Macbook, notepad and pen on a desk

How to Turn it In again.

With students across the University making submissions this time of year, you will find they have a variety of questions about their assignments.

The following student resources can be a useful way of answering some of these common queries:

Resubmissions, Resits and Mitigating Circumstances.

As assessment deadlines approach, further preparations should be made for any of your students who need to submit assessments outside of the normal timeframe, due to resubmissions, resits or mitigating circumstances.

For these types of resubmissions, Blackboard or Turnitin Assignments must have a new separate submission point created, so that students have the opportunity to resubmit after a deadline has passed. The new submission points need to be clearly marked, to clarify the meaning of each submission point.

The following instruction pages can be found in our TEL support resources:



PebblePad assessments can be configured in a number of ways, to permit resubmissions. Therefore, you may prefer to contact us, to seek direct support from a TEL Learning Technologist: If you are confident with altering PebblePad assessment settings, please ensure that you communicate any changes with your students, so that they are fully aware of how they can resubmit their assessment at a later date.

Managing Turnitin Submissions

Turnitin is our most frequently used system for assessment and is where students can submit their text-based assignments, such as, essays, reports, and presentations.

With various assessment deadlines occurring in the coming days and weeks, you may wish to refamiliarise yourself with our guide to Turnitin, and submission points within Blackboard:

Useful points to remember:

  • Students can resubmit work to the submission point as many times as they like, until the due date.
  • After the 3rd upload, there will be a delay of 24 hours until the similarity report is received.
  • Once the due date has passed, students will be unable to resubmit again. However, if they have not made a submission until after the due date, this will appear as a late submission, highlighted in red. (We recommend using ‘allow late submissions’ as a setting.)
  • Resubmissions, resits and mitigating circumstances, will require a new Turnitin submission point to be created.
  • Before you begin grading, you will need to hide the Blackboard ‘Grade Center’ column from students – otherwise they will be able to access their grades as soon as they have been entered. (Instructions can be found in ‘Part 1’ of the Turnitin guide, linked above.)
  • Grades and feedback are automatically released to students on the ‘Feedback Release Date’ and ‘Time’, through Turnitin.
  • You may wish to share relevant student support sources, in the run up to submissions:

If you have any queries, feel free to contact the TEL team at:

New Virtual Learning Environment

After a thorough and robust procurement exercise, we are pleased to announce that our new Virtual Learning Environment will be Anthology’s Blackboard Learn Ultra.

This is a new version of Blackboard and provides a modern, intuitive course environment for both staff and students. The course areas are very different from our current version of Blackboard and we will be working closely with course teams over the course of the coming year to provide training and promote best practice in the use of Ultra.

The project team will be working hard over the coming months to get the new environment set up and running with all the associated integrations ready for training to start in the new year.

It is anticipated that all courses and modules will be delivered on the new system from the 24/25 academic year. In the meantime, we are looking for volunteers as early adopters for Ultra from Semester 2 23/24.

If your course is starting in semester 2 or you have a stand alone course or module running anytime from January 2024 please get in touch and we can discuss the possibility of being an early adopter. If you course has already started, we recommend staying on the current system until the new academic year to avoid any confusion for students.

We will be issuing regular updates to keep staff informed of progress and there will be a dedicated page on our website with more information and frequently asked questions. In the meantime, if you require any further information or have any questions about the project please contact Libby Symonds, Head of the Technology Enhanced Learning Unit

illustration of students studying and learning using an online platform

Online Staff Training – Collaborate Virtual Classroom

Tuesday 14th November, 10AM 

Collaborate is a real-time video conferencing tool used specifically for learning and teaching. 

It allows users to connect online to view presentations, share applications and collaborate on documents. It has an interactive whiteboard, hand-raise function, on-demand polling and breakout groups. 

If you’d like to find out more, come along our online workshop. The session is for users that are new to the system, or those needing a refresher. 

Book on to the workshop via the ‘Staff Development Workshops’ page, from the staff homepage. 

All systems go for September!

rocket launch, rocket, take off-67723.jpg

As we prepare to launch another semester, it is time to ensure you are ready for take-off. Here is a handy countdown to help you tick off all those important tasks and ensure a smooth journey.

10… Enrol on your modules

You need to enrol on each of your modules, using the request form on the staff homepage. Please allow up to 24 hours for the request to be actioned and your modules to appear on your dashboard. If you are a new member of staff or taking on a new module, you are also able to sign up for last year’s iteration of the module using the Blackboard Access 2022-23.

9… Migrate your content

All of the new modules are empty and ready to be populated with this year’s content. The easiest way of ensuring that you have everything your students need is to copy the content from last year’s module. Instructions on how to do this can be found here. Please remember to not copy assignments or announcements to your new module.

8… Delete any old files

It is very easy for your course file area reach it’s maximum size and migrating a module is a good opportunity to delete any duplicates or files that are no longer needed. More information about this can be found here.

7… Check your accessibility

Did you know that Blackboard includes Ally – a handy tool to help you check that your content is accessible to all users? The coloured indicators next to the content you’ve uploaded reflects the level of accessibility for that item.

The accessibility indicators are only visible to tutors in the module so students won’t see them and are not a reflection of quality, only indicators of accessibility. If you click on the indicator, Ally will tell you the things that need to be adjusted to make your content more accessible.

Meanwhile, students can select the ‘A’ icon to download the document in a way that works best for them.

Ally menu of download options for a document

6… Check permissions

If you are adding One Drive or Panopto links to your module please make sure that the sharing permissions will allow access to students and colleagues who are enrolled on the module. The best option to choose is ‘share with anyone who has the link’.

