Get your Blackboard module ready for the new academic year

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Make your Blackboard module ready for a new student cohort 

As the Module Conenvors 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:

Make the ‘My Marks and Feedback’ link available to students 

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' or 'Microsoft Stream' course menu titles.

Key content updates and checks:

Check the your content is easy to navigate and learning materials are accessible to students. Refer to:

Repurposing screencasts

Microsoft Stream 

  • Any Stream videos you will be using with the new cohort of students need to be explicitly shared with the 2021/22 Blackboard course. Follow the steps in this guide: Reusing Stream Videos with your students in 2021/22.
  • Ensure recordings are assigned two 'owners' - for example, the recording author and module convenor or programme lead.

Direct video file uploads to Blackboard 

Please use Stream 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 be copied as part of Course Rollover. 
  • These files should be uploaded to Microsoft Stream.
  • Where possible, delete any direct video uploads from your course. 
  • It is a legal requirement that audio and video recordings made available from 23rd September 2020 must meet accessibility standards. Microsoft Stream automatically generates a transcript/captions for videos to help meet this requirement.

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.

What happens to session links when Blackboard courses are rolled over?

Blackboard Collaborate 

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 corrent 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.

Teams Meetings 

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 2021/22 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 

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.
 

Blackboard Tests 

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.
 

Formative Assessment 

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: 

 

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 IT Self Service Portal or email dts@reading.ac.uk with full details. This will ensure your query is addressed by an appropriate person as promptly as possible.