Welcome to new staff joining Aberystwyth University

We’re the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit. Based in Information Services, we work with staff across the university to support and develop learning and teaching. We run a wide range of activities to do this.

All the information that you need is on the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit webpages. Our Supporting your Teaching webpages will help you with various teaching solutions.

We write a blog full of the latest updates, details on events and training sessions, and resources.

If you need to get in touch with us, you can do so using one of two email addresses:

lteu@aber.ac.uk (for pedagogical and design questions, or to arrange a consultation) or

elearning@aber.ac.uk (for technical queries regarding our e-learning tools listed below).

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Blackboard Learn Ultra Gradebook

In this blogpost we’ll be taking a specific look at the Gradebook feature in Blackboard Learn Ultra. The Gradebook is the new name for Grade Centre.

It is used to hold all student marks on a Blackboard Course.

The Gradebook is located on every course from the top menu.

Ultra Course with Gradebook highlighted

Students enrolled on the module automatically appear in the Gradebook.

When you get into the gradebook, you can toggle your view.

Default is a list of markable items on one tab and students on another:

List view of the Gradebook

You can toggle your view so that you can see the markable items and the students in one view.

Grid view of Gradebook]

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Turnitin Building Block retired

In summer 2022 we moved to a new version of Turnitin. As support for our previous version of Turnitin has now ceased, the historical version (known as Turnitin Building Block) will be retired on 31 August 2023.

This means that any marked assignments will no longer be accessible to staff and students.

Students should download any historical assignments (from pre-academic year 2022-23) and save them.

Staff should contact the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (elearning@aber.ac.uk) if they still need to access Turnitin assignments in the Building Block for marking purposes.

Even though access will be removed, the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit will still be able to request marked assignments via Turnitin support. If you require this after 31 August 2023, please contact the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (elearning@aber.ac.uk).  

Launch of Turnitin AI writing and ChatGPT Detection Capability

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On 4 April Turnitin will be launching their new AI writing and ChatGPT detection capability which will be added to the Similarity Report.  Before colleagues start using the AI detector, we thought that we would caveat it with the following quotations from authoritative professional bodies in the sector.

Jisc notes: “AI detectors cannot prove conclusively that text was written by AI.”

— Michael Webb (17/3/2023), AI writing detectors – concepts and considerations, Jisc National Centre for AI

The QAA advises: “Be cautious in your use of tools that claim to detect text generated by AI and advise staff of the institutional position. The output from these tools is unverified and there is evidence that some text generated by AI evades detection. In addition, students may not have given permission to upload their work to these tools or agreed how their data will be stored.”

— QAA (31/1/2023), The rise of artificial intelligence software and potential risks for academic integrity: briefing paper for higher education providers

Please also see the Guidance for Staff compiled by the Generative AI Working Group led by Mary Jacob. The guide outlines suggestions for how we can explain our existing assessments to students in ways that will discourage unacceptable academic practice with AI, and also red flags to consider when marking.

You can read more about the Turnitin AI enhancement in this Turnitin blog post.

For guidance on how to use this tool, take a look at Turnitin’s:

Turnitin also published an AI writing resource page to support educators with teaching resources and to report its progress in developing AI writing detection features.

If you have any questions about using Turnitin’s AI writing and ChatGPT detection capability or interpreting the results, please contact the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (elearning@aber.ac.uk).

Turnitin considerations to be aware of (as of October 2022).

Student access to Turnitin Submission Points. 

We recommend that Turnitin Submission Points are not hidden from students for the following reasons: 

  • Students require access to Turnitin Submission Points to access and download their Turnitin digital receipt which is evidence of their submission. 
  • Students should ideally always retain access to their submitted assignments via Turnitin Submission Points.
  • Students should have access to their grades and feedback on the Feedback Release Date originally advertised to them for the Turnitin Submission Point. Feedback should be available to students 15 working days after submission in accordance with point 5.2 of the E-submission and Feedback Policy. 

Turnitin and non-anonymous submission and marking. 

We strongly recommend that the Blackboard Grade Centre column is hidden for any Turnitin Submission Point set up with non-anonymous marking.  

When a Turnitin assignment is set up without anonymous marking any marks entered in the Turnitin Feedback Studio will feed through to the Blackboard Grade Centre Column immediately. This makes them visible to the students before the Feedback Release Date.  

To hide a column in the Grade Centre: 

  1. Go to Full Grade Centre 
  2. Click the chevron next the relevant column 
  3. Toggle the ‘Hide from Students (On/Off)’ option until there is a red line through the chevron. 

The Blackboard Grade Centre Column should be unhidden when the feedback release date has passed. 

Though anonymous marking is the norm, there may be reasons for non-anonymous submission and marking. See point 4.7 of the E-Submission and Feedback Policy. 

This issue has been reported to Turnitin.  

Changes to Turnitin: Information for Students

For the academic year 2022/23 we will be using a new version of Turnitin.

On Tuesday 5 July Information Services will be enabling the new Turnitin on Blackboard.

Whilst most of Turnitin’s current functionality will remain the same, there will be some changes.

To help students with this change, we have arranged the following FAQs:

Our webpages and help guidance will be updated to reflect these changes.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (elearning@aber.ac.uk).

Contract Cheating: Red Flag Checklist Workshop– Materials Available

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On 20 May, the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit were joined by Dr Mary Davies, Stephen Bunbury,  Anna Krajewska, and Dr Matthew Jones for their online workshop: Contract Cheating Detection for Markers (Red Flags).

With other colleagues, they form the London South East Academic Integrity Network Contract Cheating Working Group and have been doing essential work and research into the increased use of essay mills and contract cheating.

The session included lots of practical tips for colleagues to help detect the use of Contract Cheating whilst marking.

The resources from the session are available below:

Further information on Unfair Academic Practice is available in the Academic Quality Handbook (see section 10).

Many thanks to the presenters. We’ve had such great external speaker sessions this academic year; take a look at our External Speakers blogposts for further information.