Downloading Results from the Grade Centre

Today we’re going to talk about one of Blackboard’s best kept secrets, one that can can save you time and effort.

After you have completed marking assignments, rather than typing results up into a spreadsheet, instead you can download the results directly from the grade centre into a spreadsheet or CSV file.

To do this, first go to the grade centre, which can be found under the Course Management settings near the bottom of the left hand menu. Click to expand the sub-menu.

Course Management menu, with Grade Centre sub-menu displayed.

Select Assignments to see Blackboard and Turnitin assignments, Tests to see the results of tests or quizzes, or Full Grade Centre to see both types of results.

Navigating the Grade Centre

You will see a list of students all of the students who are enrolled on the module, with a column for each assignment or test that has been set. Only assignments that have been graded will show a grade.

You may have to use the scroll bar within the grade centre (as opposed to the window’s scroll bar) to navigate further down the list.

Exporting the Grades

On the right hand side of the screen you will see the Work Offline command. Click this and select Download

Grade centre tool bar, with Work Offline highlighted
Click image to expand

You will be given the option to export the full grade centre or specific assignments, which you can do by clicking on the Selected Column dropdown and selecting the assignment you require.

To export as a CSV, choose the Delimiter type Comma, for Excel, choose Tab.

Export Grade Centre options, with the Selected Column option selected
Click image to expand

Your chosen fileds will be downloaded as a spreadsheet or CSV, depending on the delimiter type chosen.

If you have any further queries, please contact the Technology Enhanced Learning Unit at TEL@worc.ac.uk

External Examiner Blackboard Access

With the pre-Christmas assessment period over, it will soon be time for your external examiners to moderate work on Blackboard and Turnitin. This can be tricky for examiners, who may be unfamiliar with University of Worcester processes and applications.

The first step is to ensure that examiners have their University of Worcester single sign-on account set up. They will need this to access all university systems.

Once this is in place, external examiners can request access to modules via the Blackboard Access form.

The process for this is:

  1. Navigate to the University of Worcester Staff Portal – the link to this can also be found at the bottom of the University website.
  2. Log in to the portal via the ‘Sign In’ button at the top right of the screen using University of Worcester account username and password.
  3. Click on the relevant Blackboard Access link. Usually displayed are the current year and the previous year. This will take the user to the Blackboard Access form.
  4. Complete the form for each module required. When entering the module code, it is important that there are no spaces before, after or within the code. Under type of access, select ‘External Examiner’.
  5. Access to the modules will be granted within 24 hours.

To access Blackboard:

  1. Navigate to the University of Worcester Staff Portal – the link to this can also be found at the bottom of the University website.
  2. Log in to the portal via the ‘Sign In’ button at the top right of the screen using University of Worcester account username and password.
  3. Under Applications, click the Blackboard 9.1 link.

Accessing Assessments

Once in the system, and the Access Request forms have been processed, External Examiners will see the modules they need to mark under My Courses (highlighted in yellow below) Clicking on the module name will open the course.

An image of the Blackboard home page

Accessing the students’ work for marking/moderation depends on the system the assignment is using. The course tutor can verify this if required.

The finer points of how marking/moderation is to take place should be agreed at a course level.

Turnitin

Turnitin is the most commonly used system for assessment and is the best system for text based assignments such as essays, reports and presentations.

Within the course, unless stated otherwise, Turnitin points can be found under ‘Assessments’. The External Examiner will click into the assessment that they are moderating. This will open the Assignment Inbox. Clicking on one of these documents will open students’ work.

For further information, see our sections of the Turnitin Workflow that cover finding assignments and online grading and feedback.

Blackboard

Blackboard Assignments are used for portfolios and non-text based work.

To moderate Blackboard assignments, External Examiners will need to enter via the grade centre and navigate to the correct assignment. Some guidance from the course tutor may be required for this.

See our guide on Grading and Feedback for further information – please be aware that this guidance is intended for tutors.

Vevox Voting System – Pilot Users Wanted!

Next semester we at the Technology Enhanced Learning Unit will be piloting a new voting system and we are looking for volunteers to try this out and provide feedback to the project team.

The new tool is cloud based and requires students to respond from their own devices. Full training and support will be provided to academic staff taking part in the pilot and we are currently looking for expressions of interest.

If you would like to be one of our pilot users please complete the form here and we’ll be in touch in the new year with more details.

