Vevox mini workshops

Have you used Vevox yet in your teaching? It\’s a fantastic online polling software that really boosts student engagement and interaction.

We will be collaborating with the Vevox team to provide two 30-minute mini-workshops, which will take place online.

One of these sessions is intended to look at and discuss the Q&A board within Vevox and some of its more advanced features, while the other is a ‘Brunch And Learn’ session, which is set to include some information around past and upcoming release features, as well as guest presentations from two University colleagues, Amy Cherry and Rob Herbert, around how they use the platform in their teaching methodologies and their own personal experiences with the product.

Please see full details and registration links for the two sessions below:

Utilising Vevox Q&A  (Wednesday 30th March: 14:00  – 14:30)

Register interest


Brunch & Learn (Friday 1st April: 12:30 – 13:00)

Register interest

What to do with your recordings in Blackboard

As you are probably aware by now, video files should not be simply uploaded to Blackboard. The files are far too large and will rapidly use up your module\’s data quota. Instead, videos should be uploaded to Panopto.

However, some staff have enquired about managing their Collaborate recordings, which raises a number of questions – how to link to them, whether to upload to Panopto – so we thought it would be a good idea to explore this.

Data Storage

Let’s start by looking at the way the systems manage storage.


Every Blackboard module has a default data quota of 1000MB. Where there is a genuine need, this can be extended, but the data quota of the entire University needs to be carefully managed, as exceeding this has a significant financial implication. Removing videos is an easy way to bring this down. Remember that any resource you delete from a module must also be deleted in the files area in order to impact on the data quota.


Collaborate videos are stored outside of the module on which they were recorded, so do not impact on the data quota. However, there is an overall data quota for Collaborate that also needs careful management. As a result, we are required to archive older videos, having recently deleted all videos recorded prior to January 2021.


There is currently no data quota for Panopto storage as we are charged by the number of views. However, this is likely to change in the future as Panopto moves to a charging by storage model.

Should you move Collaborate recordings to Panopto?

Given that Collaborate recordings eventually need to be archived, some staff have asked whether it would be better to move all Collaborate recordings to Panopto as a matter of course. This is probably not necessary but there may be instances when it would be a good idea:

  • Will the recording be required for a long time? If students will need to access the video for longer than a year, then it might be a good idea to download the files and upload to Panopto.
  • Will the recording need to be deployed on future modules? Some resources may be of use to students on future modules, in which case a move to Panopto may be a good idea so that resources can be shared between modules.
  • Does the video need captioning? One drawback of Collaborate is that it does not provide closed captions, which may be required for accessibility. If you have students on your course who need closed captions, then uploading videos to Panopto may be a good idea, as Panopto does have excellent captioning options.

Bear in mind that uploading videos wholesale to Panopto is a significant undertaking for you as the course tutor, so you should weigh up these issues before you decide what will work best for you and your students.

Also consider that, although there is currently no data quota on Panopto, this is likely to be introduced in the future, so we as an institution will also need to manage Panopto usage. Therefore it’s probably a good idea to only upload resources to Panopto where you think it is really necessary.

If you have any queries feel free to get in touch at

Why you should not hide your assessment points from students in Blackboard

We strongly recommend that you always keep your submission points visible to your students. The advantages of this are:

1. Students are familiar with the submission point in advance, which aids confidence in the submission process.

2. Enables students to refer to their feedback to inform future assessments.

3. Avoids panic and confusion on the students’ behalf.

4. Mitigates any unnecessary support calls and emails to tutors, TEL and the Helpdesk.

If you are unsure whether your submission point is available to students, you can use the Student Preview option to check.

The screenshot below is how you would ordinarily see the assessment from a tutor\’s view:


To ensure your students can see the assessment, click on ‘Student Preview’ to view your course from a student\’s perspective:


Now you are in student preview (as indicated by the orange bar) you can clearly see the assessment submission point is visible as a student:


This is the best way to check the visibility of any item in Blackboard to see if it can be accessed by your students. If you would like any further information on this, please contact

TEL Workshops – Spring 2022

Spring is just around the corner, and it\’s the ideal time to dust off the old grey matter and refresh your TEL skills!

This semester, we at the TEL team are offering our usual range of workshops as detailed below, which you can sign up to via the staff development booking system.

Also look out for our new short course on blended learning which will empower teaching staff to plan and implement high quality blended learning using the range of software and tools available from the University.

Date Workshop Time
15/02/2022 Blackboard made simple 10:15 – 11:30
22/02/2022 Collaborate Virtual Classroom 10:15 – 11:30
28/02/2022 Vevox Polling Software 10:15 – 11:30
02/03/2022 Tests and Surveys 10:15 – 11:45
08/03/2022 Camtasia 10:15 – 11:45
09/03/2022 Assessing Presentations Online 10:15 – 11:30
11/03/2022 Accessibility and Ally 10:15 – 11:30
15/03/2022 Introduction to Panopto 10:15 – 11:30
TBC Implementing Blended Learning TBC

All workshops will be delivered via Collaborate, and a link will be emailed to attendees before the session.

Scheduled Maintenance 8th January

Please be aware that two of our suppliers have scheduled downtime for updates early in the new year.

  • Panopto will be down on 8/1/22 from 10pm for 4 hours
  • Turnitin will be down on 8/1/22 from 0.00 to 8.00

Both systems will be unavailable during this time. If this will impact on your students, for example for assignment submission, we recommend that you send an announcement to make them aware.

