Make your Blackboard module ready for a new student cohort
As the Module Convenors or the lead academic teaching the module, once your Blackboard module has been created during the ‘Course Rollover’ process, you will need to update the content and settings ready for your new students. You may want to coordinate these tasks with other module instructors or teaching assistants who teach on the module.
If you are a new member of staff, please view the New Staff Checklist on the TEL website, in addition to the points below.
Complete the following key tasks:
Review your Blackboard course menus and customise the menu structure as needed (Note: Follow the recommended menu structure as closely as possible or your School template to provide consistency for students).
Important: Do not rename or delete the 'Assessment', 'Module Evaluation' or 'YuJa' course menu titles.
Key content updates and checks:
- Create / unhide module welcome or orientation info. See recommended start of term communications.
- Update the Reading List and Create a link to your latest Reading List for the new academic year
- Order and label folders and check the titles, naming or descriptions of items.
- Add Module roadmaps and/or Weekly Plans.
- Adjust the date for time-released content.
- Link to the latest Module handbook.
- Update Assignment briefs and information.
- Update your screencasts (see separate section below)
- Delete any video content copied forward from last year's course which is not required.
- Remove any Stream content that has been copied forward.
- Add content from YuJa.
- Create and add a banner image or check how an existing banner image appears in 'Courses' since the update to Ultra Base Navigation.
Check that your content is easy to navigate and that learning materials are accessible to students. Refer to:
- If you are considering screencasts from previous years, please read the article Reusing video content in 2022/23.
Microsoft Stream and YuJa
- Microsoft Stream is not being used for Teaching & Learning in 2022/23 – all videos for Teaching & Learning will need to be uploaded to the new media platform YuJa.
See our support article Transitioning from Stream to YuJa.
Direct video file uploads to Blackboard
Please use YuJa to share videos with your students. Videos should not be uploaded directly to Blackboard.
- If you have directly uploaded video recordings to Blackboard, they will have been copied as part of Course Rollover.
- These files should be uploaded to YuJa then shared with your Blackboard course.
- Where possible, delete any direct video uploads from your course.
- It is a legal requirement that audio and video recordings meet accessibility standards. YuJa automatically generates a transcript/captions for videos to help meet this requirement.
Videos in the AV Dropbox
Prior to 2018 DTS provided an 'AV Dropbox' tool which allowed staff to upload video files via Blackboard, using this form.
Uploaded videos were stored on an internal DTS server, and lecturers could embed them into a Blackboard course.
This service has not been available since 2018.
If you have any such videos in your course please
1. Download a copy of the video from Blackboard (skip this step if you already have a local copy of the video).
2. Upload to YuJa – YuJa will automatically generate captions.
3. Use the YuJa Media Chooser to embed this content into your new Blackboard course.
Create new links to live online sessions for the coming academic year.
You must use a University approved platform such as Blackboard Collaborate or Microsoft Teams.
- Set up sessions: Guide - setting up live interactive sessions online.
- Recording sessions: Guide - Recording sessions: What do I need to know?
What happens to session links when Blackboard courses are rolled over?
After Blackboard rollover, the new course will have a new empty Collaborate course room. Sessions from the previous year’s module are not be copied forward.
You will need to schedule upcoming sessions. Follow these tips when setting up Blackboard Collaborate sessions to ensure students enter the correct Collaborate room for your online sessions.
If you have previously embedded 'Guest links' as content items to provide access to Collaborate sessions, these will be copied into your new course. Delete them from the new course to avoid confusion and errors for new student cohort.
Any links to Teams Meetings you’ve added to your module is copied forward as content. You will need to delete these links, and create new links for the 2022/23 student cohort. This will prevent students from the previous year being able to see these meetings start and join them.
Note: from May 2021, students who join the Teams meetings via the session URL will have a 'temporary' meeting status. Their meeting display name contains the temporary status, which you can see in the participant list and chat panel. Students will be able to interact with chat during the meeting, however upon leaving their access is restricted to a ‘read-only’ record. The will no longer be able to:
- post messages
- view any subsequent chat record that occurred after they left
- access meeting assets, such as files. Staff should use Blackboard for distribution of core learning content.
If you require students to continue to interact with Teams meetings after a live online session, you will need to individually add their student email address to the meeting invite, when scheduling the session or during the meeting itself.
Summative Assessment submission points (e.g. Turnitin or Blackboard assignments) and the corresponding Grade Centre columns will be set up by your Programme Administrator. Please liaise with them to ensure that they have the correct information to set up each assessment – including the submission deadline and assessment tool to be used.
Academic staff are responsible for creating Blackboard Tests i.e. creating questions and answers. Please liaise with your Programme Administrator to ensure that they are made available with the desired settings. How to make tests available to students.
Academics are responsible for setting up and managing formative assessment points.
Resources to help your students get ready for the new academic year
Introduce students to Blackboard and provide an overview of how and what you use Blackboard for. You can do this in your start of term communications.
Remind students where and when they can submit work for online assessments and access their marks and feedback, and which type of assignment they can expect to be using in your course.
Direct students to the following resources to support their use of Blackboard and key university platforms:
- Blackboard help for students – Getting started articles.
- Downloading files in accessible alternative formats (using Ally).
- Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
- Microsoft Teams Meetings
- Student DTS Guide – includes how to get Office 365 and set up Multifactor Authentication to log in.
What if you need further help?
If you have a Blackboard or Turnitin query, or need to contact the TEL team, please log a ticket on the Self Service Portal with full details.
Use this Blackboard Help Request Form to ensure that your query is addressed by the appropriate person as promptly as possible.