (or work best) in the SITS courses, which include:

  • eReserves
  • Lecture capture recordings
  • Library reading lists
  • Online submission of essays (particularly when this is part of a school-wide process)

Tidying up your SITS courses

If you switch on the SITS courses, and if they contain content, then you need to hide that from your students to avoid confusing them with duplicate materials. The easiest way is to hide whole menu items is:

  • Move your mouse over the menu item and click on the drop-down arrow
  • Click “Hide link”

It is also good practice to add an announcement to the SITS courses, telling students that the materials are held in the hub course and letting them know what you will be using the SITS courses for (eg accessing eReserves).

Switch on the courses

Finally, you will want to switch on the courses for your students. Use Qwickly to do this.

Turnitin issue resolved 22 September 2015

The earlier Turnitin issue has been resolved, and normal service has now been resumed.

Turnitin issue 22 September 2015

Turnitin is experiencing a global intermittent issue that impacts submissions. They are working to resolve this and will provide updates.

Turnitin maintenance 19 September

Turnitin have announced that their services will be mostly unavailable during a scheduled maintenance period on Saturday, 19 September 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.