Assessment as Learning using Peer Mark

PeerMark is a peer review assignment tool within Turnitin which allows students to read, review, and evaluate papers submitted by their classmates. Incorporating assessment into the learning process itself has many pedagogical benefits and uses. Reviewing the work of their peers can broaden students’ understanding and enhance analytical critique. Students could even review a sample essay in order enhance their learning. Peer mark may also reduce anxiety around assessments.

The TEL Unit are offering a workshop around PeerMark on the 10th January from 10:00 – 12:15 in EE1022 . If you are interested in utilising this feature within your own learning and teaching, please book on to the workshop via the ‘Staff Development Workshops’ page.

Bespoke Training

At the Technology Enhanced Learning unit we run a range of training workshops for academic staff. However, we understand that sometimes you might like to attend but can’t make the particular time on offer. Sometimes you might need some training on an area not covered in our workshops.

If either of these apply to you, you are welcome to request one-to-one or small group training from one of our Academic Learning Technologists. This can cover topics from our workshops, or be tailored to your individual requirements. We also can arrange team-based workshops by request.

Systems that we support:

  • Blackboard
  • Turnitin
  • Pebblepad
  • Camtasia
  • Collaborate Virtual Classroom
  • Medial for video assessment

Topics that we can cover:

  • Learning design
  • Mobile and blended learning
  • Online assessment
  • Online accessibility

If you are interested, please email TEL@worc.ac.uk with details of your training needs and we will get back to you.

Autumn Workshops

The Technology Enhanced Learning Unit will be running a series of workshops throughout the Autumn and into the new year to help staff hone their TEL skills.

As well as many of the old favourites, there will be new courses on offer covering advanced Turnitin functions for more confident users, and using Turnitin for student peer assessment.

The full course details are:

  • Camtasia – 06/11/2019, 14:00 – 15:45, EEG031 PC. Tutor: Pete Thornton
  • Blackboard made simple – 08/11/2019, 09:45 – 11:15, EE1022 PC. Tutor: Pete Thornton
  • Using quizzes, tests and surveys in Blackboard – 13/11/2019, 14:15 – 15:45, EE1022 PC. Tutor: Pete Thornton
  • Designing Accessible Blackboard Courses – 22/11/2019, 10:00 – 12:15, EEG031 PC. Tutor: Dave Wager
  • Setting up and Using Turnitin Online Assignments – 28/11/2019, 14:00 – 15:30, EEG031 PC. Tutor: Nisha Sharif
  • Running an Online Session in Collaborate – 05/12/2019, 10:30 – 11:45, online session. Tutor: Nisha Sharif
  • Using Blackboard for Blended and Mobile Learning – 06/12/2019, 10:00 – 12:00, EE2010. Tutor: Libby Symonds
  • Advanced Turnitin – 12/12/2019, 10:45 – 12:15, EEG031 PC. Tutor: Libby Symonds
  • Peer Mark for Turnitin – 10/01/2020, 10:00 – 12:15, EE1022. Tutor: Dave Wager

Please book places via the Staff Development Workshops page.

Join the TEL Ideas Exchange

The TEL Ideas Exchange group brings together colleagues from all schools with an interest in technology enhanced learning to promote and disseminate best practice. After a very successful initial launch by invitation in May, we are are now extending the opportunity to all academic colleagues to participate in the group.

Newsletters

There is another meeting coming up in November. If you are interested in taking part, please email TEL@worc.ac.uk and we will provide full details.

Sharing Turnitin Rubrics with Colleagues

If you have used rubrics in Turnitin, you will know that they don’t work in quite the same way as other files. This is most apparent when trying to access or use a rubric file uploaded by a colleague.

Some things to bear in mind:

  • Rubrics are linked to the user’s account rather than to the module that they are uploaded to. Therefore, if two tutors have access to a module and one tutor uploads a rubric, the other tutor will not be able to edit the rubric file. To the second tutor it will be displayed as ‘Other Instructor’s Rubric’.
  • However, all staff with tutor access will be able to access the rubric for marking – once uploaded, the rubric does not need to be re-shared.
  • Once a user has uploaded a rubric, it will forever be linked to their Blackboard account, ready for redeployment.

Staff commonly share rubrics that they have created by emailing the rubric (.rbc) files to colleagues. While this is perfectly acceptable practice, it can be problematic when the owner of the rubric is not available due to sickness, holiday, working commitments etc.

Therefore it is a good idea to set up a shared area where your team can store commonly used rubrics. This could be a folder on the O drive, or a shared folder in OneDrive. Find out how to use shared OneDrive folders.

Please note that it is not possible to open or edit .rbc files using standard applications. This must be done within the Rubric Manager on Turnitin.