Hiding Turnitin Assignments in the Grade Centre

A reminder that, following the changes to Turnitin in September 2020, it is possible for students to access their grades and feedback prior to the feedback release date via the Grades section if the assignment column is not hidden in the grade centre.

This is a simple step that just needs to be completed as part of the assignment setup process. If you did not do this at the time you set up the submission point, make sure that it is hidden before you start marking in order to prevent feedback being accessed prematurely.

See the \’Post Setup Actions\’ section of our Turnitin Guidance for instructions.


Removal of older collaborate videos

To all Collaborate users

Collaborate has been used extensively again this semester with 2377 recordings being made since 1st September to date totalling over 544 hours of recording.  Because Collaborate is a live interactive tool, many recordings don’t ever get played back, but the most played back recording this semester was in the School of Sport and Exercise Science with a huge 286 playbacks.


We now need to review our storage of Collaborate recordings as we are once again approaching the limit included in our licence. We are therefore proposing to remove any recordings made before 1st January 2021. At the height of the pandemic in Semester 1 last Year a huge 10,245 recordings were made and, as most of these are now over a year old, it is necessary to remove these from the system to make room for new recordings.

If you have any recordings you would like to keep please download them from your Collaborate area by 18th December and upload them to Panopto where they will have the added benefit of being automatically captioned. Please see our step-by-step guidance on how to do this. Any recordings made prior to 1st January 2021 will be removed from the system on 3rd January 2021. If you have questions or concerns about this, please contact

We also have some suggestions for best practice to help make the best use of Collaborate:

  • Only record sessions which will need to be accessed again.
  • When recording a long session, stop the recording during breaks or activities offline or in breakout groups.
  • If running a session with little or no interactivity consider using the Panopto webcast feature.
  • Delete any old recordings which are no longer required (statistics show that the vast majority of recordings are only accessed within 30 days of the original event)


Finding and Sharing your Panopto Resources

Panopto is the University’s desktop and lecture recording tool and video hosting platform. Panopto is integrated into Blackboard and permissions to view videos are associated with the Blackboard course.


  • On each Blackboard course there is an associated ‘Panopto course folder’. Any videos in this folder can be viewed by anyone on the course.
  • In addition to this you have your own personal ‘My folder’; any videos in this folder are only viewable to you. If you want to move videos from your My folder into your Course folder, please see this guide to moving Panopto videos.

How can I see where my videos are located?

Go to any Blackboard course where Panopto has been provisioned.

Click on the ‘Panopto Video’ link on the left-hand menu of your Blackboard module.

Here you will see all videos in the corresponding Panopto course folder.

To access your My folder, click the drop-down arrow next to the name of your course.


You will then see your ‘My Folder’:


Note that if you click on ‘Everything’ you will see all the videos you have access to.

You can use the search box to search within a folder.

While this is the default, you can manually change the share settings on any video or any folder. To do this, please see the Panopto Sharing guide.

If you have any queries, please contact us at and we will be happy to help.





TEL Workshops Autumn 2021

Baffled by Blackboard? Confused by Collaborate? Puzzled by Panopto? Well fear not. The Technology Enhanced Learning Unit will be running a series of workshops to help you get to grips with the various education technologies on offer.

The first session, \”Blackboard Made Simple\” will be of particular benefit to staff members who have recently joined the organisation.

Workshop Title  Date 
Blackboard Made Simple  9th September 10:15 – 11:15 
Using Tests and Surveys in Blackboard  21st September 10:15 – 11:45 
Blackboard Accessibility and Ally  23rd September 10:15 – 11:45 
Camtasia  29th September 10:15 – 11:45 
Collaborate Virtual Classroom  30th September 10:15 – 11:15 
An Introduction to Panopto  4th October 10:15- 11.30 
Using Blackboard for Blended and Mobile Learning  5th October 10:15 – 11:45 
Assessing student presentations online using Collaborate and Panopto  6th October 1:15pm – 2:15 pm 
Vevox Polling Software  12th October 10:15 – 11:30 

If you would like to sign up for any of the sessions, please do so via the Staff Development Workshop pages of the Staff Portal.

Athlete at Starting line

Are you September-ready?

How was your Summer? Good I hope. Well I\’m afraid to tell you, that\’s all over now and it\’s time to limber up for a new academic year.

Do you have everything in place, ready for your students to arrive? Here is our checklist to help you to prepare.

Have you enrolled on your modules?

As has been the case for the last couple of years, you will need to enrol on your modules via the Blackboard 2021-22 form, which you will find on the staff portal after signing in. Please allow 24 hours for your request to be actioned. Please note that course leaders also need to complete this step.

There is also a Blackboard Access 2020-21 form still live on the staff portal. If you are taking over a module this year, it may be useful to enrol on last year’s module.

Have you familiarised yourself with the new navigation?

Yes, we have moved to Ultra-based navigation which has given Blackboard a sparkly new facelift. Give yourself a few moments to get familiar with the new layout. We have prepared a video for students, which should give you most of the information you need. Feel free to share this with your students too.

Have you transferred your content?

As ever, modules will be empty and you may want to transfer content from the 20-21 instance of the module. Do not transfer the Assessment page as assignments need to be set up afresh each year. Migrating assignments can cause serious problems in the grade centre of the new module, so it really is best avoided.

Instructions for transferring content can be found here.

Sharpen your skills

We run a range of courses designed to help you get the most out of Blackboard. These are published on the Staff Development Workshop page and will be advertised via our Twitter, blog and the staff newsletter.

If you require one-to-one training on a specific area of Blackboard, email us with details at