5… Set up your new assignments

As previously mentioned, you should not copy your assignments from a previous module as this can cause problems with the Grade Centre. New assignments should be created, under the assignment tab on the left hand menu, and named clearly for the students. More information on creating assignments can be found here.

4… Enrol on relevant Organisations

Unlike modules, the TEL team need to enrol users to Blackboard Organisations. Please let us know if you require access to or removal from any Organisations.

3… Ensure your students have access

Often you will be the first port of call for students who are unable to see their modules which can be very stressful for them in their first few weeks. Please ask them to check that they have registered and selected modules for this academic year on their SOLE page as this controls their student access to Blackboard and is not something that TEL can bypass.

If they are unsure or are having difficulties with their registration, ask them to email

2…Check visibility

Once you have migrated the content, deleted files, checked accessibility and made sure the links work, it is worth double checking that the content that you want the students to see is visible, and the content you don’t want them to see is hidden!

1… Utilise the TEL team

No matter how well you prepare, there are always niggles and problems that pop up once the semester gets underway. The TEL team are here to help with this. As well as being available via our dedicated email address, on 28th September we will be available for you to chat to and ask for help in person! Come and visit us in the main reception at St John’s Campus for advice and cake.

It’s a Rollover!

jump, sky, man-2731641.jpg

Blackboard modules are rolling over on 22nd May 2023. Staff will be then able to enrol using the Blackboard Access form for 23/24 on the Staff Portal homepage.

Things to remember

  • It can take a few hours for the modules to appear on your Blackboard dashboard
  • If they have not arrived after 24 hours check that they are not hidden.
screenshot showing the drop down menu with the hidden from me option highlighted

Check out last week’s blog post here to find out more about tidying up your existing file areas before copying them into your new modules.

Out with the old, in with the organised

Two women using a laptop computer and discussing the information on the screen

As the end of the academic year approaches, it is the perfect time to take a look at your existing Blackboard file storage areas and do some tidying up. Over time, your storage space can become cluttered with old and duplicated files, making it difficult to find what you need and using up your storage allowance.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some tips and best practices for removing old and duplicated files from your Blackboard file storage area.

1. Review your existing files

The first step in cleaning up your Blackboard file storage area is to review your files. This means going through your folders and subfolders and identifying any files that are no longer needed or duplicated. You can sort your files by date modified, file size, or name to help you identify the oldest or largest files.

The link to locate files within Blackboard is highlighted along with the dropdown menu to sort by name.

2. Delete duplicates

Duplicates take up unnecessary space in your Blackboard file storage area, making it difficult to find the files you need. Sorting the files by name is an easy way to spot any duplicates. Once you have found them they can be deleted.

screenshot of the file structure within Blackboard with a duplicate file highlighted

3. Remove any video files

Videos should not be uploaded directly into your Blackboard file area as they can soon eat up your storage allowance. All videos should be added via Panopto (see here for help to do this). YouTube or Vimeo links can be embedded into the module without affecting the storage total.

4. Be ruthless

Just as when clearing out a wardrobe, sometimes it pays to be honest about whether something really needs to be kept. Files are often copied from one year to the next without considering whether they are still used or useful. It is tempting to leave that PowerPoint that you created in 2017, ‘just in case’ you might need it in the future, however we would recommend saving it to your One Drive/Share Point and then deleting it from the Blackboard files.

Sorting out file systems is rarely anyone’s idea of fun, however spending some time doing this now can prevent future problems of a full file area. If you would like any further guidance or help with this please contact us

illustration of students studying and learning using an online platform

Online Staff Training – Collaborate Virtual Classroom

Friday 3rd March, 10AM

Collaborate is a real-time video conferencing tool used specifically for learning and teaching.
It allows users to connect online to view presentations, share applications and collaborate on documents. It has an interactive whiteboard, hand-raise function, on-demand polling and breakout groups.
If you’d like to find out more, come along our online workshop. The session is for users that are new to the system, or those needing a refresher.

Book on to the workshop via the ‘Staff Development Workshops’ page, from the staff homepage.

Getting to grips with the Grade Centre

decorative certificate showing an A+ grade

With many assessments currently underway and marking season in full swing, it is a good chance for a reminder about the recommended process to ensure a positive student experience.

Once the assignment deadline has passed, and prior to beginning to mark the work, you need to ensure that the relevant column is hidden in the Blackboard grade centre. This will prevent students from seeing their grade as soon as it is entered.

How to do this

    Access the Full Grade Centre

    grade centre menu showing highlight on full grade centre option

    Find the column for the assignment and click on the Options button (the round icon with a chevron)

    column menu showing chevron for additional options

    Select the Hide from students on/off toggle

    column menu showing highlight on hide from students toggle

    You can tell when the column is hidden as the grade column will now show an icon with a grey circle with a red line through it

    example of hidden icon

    It is important to leave the original assessment point visible to students throughout the process to ensure that they always have access to their submission. The reasons for 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.

    Speech bubble representing discussion.

    Subscribing to discussion forums in Blackboard

    In Blackboard, if you turn on the setting to allow subscription to discussion forums, students and staff will have the option of receiving emails when new posts are made. In the forum options, select “Allow members to subscribe to forum” and “Include body of post in the email” (see screenshot below). Once this is enabled students and tutors have the ability to opt in or out of the email subscription service.

    Blackboard discussion forum settings

    This video shows how easy it is for students and staff to subscribe to a discussion forum.