Panopto folders are now organised by academic year.
Staff have frequently requested that the Panopto folders for their Blackboard Courses are organised by academic year rather than as a long list. The Panopto upgrade work gave us an opportunity to restructure our folders as requested.
Top level year folders will appear greyed out, but you still have access to your Panopto folders within.
When you open the Panopto Recorder in a teaching room:
You can either find the Panopto folder you want to record into via the folders or search for the Panopto folder you want to record into.
To find the Panopto folder you want to record into via the folders:
Click the dropdown button in the Folder field.
Double-click an academic year folder to expand it. or
Click the dropdown arrow to the left of the academic year folder to expand it.
Select the Panopto folder you want to record into.
To search for the Panopto folder you want to record into:
In the Folder field start typing the module code or name of the Panopto folder you want to Record into
Select the folder you want to record into.
Sharing Panopto recordings from Previous years.
To share Panopto recordings from previous years Panopto folders, copy the recordings into the current years’ folder of the course. This can be done via Panopto.aber.ac.uk. This grants all students enrolled on the current years’ course in Blackboard access to view the recordings. See this FAQ.
Everyone now has a folder in Panopto called My Folder that they can record into. In the Panopto Recorder it can be found under Quick Access.
My Folder is useful for recordings that staff or students do not want to share with others immediately or when they cannot find a suitable folder to record into.
Recordings can be moved from My Folder into another Panopto Folder later. To copy or move a Panopto recording to another folder See this FAQ.
The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit is pleased to announce that Information Services has procured Blackboard Ally as part of our move to Blackboard Learn Ultra.
Blackboard Ally integrates into our Blackboard Learn Ultra environment and focuses on making digital content more accessible.
For colleagues creating content you will be able to amend the accessibility of your content. This means that your content will be more accessible to assistive technologies, such as screen readers.
Another benefit of Blackboard Ally is that content can be downloaded in multiple formats. This means that your lecture notes, PowerPoints, and other documents can be converted into many different formats, including:
There’s nothing that you need to do to enable Ally on your course. It will automatically be enabled on Monday 11 September on 2023-24 Courses onwards and Organisations.
For more information on using Blackboard Ally, take a look at ourstaff or studentFAQ.
If you want to know further information about creating accessible learning materials, take a look at our resources.
One of the great new enhancements that we’ve got in Blackboard Ultra is the ability to embed collaborative documents.
For those of us who did much of their teaching online during the Covid pandemic, you will recall us espousing the benefits of loading a collaborative document in the chat. We’ve now been working to enable this on our Blackboard Courses and we are pleased to say that they are available for you to use on your 2023-24 courses.
This means that your students will be able to collaborate together outside the classroom, on Blackboard in their own time. There are 3 types of document available for students to collaborate on:
We’re going to be using the collab docs for blog and wiki alternatives. But, if you want to maybe get your students to mind map, generate ideas, or build on each other’s notes, take a look at the collab docs. You could also use it to get students to sign up to groups. You can use the group feature in Ultra courses to limit the item to a specific student or group of students.
Staff should contact the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (email@example.com) 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This post outlines the solutions that the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit are working on for Blog activities in Blackboard Ultra. Once these solutions have been tried and tested, we will work on providing guidance for colleagues.
Blogs are a collaborative tool used for a number of assessed and unassessed activities at Aberystwyth University.
The tool is not currently available in Blackboard Ultra (despite our enhancement requests) and is not on Blackboard’s roadmap of development.
The unavailability of the Blog tool has been included in all parts of the decision-making process to highlight it as a risk in the move to Blackboard Ultra.
In their very nature blogs offer students the opportunity to reflect on their learning, organise their thoughts and ideas chronologically, and comment on each other’s posts.
Whilst there aren’t blogs in Ultra, there are two fully-integrated participation and engagement tools that will offer alternatives: Journals and Discussions.
Option 1: Use the Journal tool
Whilst blogs don’t exist in Blackboard Ultra, the journal tool does remain. Journals are used in a similar way to blogs but they are private between course tutors and students. If the activity can function without making student’s posts visible to all, we recommend using this tool.
If the activity requires an interactive element between students then we recommend using the discussion tool. Here you can create a thread, organise your discussions via folders, set the discussions to be graded, encourage student participation by not viewing the thread until students have completed their initial post.
Even though our discussion board tool has changed, our principles on discussion board design and engagement still remain the same. Take a look at our discussion board design blogpost for some tips and questions for you to ask yourselves in the design of the activity.
Option 3: Use WordPress blogging tool
Whilst we recommend that discussion board activity remains in Blackboard so that student engagement and assessment can take place, there is another blogging tool supported by the University: WordPress. If you think that WordPress is the only option for you then we recommend that you get in contact with us first to discuss your activity and so we can advise further (email@example.com).
On 1 and 2 March, LTEU met with Departmental Directors of Learning and Teaching to update on the Blackboard Ultra project and discuss our plans for training, ways in which we can address challenges, and the support required for the Ultra project.
The slides from the session can be downloaded from this link.
The slides include an update on the project timeline, what academic colleagues will have to do, and an overview of our training approach.
Summary of discussions
Support contact – if you are having any difficulties with using e-learning tools then do contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help you out.
Adding Reading List and Panopto Link – Staff members will have to add links to these in their modules. There is currently no way of doing this automatically, but we will continue to investigate ways of doing so.
Departments will be able to choose whether they have an in-person training session or an online training session.
LTEU will continue training on using Ultra over the summer and into the new academic year
Academic colleagues will be able to access and copy materials from historical modules – the current retention period is 5 years + current year.
Where possible, colleagues should use Blackboard text editor features to ensure that their content is as accessible as possible.
A checklist will be produced so that colleagues can check that they’ve done everything required in building their modules.
Colleagues would like a consistent message from Information Services about the project.
Training sessions will be offered to all Registry teams as well as external examiners and franchise campuses.
Communications and approach will include the benefits of the move to Ultra and a list of new features.
Where possible, video materials will be created.
If you have any questions, concerns, or want to speak to us about something specific in your course, then contact us on email@example.com.