Blackboard

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Blackboard Rollover 22-23

Blackboard modules for the 22-23 academic year are now available and ready for you to start working on.

As in previous years you will need to re-register for access to the new modules (even if you are the module leader) from the staff web pages – instructions can be found here:
https://lttu.uk/support/Blackboard/Manual/accessing-new-courses.html

You may want to consider migrating content from last year’s modules. If you do this, it is very important that you do not roll over the assessment tab or any of the assessments within, as this will cause problems within your grade centre. If you roll over any tests or quizzes please note that these will not be automatically deployed, so you will need to insert them into the appropriate area within your module.

Whilst consistency is an important factor, we recognise that all modules are individual and you may want to look at some of the other tools and functionality available in Blackboard – we have a full online Blackboard guide but if you need any further support from the TEL team, or would like us to provide an advisory review of your online learning resources, please contact TEL@worc.ac.uk to arrange a session with an Academic Learning Technologist.

Speech bubbles containing question marks

To all Blackboard users – VLE Review

Our VLE will be changing from September 2024 and we would like to start the conversation with users now to gather feedback, which will inform how we move forward with this important platform.

As an initial step we have created a short survey to gather your thoughts on what features and tools you find useful and how you use the VLE in your learning and teaching. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and we would like to gather responses from as many users as possible so please follow this link to complete the survey https://ucw.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/virtual-learning-environment-review-2022

We will also be holding some open workshops for staff to come along to and take part in more detailed discussion. These workshops will be held on June 14th, 17th and 23rd and you can register your interest on the staff development booking system. The workshops will be face to face and facilitated by the TEL Unit and include a range of interactive activities and discussions so please come along and join us if you can.

Libby Symonds

Head of Technology Enhanced Learning Unit

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.

Blackboard

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

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.

Panopto

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 tel@worc.ac.uk

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.

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.

\"Collaborate

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 tel@worc.ac.uk.

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)

 

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 TEL@worc.ac.uk

Changes to Blackboard Navigation

To all Blackboard Users,

In August we will be updating Blackboard to incorporate the new Ultra Base Navigation. This new navigation has a sleek, modern look and feel and will save you time with simpler workflows and easier access to important information.

Your courses will not change. They will look and operate exactly as they do now.

What is Ultra Base Navigation?

It is a modern, intuitive navigation menu that lives outside of courses. It includes links to new pages such as the Activity Stream, Calendar, Messages, etc. that provide quick access to the most critical information consolidated from all your courses.

What does this mean for me?

Your Blackboard will automatically be updated. UBN will bring a range of benefits:

  • Modern, intuitive user experience. You and your students will enjoy this simple, intuitive, engaging user experience.
  • Works well on mobile devices. This navigation is designed to work well regardless of which device you’re using.
  • Aggregates important information. All your course and organization information – like calendar, messages and grades – is now consolidated into one global view, minimizing the time spent navigating into each individual course.
  • Only one click away. See something that needs your attention? Just click on it and you will be taken directly there, minimizing clicks and saving time.

This is the first step in the roadmap that will ultimately allow users to trial Ultra courses.

You can view more detail about the benefits of UBN via the document below:

Base_Navigation_Datasheet_Educators

More information will be available from the TEL team at tel@worc.ac.uk

Blackboard Rollover 2021-22

Blackboard modules for the 21/22 academic year are now available and ready for you to start working on.
As in previous years you will need to re-register for access to the new modules from the staff web pages – instructions can be found here:
https://lttu.uk/support/Blackboard/Manual/accessing-new-courses.html
We have amended the standard template very slightly to include a link to the Panopto Video tool by default. If you don’t want to use this it can be removed or hidden from students but this is now widely used so we have included in the template for this year.
All modules have the basic template with pre-populated menu items which relate to the University baseline standards . This ensures a level of consistency which is one of the top priorities that students have requested – see our Students’ top tips for Blackboard.

You may want to consider migrating content from last year\’s modules. If you do this, it is very important that you do not roll over the assessment tab or any of the assessments within, as this will cause problems within your grade centre. If you roll over any tests or quizzes please note that these will not be automatically deployed, so you will need to insert them into the appropriate area within your module.

Whilst consistency is an important factor, we recognise that all modules are individual and you may want to look at some of the other tools and functionality available in Blackboard – we have a full online Blackboard guide but if you need any further support from the TEL team, either individually or as a course or module team please contact TEL@worc.ac.uk to arrange a session with an Academic Learning Technologist.

Collaborate Gallery View

Gallery view in Collaborate is now live! From April 2021 if you are the Moderator of a Collaborate session, you can make use of the new Gallery view, which enables you to see up to 25 participant videos on screen.

Click on the View icon in the top right of the screen to switch between views.

\"Collaborate

Blackboard will extend Gallery view to all participants later in the year.

Find out more from this short video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2050HbWeBs&t=96s

Collaborate Recordings

Text from Judith Keene\’s all staff email dated Monday 15th March 2021

The past twelve months have seen a massive surge in uptake of all of our learning platforms and the way in which staff have engaged with adapting to teaching online has been incredible.

We are now in a position where usage of our platforms is beginning to exceed our allocated quota from suppliers and, whilst we are keen for people to continue to use these technologies, there is a cost and management implication which we need to be mindful of.

With that in mind we are planning on removing all Collaborate recordings from the previous academic year. If you have any recordings you would like to keep please download them from your Collaborate area by 31st March 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 September 2020 will be removed from the system on 1st April. If you have questions or concerns about this, please contact tel@worc.ac.uk

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)

Please also refer to our recent blog post about managing files and videos within your Blackboard course.

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