More information about using rubrics can be found on our Turnitin Workflow guide.

If you have any questions about the use of rubrics please contact the Technology Enhanced Learning Unit at tel@worc.ac.uk

Finding your Feet with Files

Filing. I know. Snoozefest right? But getting to know the Files area on your Blackboard modules can be incredibly useful. Bear with me.

Locating the Files Area

The files area can be found in the side menu under Course Management. Click on Files and then on the module code (TEST2_BRIA1 in the image below).

Files area located in side menu

This will take you into the files area, which shows all uploaded documents and folders in a list. By clicking on any of the headings you can sort files by this criteria. Clicking once will sort in ascending order. Clicking twice will sort by descending order. This function is particularly useful for viewing all files of a certain type (e.g. identifying all of the PowerPoint files), or for locating the most recently edited or largest documents.

Files list

Removing Unwanted Files

Each Blackboard course area is set up with a standard 500MB of storage space. It is a good idea to regularly audit the files stored on your course areas.

If you copy content over from year to year, you may end up storing files that you no longer need. You may be storing several older versions of the same document. You may even want to remove a particularly large file that is using up a lot of space and replace it with a compressed version.

This is a two step process however. First you need to remove the file from the relevant course area. If you do this, it will still remain stored on the module, taking up valuable space.

To remove files completely, you need to go to the Files area, select the unwanted files using the tick boxes and click Delete. Once you have confirmed the deletion, the file will be totally removed from the module.

Deleting a file from the file list

Be sure to perform both steps, as removing documents only from the files area will result in a broken link remaining in the content area.

Downloading Files

Often staff need to download some or all of the files from a Blackboard module. Luckily this is a simple thing to do.

  1. Go to the course files area
  2. Select the files that you require. Alternatively you can select all files by clicking the tickbox next to ‘File Type’.
  3. Select ‘Download Package’. This will download the files as a zipped folder.

From this area it is also possible to copy or move files, however, this is best to do from the content area. We will show you how to do this in our next post.

If you have any questions, please contact us at TEL@worc.ac.uk

Creating Blackboard-Friendly PowerPoint Resources

Powerpoint is one of the most useful tools in a lecturer’s arsenal and its presentations great for both delivering lectures and for creating resources that students can download from Blackboard and revisit in their own time.

However, potential problems can arise when uploading large PowerPoint files to your Blackboard sites:

  • Large files can quickly eat up the standard 500MB file allowance provided for each Blackboard site. You may find that you are soon unable to upload documents at all.
  • Large files can be difficult for students to access, especially if their internet is slow.
  • Transitions can be sluggish and images may be slow to load, even causing PowerPoint to crash.

But fear not! There are simple steps that you can take to ensure that your PowerPoint presentations are manageable.

Avoid Large Images

Images should generally be no bigger than 1920×1080 pixels and below 400 – 500kb,

We recommend using JPEGs as your file type for images when possible. These will generally have the lowest resolution. If part of your image has a transparent background, however, you will have to save the image as PNG instead. If you notice an image is exceptionally large in your presentation, right click then Save as Picture and select JPEG as the file type. Replace the existing image with your new JPEG and this may do the trick.

Compress Existing Large Images

To compress images in PowerPoint, first select a picture in your presentation. The Picture Format tab will then appear in the main PowerPoint ribbon. Navigate to it and select the Compress Pictures option:

Powerpoint Compress Pictures function

A dialogue box will then appear, presenting various options. By deselecting the Compression option ‘Apply only to this picture’, you can compress all images within the presentation in one fell swoop.

Compress Media Files

Should your presentation contain media or video files, then it’s a good idea to compress them using PowerPoint’s tool. One thing to bear in mind is that if you have embedded subtitles or an alternate audio track on your video or media file, then don’t perform the compression. You’ll lose them.

On the File tab, click Info, and then in the Media Size and Performance sectionclick Compress Media.

Compress Media settings

PowerPoint will first give you the option to convert any files so that they can be compressed. You have the option to compress to Presentation QualityInternet Quality and Low Quality. In our experience, we’ve found that Internet Quality is more often than not good enough.

The compression tool will do all videos in your presentation, cut any trimmed sections of videos (which is really handy when you don’t have access to video editing software) and show you how much you’ve reduced the file size by.

Accessibility

It is, of course, also important to ensure that any resources that students use are accessible. Microsoft provide very helpful advice on this subject at the link below.

Make your PowerPoint presentations accessible to people with disabilities