Blackboard Upgrade Summer 2013

The summer 2013 upgrade is currently still running. We are just making final changes to the new courses for the coming academic year. Our current plan is to have the full version of Blackboard online by 2pm.

Apologies for any inconvenience this may be causing you. If you have any questions please email TEL-help@bristol.ac.uk

Blackboard upgrade – Retention centre for monitoring course activity and participation

As part of this summer’s upgrade, Blackboard will have a new feature called the “Retention Centre”. This allows Instructors to monitor activity and participation in courses, including marks, missed deadlines, course access, and other criteria which staff can set themselves.  It can be accessed within each course Control Panel and also from the new “Global Navigation Menu“.

4  minute video tutorial on the Retention Centre is available.

To find out more about this or any of the other Blackboard enhancements this summer:

This summer’s upgrade will take place between Tuesday 30th July (starting at 9am ) and Monday 5th August (midday). A temporary replacement service will be available during this time.

Blackboard upgrade – quicker access to courses and “My Blackboard”

After this summer’s upgrade, Blackboard will have a new “Global Navigation Menu”, accessible at all times in the top right corner of the screen. This allows quicker access to courses and “My Blackboard”, an aggregated view of data across courses. For example you can see events or deadlines from different courses via the new Calendar.

A 4  minute video tutorial on the Global Navigation Menu and My Blackboard is available.

To find out more about this or any of the other Blackboard enhancements this summer:

This summer’s upgrade will take place between Tuesday 30th July (starting at 9am ) and Monday 5th August (midday). A temporary replacement service will be available during this time.

Blackboard upgrade – improved discussion board

As part of this summer’s upgrade, Blackboard will have a more modern-looking and usable discussion board. All posts in a thread will now load on one page, discussion forum roles are highlighted, e.g showing posts by an instructor, and when writing a reply, the original post remains visible on the same screen.

A 1 minute video on some of the discussion board improvements is available.

To find out more about this or any of the other Blackboard enhancements this summer:

This summer’s upgrade will take place between Tuesday 30th July (starting at 9am ) and Monday 5th August (midday). A temporary replacement service will be available during this time.

Blackboard upgrade – new Content Editor

As part of this summer’s upgrade, Blackboard will have a new content editor. The content editor allows you to add and format text, insert equations,  video, web links and  tables, and attach different types of files. The editor appears throughout the system, and the new version includes:

  • Better ability to paste from Word and retain formatting
  • Edit box which can be expanded to full screen, and has Preview function
  • Simple & advanced modes for editing. Simple mode just shows basic icons
  • New MathML equation editor

A 2 minute  Blackboard video on the new Content editor is available on YouTube.

To find out more about this or any of the other Blackboard enhancements this summer:

This summer’s upgrade will take place between Tuesday 30th July (starting at 9am ) and Monday 5th August (midday). A temporary replacement service will be available during this time.

Blackboard upgrade – summer 2013

The 2013 Blackboard upgrade will take place between Tuesday 30th July (starting at 9am) and Monday 5th August (completed by midday). A temporary replacement service will be available during this time.

The familiar interface remains in the new version, but the upgrade will bring some notable improvements, for example a new Content Editor (allowing easier editing and pasting from Word), a more modern-looking and usable discussion board, and “My Blackboard” which gives an aggregated view of data from across Blackboard courses. There will also be hardware improvements, and once again automatic archiving and roll-over of SITS courses.

Short videos on some of the new features and enhancements can be found on the Blackboard upgrade website. Further information will be added in due course.

The Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team are once again offering roadshows and drop-in sessions to update colleagues on the changes and enhancements in the new version of Blackboard. The sessions last approximately one hour and will include demonstrations and the chance for staff to ask questions.

If you would like to request a roadshow, or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact tel-help@bristol.ac.uk.

Blackboard “Alignments”

The latest version of Blackboard has a new feature that allows staff to set “Goals” for their Courses, and then add “Alignments” between items in the Courses and these Goals. Unfortunately, references to Alignments appear in various places even when Goals have not been set – notably, on students’ My Grades pages, and at the top of any Content page created as a “Blank Page”. We have requested that Blackboard issue a patch that will enable us to remove these; until this time, please just ignore them – they have no effect when not associated with Goals.

Controlling display of course listings in “My Courses”

Since 2012 previous year’s versions of SITS unit courses have been automatically retained on Blackboard, so staff and students can have easy access to these where appropriate.

Following the annual course roll-over at the start of August, you will be able to see previous as well as current versions of unit courses, clearly identified by a year suffix in the course ID and name, eg:

Course ID                           Course name
BIOL11000                          Biology 1A Diversity of Life 11_12
BIOL11000_2012_13          Biology 1A: Diversity of Life 12_13
BIOL11000_2013                Biology 1A: Diversity of Life 2013
BIOL11000_2014                Biology 1A: Diversity of Life 2014

BIOL11000_2015                Biology 1A: Diversity of Life 2015

 

This year all 2014 courses will by default remain available to students – in previous years staff could make the courses available to students if they wished. 

Staff can easily make multiple courses unavailable to students, if required, using the Qwickly tool on their Blackboard home page.

Staff and students can choose to group each year’s courses under separate headings in the “My Courses” box on your Blackboard Home tab. To do this, please follow the instructions below:

  1. Move your mouse to the top right of the My Courses box on your Blackboard home page and click on the small cog wheel icon.
  2. On the page that opens, under “1. Terms”, tick “Group by Term”
  3. Note that you can also choose which courses and terms you want displayed, and whether you want to see course names, course IDs, or both.
  4. When you have finished click “Submit”
  5. Here is a 25-second video on how to use group courses using terms.